Bibb firm em­ploys 7,800 in 16 Ge­or­gia plants

The Covington News - - COMMUNITY CALENDAR -

There is a new look at Bibb Man­u­fac­tur­ing Com­pany in Ge­or­gia to­day.

The com­pany which has a large op­er­a­tion here, is a lead­ing tex­tile man­u­fac­turer, with 16 plants in Ge­or­gia. Bibb em­ploys 7,800 per­sons, with more than 2,000 of them in lo­cal plants.

A di­ver­si­fied tex­tile firm, Bibb also op­er­ates plants in Ma­con, Forsyth, Reynolds, Colum­bus, New­nan and Sar­gent. Gen­eral of­fi­cers are in Ma­con, and sales of­fices are lo­cated in New York, Chicago, Akron, Philadel­phia, Char­lotte, N.C.; Dal­ton, Ga.; Ar­ca­dia, Calif; and Need­ham, Miss.;

Fac­tors which have al­tered the com­pany’s ap­pear­ance dur­ing the past few years are:

1. A Closer move­ment to­ward the con­sumer prod­ucts field.

2. In­creased ex­pen­di­tures for plant re­newals and ad­di­tions, and on prod­uct re­search and devel­op­ment.

3. Re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Sales and mar­ket­ing De­part­ments.

4. Lib­er­al­ized ben­e­fits for em­ploy­ees.

In the move to mold closer ties with the con­sumer prod­ucts field, Bibb man­age­ment in 1961 launched an am­bi­tious pro­gram to up­grade prod­ucts and op­er­a­tions. Mar­ginal lines, which had seen a slowly de­te­ri­o­rate mar­ket, were down­graded in prod­uct pref­er­ences, and more prof­itable lines in­au­gu­rated. The Com­pany en­tered the knit­ted goods field, and the blan­ket mar­ket. It be­came more ac­tive in wo­ven goods of the fab­ric trade, and con­verted some of its man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties into units for weav­ing syn­thetic yarns for the ap­parel field.

New loom ca­pac­ity was added to con­sume yarn pre­vi­ously sold in a glut­ted mar­ket.

In step with this came the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the firm’s sales divi­sion. In 1963man­age­ment cre­ated a Mar­ket­ing Re­search De­part­ment as an ad­junct of sales and built roomy, mod­ern quar­ters for the unit’s 50-odd em­ploy­ees on the new third floor, which it added to its Gen­eral Of­fice Build­ing in Ma­con.

Spe­cial­ist for var­i­ous mar­ket di­vi­sions were brought in to work with both sales­men and the man­u­fac­tur­ing divi­sion in pro­vid­ing prod­ucts which were deemed more ac­cept­able to spe­cific mar­ket con­di­tions.

Bibb has more than 30 sales­men through­out the coun­try, and sells goods in the United States and over­seas.

As for mod­ern­iza­tion, the tex­tile firm has spent more than $38 mil­lion for plant re­newals and ad­di­tions since 1955. More than $10 mil­lion of this fig­ure was spent dur­ing the past fis­cal year.

Re­search and devel­op­ment re­ceived re­newed em­pha­sis along with the re­vamp­ing of Sales and Mar­ket­ing. New per­son­nel, ex­pe­ri­enced in this field, was ob­tained, and Bibb al­lo­cated sev­eral hun­dred thou­sands of dol­lars for its op­er­a­tion. Reasearch and Devel­op­ment re­cently ac­quired grad­u­ates form the In­sti­tute of Tex­tile Tech­nol­ogy, Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, who have mas­ter de­grees in the field.

For its 7,800 em­ploy­ees, Bibb has lib­er­al­ized its ben­e­fits pro­gram, and now pro­vides in­sur­ance, hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, ma­jor med­i­cal hos­pi­tal ex­pense, and a re­tire­ment pro­gram. The com­pany pro­vided more than $5 mil­lion when the re­tire­ment pro­gram went into ef­fect in order to ex­tend cov­er­age to a larger group of work­ers — em­ploy­ees who would reach re­tire­ment age of 65, but who would not have 25 years of ser­vice with Bibb.

Bibb has added four new plants since 1958: Belle­vue Mill at Ma­con, which placed the Com­pany into the woolen yarn busi­ness; Ar­nall and Arnco Plants at New­nan and Sar­gent, which gave it an en­try into the blan­ket mar­ket; and a new one-story air con­di­tioned plant at Forsyth, Ge­or­gia, which is ex­pected to move it more into the syn­thetic car­pet yarn field.

The new Forsyth plant, the sec­ond one in the City for Bibb, is just begin­ning op­er­a­tions, and is ex­pected to get into full pro­duc­tion dur­ing the com­ing year. It treats syn­thetic yarn for the car­pet in­dus­try.

Bibb man­u­fac­tures a wide range of tex­tiles for in­dus­try home and peo­ple. Some of the prod­ucts in­clude: tuft­ing yarns, car­pet back­ing yards, wide sheet­ing and rug back­ing fab­ric for the floor cov­er­ing field; yarns used in pro­duc­ing nar­row fab­ric and belt­ing, up­hol­stery, mops, fuses, braid­ing, in­su­la­tion; knit­ting and worsted yarns; cordage and twine; stretch fab­rics, print cloth, nar­row sheet­ing, semi-wide sheet­ing, enam­el­ing duck, dec­o­ra­tive and up­hol­stery fab­rics, and oth­ers for the cloth and fab­ric fields; sheets and pil­low cases; cot­ton, cot­ton-rayon-wool, rayon-ny­lon, rayon-acrylic and ther­mal blan­kets; and hose and belt cords, chafer fab­ric, tire cord fab­ric, belt­ing fab­rics for the rub­ber in­dus­try.

The Com­pany has its own trans­porta­tion de­part­ment, which cur­rently op­er­ates 21 over-the-road trucks, plus smaller ve­hi­cles at var­i­ous plants. It em­ploys the IBM com­puter sys­tem for in­ven­tory con­trol and other needs, and owns size­able tracts of land in the State.

Net sales were $99.6 mil­lion last year, and are ex­pected to ex­ceed that fig­ure this year. Fur­ther in­creases are fore­cast for the com­ing fis­cal year.

At last re­port, cur­rent as­sets at ap­prox­i­mately $35.2 mil­lion ex­ceed all li­a­bil­i­ties (cur­rent li­a­bil­i­ties of $5.7 mil­lion and de­ferred in­come taxes of $1.8 mil­lion) by some 4.7 times. Stock­hold­ers’ eq­uity at $54.8 mil­lion was equiv­a­lent to $34.25 per com­mon share. Cap­i­tal­iza­tion con­sists solely of 1,600,00 com­mon shares. Div­i­dends have been paid ev­ery year since 1887. The an­nual rate was raised re­cently to $1.20 per share; a 15cent ex­tra div­i­dend was paid last year, and have been de­clared again for the year just ended.

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