Location: Hampton, NH
Sales: $100 million
All businesses are both QS 9000 and ISO 9001 certified and are close to ISO 14,000 (environmental registration based on efforts to reduce emissions, solid waste and waste water)
Polyester, polypropylene and specialty fiber spinning; needlepunch, extrusion; flame lamination, calendering, latex coating, saturation, die cutting, embossing
Fosshield, Ecospun, FossFibre, Ozite, TopGuard, Kunin Felt, Kreative Kanvas, Fosscloth.
Specialty synthetic fiber (solution dyed PET, bicomponent fibers, antimicrobial fibers, fire-retardant fibers, acrylic fiber); automotive (headliners, package trays, floor carpets, interior trim fabrics); Ozite decorative (wall coverings, marine, RV, speaker coverings); retail (Kunin craft felt, auto-aftermarket, indoor/outdoor carpeting, construction); technical (vinyl substrate, filtration, footwear, healthcare and car wash.)
Foss has ambitious plans to double its sales in the next three to five years. While the company saw increases in the specialty fibers and indoor/outdoor carpeting areas, the automotive sector slowed as a result of a substantial drop in the auto industry. Although companies such as Toyota and Honda are faring well, GM and Chrysler have seen a 20% loss in sales, which, as a result, has impacted Foss’ OEM automotive division. Even with this decline, Foss’ new owners, Alinian Capital Group, still see automotive as a major area of growth, explained David Rowell, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
On the topic of the company’s shift in ownership—as well as its recovery from Chapter 11 bankruptcy—Mr. Rowell confirmed that Foss has regained both profitability and productivity. He reported that Foss has improved raw material procurement, hired 150 employees since a year ago and bumped up efficiency 10% in recent months. Additionally, the company is cutting back on its number of SKUs and extending run-times. “These strides are a result of more focused, refined business plans,” he said. “The transition is complete and behind us. We have spent the last nine months making customers aware of our new direction and mission.”
Foss’ new mission involves cost metrics that are designed to keep the company’s management team on track and in the black. “Every day we review how we are doing against this new plan of metrics. It’s a very intense effort,” stated Mr. Rowell. “This plan is well in place and we are sharply focused on cost and controls.”
In the area of capital expenditures, Foss has acquired a new ERP software package and is reportedly close to procuring certain pieces of equipment. The company is also considering the addition of new opening and needlepunch machinery. “This is still being discussed, but the commitment is there,” he said. On the fiber end, capital improvements are being aimed at adding fiber technology.