While some mattress manufacturers tout their high-tech products, local mattress maker Maliland prefers to avoid the rocket science, sticking to good ol’ fashioned customer satisfaction instead.
“At Maliland, our main focus isn’t on business and sales, but more on investing our time, effort and resources in adding value to our products, lowering costs and increasing efficiency to benefit the end customer,” Lawrence Tay declares.
The 25-year-old company’s key sales representative gestures around the modest factory floor in the industrial area of Ubi, explaining that instead of renting the space, the management decided to purchase it, as a few years of rental fees would have added up to the cost of the property anyway.
“We put more effort into investing in the future, because we intend to stay for the long run,” Lawrence says.
Though it doesn’t splurge on extravagant, state-of-the art machinery, Maliland’s management is constantly looking into upgrades for the existing machinery; all, of course, with its customers’ interests in mind.
Lawrence, who’s rather camera-shy, shows us Maliland’s quilting machine, which has been modified to suit Maliland’s needs, because it’s “impractical to install machines that cost millions of dollars”.
“We modified the original model to make it run more efficiently and deliver a better quality quilting,” he explains while booting up the computerized system.
“This has brought down our production costs, so we can afford to lower the end price to benefit our customers on top of the better quality quilting they receive,” Lawrence goes on and gives Beds.sg a peek at some of the 200-odd stitch designs in the system, which uses a better, tougher grade of thread than your average cotton thread.
Materials aren’t skimped on in this company. Maliland mattress coils are made from heat-treated, high carbon steel spring wire specially brought in from the United Kingdom for its ability to bounce back into shape easily despite long periods of use.
These virtually indomitable coils are topped with an Asian specialty: a sturdy layer of supportive coconut fibre, so that your Maliland spring mattress is resistant to premature sagging.
Yes, Maliland puts an added bit of effort into everything.
Take tilams for example; these budget single-sized foam mattresses are products that most manufacturers take for granted.
Not only do these value-added items look more presentable, the quilting material used is also thicker and hence more lasting than the flimsy fabric you’ll find on any old tilam at your neighbourhood furniture store.
Customised and Punctual
“In Singapore it’s hard for a mattress company like ours to go big because of high overheads like rental and manpower. Our key advantage is customizability; the ability to tailor our products to fit customers’ requirements,” Lawrence explains.
He shows us the factory’s cutting machine and its small metal clamps, or “jaws” and tells us that by adjusting the jaws of the cutting machine, mattress spring systems can be cut to just about any size that a customer may require.
Prompt delivery is one of the key pillars that Maliland’s reputation is built upon. Surprisingly, it isn’t because every member of its factory staff is “programmed” to perform specific tasks like robots in an assembly line.
“We ensure that we deliver the goods punctually by putting our Singaporean habit of multi-tasking to good use. Each worker can be equally efficient when moved into different areas of the production process,” Lawrence explains.
Some of his most experienced workers have even been with the company for over 20 years now and when it comes to making mattresses, everyone gets involved in the process. Even Maliland’s upper management isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
“I’m out handling sales in the afternoon but I also operate the quilting machine in the mornings and go on delivery trips,” says Lawrence with a smile.
As the tour of the factory floor draws to a close, much to our surprise, Lawrence tells Beds.sg that we’re probably the only “outsiders” who’ve ever stepped foot into a local mattress factory.
“In the local mattress line, companies don’t normally allow outsiders to even enter our factories, for fear of disclosing trade secrets. I only showed you around as a personal favour to Naveed,” he says in hushed tone, referring to Beds.sg’s founder.
According to Lawrence, Maliland’s “straightforward” working relationship and “mutual understanding” with Beds.sg was what made him give his first every tour of the factory to us.
“I don’t know about the rest (of the companies), but for us, we don’t have any trade secrets. Maliland is all about straightforward business, punctuality and benefiting customers,” Lawrence goes on.
“We literally sweat it out to make a living. We’ve nothing to hide,” he finishes with a satisfied smile.