Make your embroidery business more efficient

This month, Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explores ways of making your embroidery business more efficient.

You may have been in the embroidery business a long time (like me) and think you know all the answers. Maybe you do, but sometimes you can take for granted the way your embroidery business and production are run.

So, I have attempted to put together some ideas on how you can check on your present embroidery set up and possibly improve it.

How much are your older machines costing your business?

You may have a 12-, eight- or four-head machine, or multiple machines that have served you well over the years and are paid for. You probably think that they now cost you nothing and carry on with them, but that simply is not the case.

Most of the latest machines have new technology that can speed up your production and ultimately earn you more money. They have faster trimming, faster running speeds, faster input of designs and generally better-quality embroidery. On your existing old machines, the wear and tear endured over the years could be giving you more thread breaks, down time, and ultimately slower production.

If you work out the down time of your equipment against what a new system would cost, you’ll be surprised. It’s not just the one-off cost of the machine to buy that you need to consider. It’s what your production is actually costing you per garment, per design, per order and to work this out you need to account for things like how many times your machine stops for a thread break or some other maintenance issue. When it stops on one head, they all stop, how long it takes to thread up an eight-head machine for a new order, how many times you only use one or two of the heads of your multi-head machine for small orders.

So, bear this in mind when looking at possible new machinery. Think seriously about a true modular system which will give you maximum efficiency. When choosing a modular system, make sure the operating software works seamlessly and is manufactured by the machine producer.

Great saving on tax

At the time of writing there has never been a better time for a business to invest in capital equipment.

There are some great tax relief benefits introduced at the recent budget. Check out with your accountant for the full information.

Mass personalisation

Personalisation or customisation is now a key feature in embroidery. It is placed on items such as shirts, hats, tote bags, towels, shoes and much more. I’m sure you will agree that more and more of your orders are calling for a name to be added to the company, school, or club logo so that every shirt is personalised.

Personalisation has been around forever, but the idea of mass personalisation is relatively new and something that is difficult to handle with older machinery, due to the wasted production time you have with running a single garment with a name on it on a multi-head machine.

So, what is mass personalisation? It is the process of creating a multitude of personalised items all at the same time – i.e., a seven-shirt order all with the same logo but with different names on each garment, but all seven shirts running at the same time. Older technology and old equipment cannot handle this effectively. A modular system will allow mass personalisation to be a reality within your business.

When looking at such a system you need to be sure that the operating software that drives the machines can cope with this effectively.

Workflow for on-demand production

Another new technology and buzz word of today that is becoming more and more popular is workflow software.

Workflow software is an end-to-end web to embroidery solution that enables orders of customised, personalised and on-demand products from order to dispatch. This software makes it easier to sell and fulfil orders for personalised, customised, and other on-demand products. This type of software has been available for a few years for predominately for print but is now becoming available and effective for embroidery too.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, online purchasing grew at an unbelievable rate so now is the time to make sure you have an excellent web presence with an effective online platform, backed up with efficient machinery.

So, what I am saying is that it could be a false economy persevering with old and outdated equipment and thinking you are saving money as you are not spending it. As well as improving your production with up-to-date equipment, you will save time because of increased speed and efficiency which in turn will allow you to take on more clients.

Save time and money – invest in new equipment!

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