Do your existing print customers ever ask if you do embroidery production? If you say no, what is your customers choice? They must shop around and find an embroiderer, which is not too difficult. Then, the problem for you is, the embroiderer offers to do their print work. This could mean that you have lost a customer. Adding embroidery to your print business gives you a much better job of holding on to them. Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explains more.
You may think that setting up in embroidery is difficult and a whole new learning curve. The truth is that its not, if you buy from a reputable dealer who can give you the correct training on both equipment and production.
Finding business for embroidery should be relatively easy, you already have a database of clients that you can inform of your new venture. Most companies require embroidery at some time so why not send out fliers with every print order.
Finding the best equipment
There are many suppliers out there so you need to be careful that you find one that will provide you with the best available machine and be capable of giving comprehensive training and ongoing support. Make sure that the machine as a good warranty and that this covers travelling to you. Imagine having to load up your heavy machine and take it back to the supplier for repair, not mentioning the lost production.
A good place too begin when looking for a good dealer is to find one that is established and has been selling a particular machine for at least 10 years. This will mean that their engineers should be capable of installing and training you to the correct standard. Don’t just go on the word of an embroiderer because they could have been using the same machine for years. Some machines have improved dramatically in recent years and will give you much more production and efficiency. Machines that were favourites 10 years ago, may not be now. So, my advice is to do your own research, read the trade magazines, search the web sites and find a machine that suits your needs.
Look for a machine or machines that give you the best possible production and allows flexibility of growth. There are two types of machines, one is modular and the other is a fixed head model. On the fixed head type, you have to decide how many heads you want to start with. This can normally be a wild guess. On the modular machines, you can start with one or as many as you want and then add on as your business grows. Modular machines are more expensive in the short term but their return on investment comes in a much shorter time. Modular machines should come with their own operating software which should be produced by the machine manufacturer for seamless operation.
Look for a machine that comes with at least a full year on site parts and labour warranty or better still two years. Some companies offer longer warranties, but they are normally very limited and don’t cover travel to your site.
Try and narrow you search down to two or three machines types. Call the supplier and arrange a demonstration so that you can see the machine working on different garments. If you are visiting a modular machine supplier, make sure you have them explain the benefits of the modular setup. Compare the machines in terms of build, speed, ease of use and especially the quality of embroidery. Ask the supplier to run the machine at full speed and see that the quality stays the same.
Please beware of buying used machines if you have no experience of using the machines. Normally they will not have a warranty and the learning process will take much longer.
Being able to use print graphic packages should give you a head start on embroidery digitising. There are automatic packages that convert directly from vector file in to embroidery. These will normally need some editing to finish off, but the software can save a great deal of time. An alternative is to send out your digitising to an outside company. This normally takes two/three days and costs around £15 to £20 per design.
So, give it a go, good machines start from around £10,000 and if needed can be leased from around £50 per week.