Collaborating with a big box store based out of the UK, we were working on producing 10,000 piece runs of pleated cushions at £1.6. A few months into our relationship, we were informed by one of our local partners that a million piece bid was opening online and the winning price was indicated to be £0.80, at half our current price. We were determined to secure the bid but were aware that we would have to study the process and optimize our systems accordingly. Here, we knew that production based on small runs was key.
Our production process needed to optimize on automated pleating machines. Typically these machines would come in 4 needle, 8 needle or 16 needle variants. To truly optimize on small runs, we ordered customized machines from Italy in a 64 needle variant. This machine could complete the production of a cushion with just one run.
A pleating machine that would typically cost 300USD, would now cost us 17000USD, with a total investment of 400,000USD for all the machines. We designed and developed a separate section for these machines in our factory and won the bid.
Impressed by the mechanizations that were being done and the speed being achieved, the following year they granted us the same program without a bid. The speed we were achieving was a true testament to the quality of the investment we made. It was a project that continued for 3 years and showcased the proactivity of our teams and the agility of our investment and infrastructure changes to bring our clients value.
When first approached by Steve Madden in 2018, we were asked if we would be willing to adapt to their systems and integrate the equipment they use for their production in our factories. Always open to learning and improving efficiencies, we agreed and underwent a training process for our production and operations teams in Cambodia, with their other high producing partner factory.
Post training, upon returning back to India we began the process of implementation. We restructured the factory floor to begin finishing on the line itself, improved upon details such as initiating a trolley based movement of goods and began importing equipment from Italy that was far superior in quality compared to the equipment used in Cambodia. In fact we brought in German machines as opposed to the Chinese equipment that was used in the Far East factories, which would deliver us an even higher efficiency than the factory in Cambodia.
These systems we introduced enabled us to make quick strides and develop a state-of-the-art infrastructure and highly trained teams, delivering productivity of upto 550-600 pcs per line a day. This process of learning that was initiated in the Backpack division with Steve Madden has now been improved upon even further, increasing output to 650-750 pcs a day per line. We are still working towards increasing to even higher efficiency standards, keeping in mind the high quality that is a hallmark of DAKS and was the reason for Steve Madden working with us in the first place,
Before taking on Steve Madden as a client our wastage levels were at 3-3.5%. They have now reduced to under 1%.