John Weaver, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Morbern, has been with the company for 12 years. We sat down with him to talk about the challenges and opportunities in the vinyl upholstery industry. In part two of our three-part interview, we look at customer expectations and the properties of vinyl that are ideal for certain industries. Read part one of this interview.
How have customers changed over the years?
The expectations of customers, and their customers, is more demanding on faster and shorter lead times.
To meet that need, Morbern recently launched a sample fulfillment process. If a customer orders a sample by 3:00 p.m., the order will be filled and shipped that same day. This level of performance was unheard of only a few years ago. Now, it is the normal expectation. Anything less has the customer searching elsewhere to fill their needs.
PVC coated fabrics have always been cleanable, durable, long lasting, cost effective, etcetera, but the expectation of performance has grown immensely. They must be more cleanable, more durable, more resilient. The paradigm has shifted to “whatever the consumer does to the product, it must withstand it, and retain all inherent characteristics found in the originally manufactured form.”
What industry do you feel can be most helped by using vinyl upholstery, that isn’t currently using it?
The truthful answer is all industries, but let’s take a look at a few in particular.
In the mass transportation industry, research showed customers avoided upholstered bus and train surfaces due to the uncleanliness of the seating area. Evidence of bed bugs was reported (in the fabric upholstery). This particular transit system switched to PVC coated fabric and no longer has bed bug concerns (they do not live on PVC surfaces). The seats are easy to clean, and be kept clean, and the decorative requirements were achieved.
The healthcare environment would equally benefit from increased use of PVC coated fabrics due to inherent bleach cleaner resistance and QUAT cleaner resistance properties (following proper cleaning instructions) of Morbern’s MorCare line of coated fabrics. Healthcare surfaces must be cleaned with strong chemicals to kill bacteria and viruses, and MorCare is one of the few upholstery products that can withstand harsh cleaners.
Private transportation is another industry to consider. The vegan leather characteristics of PVC coated fabrics adds to the already impressive story of inexpensive, tailorable, cleanable, durable and long-lasting seats in your car, truck or SUV.