In 2014, industry supplier HSM (formerly Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.) celebrates its 70th anniversary and is marking the occasion by honoring a transformation from “components supplier to international provider of high-value solutions (that follows) a market-focused strategy,” a news release stated.
HSM, with headquarters in Hickory, N.C., is privately held and has approximately 2,500 employees, more than 50 manufacturing plants in 17 states and several global distribution centers. The company was founded by Parks Underdown as a producer of sinuous wire, latex and polyurethane foam. In 1960, the company added foam pouring, with new pouring and fabrication facilities coming on line over the next 10 years. HSM then moved into metal tubing, stamping and wire drawing. It acquired new businesses, expanding its footprint in the bedding, packaging, furniture and recreational-vehicle industries.
The company, which rebranded and restructured in 2013, “is definitely rooted in the values on which (it) was founded—integrity, quality, innovation and a commitment to our employees and customers,” said Dave Colburn, HSM president and chief executive officer. “But, we are also a company on the move, transforming the way we work to better serve the needs of our customers, proud of our past, but also excited about our future. We have a new corporate structure in place, a new name supported by a new corporate logo, website and branding initiative, new facilities and new products, which are the result of innovation and integration—all in place to support opportunities for growth and carry us well into the next 70 years.”
HSM claims several industry firsts, including a patented process for fire-retardant foam and production of polyurethane foam with bio-based content. In 2012, the company opened a new research and development facility at its headquarters, the Corporate Innovation and Technology Center.
The founder’s grandson, David Underdown who serves as senior vice president and chairman of the board, said, “The value-added products and services that define HSM today can be traced to our humble beginnings. in 1944, when (we) manufactured coiled seating springs, edge wire and Marshall coil springs for the bedding and furniture industry. Today, I take great pride in this company and its employees, many of them third-generation employees like myself, whose contributions over the years have defined our success. As a result, our product portfolio has grown to include more than 160 foam formulations and a wide selection of other wire, metal forming and fiber components, as well as a host of more complex integrated solutions, including transportation seating, motion-mechanism systems, bed builds and recreational-vehicle entry steps and bed systems.”