Serta took the collaborative approach in 1931 when 13 independent manufacturers decided to get together to start stepping up their competition against the national brands. They didn’t have the name recognition, but they did pool their mattress licenses and collective knowledge to help them stay ahead of the game. Up until Serta came along, the outermost layer of the mattress needed to be sewed into the material in a process known as tufting. This was a great technique because it meant the material wouldn’t shift or otherwise lose consistency over time. However, in order to do this, you needed buttons which were interspersed on that top layer which provided dips in the mattress itself. Serta engineered the first tuftless mattress for better support and comfort to the public. Their endeavors proved successful and as Serta grew, it became a trusted favorite in many households.
Serta is still privately owned, but the National Bedding Company (NBC) holds the largest share of the company and the largest amount of licenses. It still remains composed of different manufacturers all benefitting from each other’s expertise. It’s certainly one way to go, and despite the different clichés about teamwork from ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ to ‘two heads are better than one’ it all just depends on the situation. Some people are better working in a group while others aren’t. In this case there’s no telling what would have happened if 13 separate mattress companies had decided to just forge through on their own, but it’s likely they wouldn’t be around today given the changing face of the industry.
Different opinions and experiences were shared to inspire new and better ideas, and most importantly stay in business. You can learn from their experience by being open to other’s opinions to make continual improvements.