Alice Mfg. president outlines reasons for success

Lonnie Adamson General Manager/Editor

December 3, 2013

EASLEY — Finding ways to stay close to the consumer is one of the ways Easley’s Alice Manufacturing has managed success when other textile manufacturers have closed.

The company’s President Smyth McKissick laid out some general principals Tuesday, speaking to members of the company’s 25-year club at an annual Christmas dinner.

McKissick thanked the attendees for dedicated years of service to the company and described them as another reason for the company’s success.

The afternoon dinner drop-in held at Easley’s First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall doubled as a celebration of the companies 90th year in business.

Many of those in attendance were retirees who had worked for one of Alice’s five Pickens County plants 30-plus years.

McKissick acknowledged that manufacturing in the United States and in the textile industry specifically had seen its challenges particularly since the year 2000.

Alice identified four strategies for success, he said – staying close to the consumer, specializing in healthcare apparel market, driving exports and building on the Made-in-USA brand.

In staying close to consumer, the company developed the Ellison division that can take fabric to finish, cutting and transforming into fashion bedding sold directly to retailers.

The company has also had success marketing directly to consumers through Internet sales, he said.

Specializing in sales of health care apparel has been a success, also, he said.

The company is also selling fabric in Mexico and the Caribbean. “You should be proud to hear that you are known for quality and customer service in Mexico and the Caribbean,” he said.

Made in the U.S. is returning as a marketable brand affiliation, he said. Our ability to be productive and maintain a high standard of quality is important to people.

Manufacturing jobs are important, he said. “We went through a period of phony success of the dot-com bubble when people thought that we didn’t need manufacturing. People are seeing now that we need manufacturing.”

Company core ideals have also been maintained going back to McKissick’s grandfather who founded the company,” the president said.

They are :

Cherish the team, “This is a family,” he said.

Maintain good quality and customer service.

Give team members the tools they need for successful

Cherish who we are. “We have a global footprint and we are proud that we are from the U.S., South Carolina and Pickens County, McKissick said.