Published on 29th July, 2020
For sportswear manufacturers, choosing the right equipment is pivotal to the level of growth and success you experience. But how? Well, think about it, if you’re trying to operate efficiently and productively but your equipment can’t keep up with demand, there’s going to be a breakdown in your framework, isn’t there?
It’s vitally important that your equipment can keep up with the wider business – otherwise, you may end up driving business away and towards your competitors. Not only should it be able to cope with demand, but it should also be scalable and account for periods of exponential growth.
In this short blog, we look at the equipment and machinery you’ll need to achieve your objectives at each stage of that business lifecycle – whether that’s managing capacity, scaling your business, controlling costs or innovating with state of the art technology.
Throughout your time as sportswear manufacturers, there are three distinct stages of development your business will go through:
Startup – you’re a new or emerging manufacturer. Perhaps you only produce one product to a select number of customers. Your production line isn’t as complicated because you don’t run multiple ranges and your capacity isn’t full. Yet. Don’t worry, it will be.
Established – you’re an established sportswear manufacturing business – you’ve carved out a healthy chunk of the marketplace for yourself, but you’re not quite a market leader. You have a good selection of clients buying your garments – and you’re producing from a lot of different designs. Maybe you have that one client that is asking to increase capacity, and it’s starting to become an issue.
Enterprise – As a market leader and an enterprise business, you’re working with lots of large retailers and merchandisers, who all demand state of the art products, at constantly shortening lead times. Not only that – they want to be highly cost-effective and efficient with the money they spend. You’ve got to stay ahead of the curve on technology, training and machinery to remain top dogs and outpace your competition.
Objectives: Work within a small budget, start on a solid foundation, start creating a simple production line.
Machines: As startup sportswear manufacturers, you need to start on a solid foundation of modern, market-leading equipment that is future proof and of a higher standard than competitors. Having a production system built on machines that are easily transportable and simple to scale is also a must. Especially as a startup – saving you money in the long run.
A great start to that could be the Happy HCH-701P – it’s a solid, future proof and affordable starting machine. A great first rung on the ladder. It’s designed specifically for beginners who are just learning the ropes of industrial embroidery, so any new and emerging sportswear business would be wise to invest in one of these.
Another fantastic option would be the Happy HCU Series – this one is a little bit more expensive than the HCH, but you’re investing in the newest machine on the single-head block. It’s a heavy-duty, high speed industrial single-head machine that utilises artificial intelligence to produce garments at a maximum speed of 1500 RPM – that’s industry-leading speed at an affordable price with state of the art tech included.
Objectives: Scaling capacity, becoming more efficient, managing more complex production lines.
Machines: Now you’ve grown and started to establish yourself in the sportswear market, you might decide to start diversifying your garment ranges or pushing for more customers, so being able to efficiently scale the business and grow revenue is both a key objective and big challenge. You’ll have to keep in control of costs, but also know when to invest for growth. The difficulty of getting this balance right is why so many businesses get to this stage and never advance any further.
The main variable for expanding into machines with more output potential is how many needle heads does your business require. A good option for an entry into multi-head machines is the Happy HCR3-1504E – a 4 head machine with a 10.4-inch colour LCD touch screen control panel, allowing your operators to interface with the machine live during a job. Not only that – if your range is increasing, the 1504E can hold up to 40,000,000 Stitches in its memory; and up to 250 design can be saved and controlled via Windows software. Seems like a great piece of equipment for growing, established sportswear manufacturers.
For the bigger businesses that want to push forward and scale quickly, industrial embroidery machines like the Happy HCR3-1508E is a state of the art example of pure production power. This machine has all the features of the 1504E, but it doubles the needle heads to 8, which in effect doubles its capacity and output potential. The multi-head machine simplifies your production line and streamlines your manufacturing ability, while remaining affordable but still miles ahead of the competition models.
Objectives: Lots of deadlines, complex processes, large capacity for designs.
Machines: You’re a market leader now, so your customers have unprecedented buyer power – as they will only work with manufacturers that can prove themselves and constantly push standards higher and higher. Your work for these customers is critical to the success of their own business – so you’ll be working on strict deadlines and high output levels, along with serious consequences if things go awry.
With those types of pressures, there are only a few machines in the market that can step up to the plate and hold their own. The one we would recommend is the Happy Japan HCR3-1512. This beast is a high-speed, 12-head with built-in servo motors to really maximise efficiency in pressure situations. This machine is the top of the range for HappyJapan and easily outworks the competition, with state of the art features that no other brand in the market possesses – like Windows software and a machine memory of up to 40,000,000 Stitches. That’s a lot of garments.
So, there you have it! Now that you’ve seen the importance of having the right equipment at each stage of your business development, it’s time to take the next step and put the wheels in motion. This is a big decision – so, it’s not one that you should take lightly.
Get it wrong at this stage and it may prove very costly in the long run – whether that’s having to invest in further machinery, losing customers or gaining an unwanted opinion. Don’t worry if you’re still not sure on the right choice for your business – we’ve got you covered.
We’ve created a free guide full of detailed specifications of several machines that are perfect for sportswear manufacturers such as you – no matter if you’re a startup, established business or enterprise business! Grab your copy today!