03/04/22 By Andrew Moffett, Chief Brand Officer
Since 1978 Southern Aluminum has had a longstanding partnership with innovation. Throughout the years, the company has pivoted to serve a diverse customer base in many markets where product lines are needed most. To put it bluntly, innovation is at the forefront of what we do. Our mission is to push the boundaries of design in every way imaginable through our innovation mindset.
That unwavering dedication to product design ultimately landed Southern Aluminum in the hospitality industry as the pioneer of linenless meeting and event furniture in the early 2000s. Southern Aluminum coined the phrase “linenless,” providing the first-of-its-kind eco-friendly products to customers who wanted to better “green” their facility while looking for a fresh approach to activating and styling event spaces.
Behind the design curtain sits Kevin Diedrick, who puts a lot of stock into the product-making process through his vision of design, a passionate enthusiast, to say the least. Diedrick's Innovation+Design (I+D) team has a mission to deliver furniture solutions that elevate customer experiences while enhancing operational efficiencies through forward-thinking product design. A strategic mission with many layers to keep the company at the top of our game.
With Diedrick at the design helm, he and his team have launched a series of new products capitalizing on industry trends and customer needs. A recent product launch, AXIS, responds to the ongoing trend of attendee collaboration. AXIS is a flexible, mobile, flip-top nesting table designed to move seamlessly throughout any space and adjust to the customers’ purpose, whether the need is to train, educate, or meet.
As the industry evolves and new customer demand pivots from a response to global change, Southern Aluminum grows in parallel. With strength in turning insights and trends into “the next big thing”, delivering something new has become the norm for the I+D team. Any great business that deals in design has a healthy product roadmap, and our future outlook is strong. So, what do near-term product goals look like? Focusing on the shift to utilize more outdoor space, Southern Aluminum delivered a dynamic new product, VERGE, designed to activate outdoor leisure and dining. This collection is the modern take on our proud heritage line, Southern Piknik™, which has been a mainstay for the last 43 years. VERGE is multi-functional and built to activate outdoor settings with style. But this is only the start of a more layered approach to outdoor F&B and event furniture development.
As I speak with many event professionals and our team collaborates with customers, outdoor is at the forefront of the conversation more often than not. Let’s be honest, this trend was already in progress before we ever got to 2020, but what we have lived through has certainly accelerated the desire to move meetings, events, dining, and socializing to outdoor spaces. Hotels and venues are finding creative ways to accommodate this with existing infrastructure while new builds are amping up rooftops, event lawns, pool decks, and beach fronts for purpose-driven events. Winning in the outdoor space can mean winning more share of the business, full stop.
Innovation is a journey, and our product evolution has always been substantial at Southern Aluminum, and we are very proud of that fact. As we continue to innovate, we can’t wait to show you what’s next!