Hickory, N.C.-based HSM, a global manufacturer of components and provider of integrated solutions, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. According to a press release, the company’s 70-year history has been marked by innovation and growth, as it has transformed from a components supplier to an international provider of high-value solutions, culminating in a complete rebrand and restructuring last year that included a name change and a new market-focused strategy.
“HSM is definitely rooted in the values on which the company was founded – integrity, quality, innovation and a commitment to our employees and customers,” noted David Colburn, HSM president and CEO. “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.”
Founded by Parks Underdown in Hickory, N.C., the company that is now HSM began producing sinuous wire, latex and polyurethane foam in 1957, adding foam pouring in 1960 and pouring and fabrication facilities in the 10 years that followed. The move to metal tubing and stamping and wire-drawing operations came later, even as the company acquired a number of businesses that expanded its footprint in the bedding, packaging, furniture and recreational vehicle industries.
Industry firsts, including a patented process to produce a special type of fire-retardant foam and the world’s first bio-based foam, continued to propel the company forward, as did the acquisition of companies like the C.E. White Co. in 2012 and Summit Seating, Inc. in 2013, which helped expand HSM’s presence in the transportation seating market. Meanwhile, the company demonstrated an emphasis on research and development with the 2012 opening of its Corporate Innovation and Technology Center.
As HSM Senior Vice President, Chairman of the Board and grandson of founder Parks Underdown, David Underdown is especially proud of the company’s heritage and the many achievements that mark the last 70 years. “The value-added products and services that define HSM today can be traced to our humble beginnings in 1944, when what was then Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company manufactured coiled seating springs, edge wire and Marshall coil springs for the bedding and furniture industry,” he said. “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.”
To learn more about HSM, visit the company’s website at www.hsmsolutions.com.
RV supplier HSM recently joined the Hickory, N.C., Fire Department in support of Bikes for Tykes, a program that delivers bikes each year to area children in need.
According to a press release, HSM donated $10,000 to the Hickory Fire Department toward the purchase of new bikes. In addition, several employee volunteers were on hand Dec. 16-17 at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds to assist representatives from the fire department in distributing the bikes to Catawba County, N.C., families with children.
HSM employees and fire department volunteers helped assemble the bikes on Dec. 4 at the HSM regional sales office. In total, 647 bikes were distributed.
“This year was extra special for me because I actually observed the smiling faces and tears, maybe a few of my own, that were present on the parents’ faces when they drew out a winning ticket,” said Hickory Senior Firefighter Marty Kanupp, who spearheads the annual bike drive. “The volunteers from HSM that helped assemble, distribute and work behind the scenes were amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. Together, we reached out in our community and touched a lot of people this holiday season.”
In addition to the bikes, the program also helped families receive age appropriate toys and clothes, stocking stuffers such as educational books and coloring books, a choice of turkey or ham and a $15 grocery gift card.
Bikes for Tykes’ mission is to ensure every child in America has the opportunity to own a bicycle and share that joy, by refurbishing used bicycles and giving them to less fortunate children. For 25 years, Bikes for Tykes has strived to fulfill its mission of providing bicycles to children who need them across North America.
“We are proud to support Bikes for Tykes and the Hickory Fire Department, as they are doing great work to support local children in need,” noted Lee Lunsford, executive vice president chief operating officer, HSM. “Many of us have fond childhood memories of getting a shiny new bike around the holidays, and we are happy to help spread that same joy among children in our own community this holiday season.”
Hickory, N.C.-based HSM today (Dec. 3) announced the acquisition of Summit Seating Inc., a manufacturer of quality seating products for the recreational vehicle, transit bus, van and other specialty type vehicles for original equipment or aftermarket use. According to a press release, the acquisition is expected to expand HSM’s footprint and leadership role in the transportation seating market and will immediately grow both the near- and long-term growth opportunities for the HSM Transportation Solutions business unit.
“We are excited to bring Summit Seating’s technology and capabilities to HSM,” noted Dave Colburn, HSM president and CEO. “With the combination of our people, products, talents and assets, HSM has the opportunity to accelerate the current momentum and cutting-edge innovation that we are bringing to integrated seating solutions. This strategic move supports our ongoing migration from a components supplier to a provider of integrated solutions with a market-focused strategy.”
HSM said it aims to continue the growth it has experienced in transportation seating since acquiring The C.E. White Co. in January, 2013, through “faster innovation, integrated production, increased synergies and unified marketing.”
“Providing customer solutions drove this deal and, as a result of this move, Summit and HSM’s customer base will see an expanded product offering and services continuing our strong tradition of listening to and meeting our customers’ needs,” explained Tony Everett, vice president transportation solutions. “Summit’s high end products will become more accessible to the growing market needs with HSM’s strength and organization behind them.”
Over the next 90 days, all product lines within Summit Seating will be integrated into HSM’s Transportation Solutions business unit, which is headed by Everett. HSM said that during the transition, Summit Seating customers will continue to receive high-quality service from the Elkhart, Ind.-based company.
“As founders of Summit Seating, Sue and I are excited to see Summit Seating become part of HSM, a world-class operation. It will make us proud to watch the growth that they will bring surpass our original expectations,” said Ray Fink, principal, Summit Seating. Fink will remain with the company as director of seating systems-commercial vehicles.
President and CEO Dave Colburn and 10 other executives from HSM, the new name of industry supplier Hickory Springs, joined more than 550 ticket holders and 30 volunteers at the “Bids for Kids” charity dinner and auction on May 6 that benefited the Boys & Girls Club of Goshen, Ind.
Held at the Northern Indiana Event Center at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., the 2013 event attracted managers and owners from area RV companies including Mickey Thomas, director of sales, RV products, HSM Transportation Solutions.
“This was the sixth year that I attended the event,” Thomas said in a press release. “The Boys & Girls Club is a great organization that has a tremendous impact on our local community. The children and youth it serves represent the future work force and business leaders of our community, so it makes good sense for area companies like ours to step up, get involved and contribute where we can.”
North Carolina-based HSM purchased a presenting sponsorship for the evening. Contributions to the Boys & Girls Club also came in the form of donations and auction bids. More than 100 items were auctioned, both in live and silent auction formats.
“The auction items were fantastic, both in terms of what they were and the bids they inspired,” said Thomas.