COCO-MAT was founded in 1989 in Greece, where it initially started manufacturing mattresses out of natural raw materials. Today, COCO-MAT produces – in addition to its bed-mattresses, mattresses, top-mattresses – pillows, furniture and carries an extensive bed linen range. It is worth mentioning, that COCO-MAT was the first company to introduce the use of a top-mattress with the aim to improve an important human need such as sleeping
From its first steps, COCO-MAT decided to produce high-quality products based on a TQM manufacturing system.
Since 1997, COCO-MAT is taking part in the Excellence Awards of the European Foundation of Quality Management (EFQM). The vision of COCO-MAT’s founders is to become the world leader in the mattress market, to promote a working culture based on sustainability and to provide equal opportunities to all of its employees irrespective of nationality, race, colour, religion or disability.
COCO-MAT’s philosophy is based on the concept of sustainable development and focuses on 4 basic principles: Production of natural high-quality products Customer satisfaction Employee satisfaction Social contribution Sustainability and quality are closely related as latter depends highly on the selection and the processing of the raw materials. All of COCO-MAT’s raw materials are 100% natural. Most of them are grown in countries like Sri Lanka and China. COCO-MAT is working closely with its suppliers providing them with technical support and training in order to achieve newly-set goals together. Manufacturing products made out of natural materials in an environmentally-friendly way is … COCO-MAT! Intensive quality control ensures that COCO-MAT’s customers can enjoy high-quality products. In order to ensure the quality of its products, COCO-MAT uses TQM methods.
In 1996, COCO-MAT was the first mattress manufacturer in Europe to obtain the ISO 9001 certification. The protection of the environment is very important to COCO-MAT shown by the exclusive use of natural materials and the avoidance of chemical or toxic materials. COCO-MAT’s products begin and end their journey of transportation in cotton bags instead of plastic or carton. COCO-MAT’s management is eager to provide equal opportunities to all employees. Over the years, COCO-MAT has created a very multicultural and multilingual working environment. Many employees are refugees from countries like Russia. It is equally important to note that COCO-MAT promotes and provides equal opportunities of development to people with a disability. COCO-MAT wants to be a socially responsible partner in its local community supporting it in a variety of ways and methods ranging from sponsoring sport teams, associations and cultural events to financing activities with an ecological background or information campaigns and supporting those in need (elderly, refugees, people with a disability, etc.).
COCO-MAT’s factory is situated in the Industrial Area of Xanthi, an historical city in Northern Greece. The factory comprises 7 different buildings covering an area of 25.000 m2. The Xanthi factory covers the production needs for COCO-MAT’s shops in Greece and Europe. It is organized by departments on the basis of which product they produce, i.e. the mattress department, the sewing department or the carpenter who is producing the wooden furniture. None of COCO-MAT’s factories has a chimney making our environmentally-friendly production methods apparent to everyone. Furthermore, the products’ cut-offs, i.e. coco fibres, natural rubber or fabric are being recycled or used to produce other products, such as slippers (with a coco fibre sole), carpets or doors. For left-overs which cannot be used elsewhere, COCO-MAT has a very effective recycling system in place. The result: 98% of the waste is recycled and waste in general is minimized.
Total quality management
Manufacturing products based on the principles of total quality management was a conscious choice for COCO-MAT and is based on a different perception on management. TQM – for COCO-MAT – isn’t just a management system; it is a new way of thinking and communicating, a culture which brakes with tradition, which inspires people to try new methods pursuing innovation and development. The ultimate goal is to produce a product with real added value for the customer, which becomes possible when we are can motivate ourselves, can exercise control and use technology to our advantage. TQM has to be implemented throughout the entirety of a company influencing systems, methods and relationships in order to work effectively. The relationship between management and employees has to go beyond a simple work contract. Instead everyone is focused on contributing heart and mind to the improvement of the company’s methods and techniques ultimately aiming to being able to satisfy our customers. In order to be able to satisfy the needs of an external customer and to sustain the same level of satisfaction over an extended period of time, it is important to ensure that the ‘internal’ customer is satisfied and able to perform well. Providing a comfortable working environment, the necessary knowledge and tools to our employees are the prerequisites for excellence thereby satisfying the needs of all of our customers – internal or external.
COCO-MAT’s TQM system can be summarized as follows:
Definition of internal and external customer needs
Focus on customer needs
Quality improvement combined with cost control