Mirza Tanzim Hossain Beg, Senior Regional Sales Manager, Groz-Beckert, in discussion with Apparel Resources, gives a brief rundown on productivity, efficiency and quality as the three core success strategies that make the company one of the leading names in Bangladesh along with its emphasis on digital innovation.
A needle may seem just a small part but the incredible fact is that it’s the most essential equipment to ensure that each garment piece is joined correctly with strong and reliable seams that will hold up over time. The type of needle a garment maker uses can have a significant impact on the quality of their work. A low-quality or inappropriate needle can result in uneven stitches, snagging, or even damage to the fabric – a fact known to all garment-making factories; however, they need to expand their understanding that changing needles due to their lower quality across the production lines in factories takes enormous time and indirect cost which further leads to a loss in productivity and efficiency of both operators as well as production lines.
Innovation takes centre stage
For a company that has a significant market share in Bangladesh – the world’s second-largest garment manufacturing hub – it becomes even more essential to continuously innovate products and processes. According to Tanzim, Groz-Beckert has worked aggressively to improve the quality of needles as the company has set up a lab in Bangladesh. The lab tests needles on different kinds of fabrics to get a good understanding of the fabric and accordingly comes back with a professionally developed detailed report with some microscopic images and suggestions like dos and don’ts.
“We sit with the brands and buyers and understand their requirements for every operation that they may be having in each of the garment styles. We then run some trials in our Bangladesh lab before piloting these needles in the factories,” commented Mirza.
While doing the process, Groz-Beckert keeps cross-pollination in consideration as well. The fact is Groz-Beckert R&D centre in Germany is meant for bringing in new solutions for widening its horizon, while the company provides all necessary support from the labs located in Bangladesh to cover its customers’ requirements. “Our local labs do have technical expertise to test all sorts of needles and fabrics. At times, our local labs and Germany’s R&D centre work in conjunction to develop solutions on a specific industry challenge and come up with a new needle range,” mentioned Tanzim.
In another major development around six years ago, Groz-Beckert came up with Ideal Needle Handling (INH) solution by keeping in sync with the demands of the industry such as high productivity, maximum occupational safety and various environmental considerations on priority. The factories in today’s time have to comply with strict regulations regarding the handling of sewing machine needles, the regulations imposed by brand owners and buying houses. The goal is to prevent pieces of broken needles from remaining in items of clothing which pose a risk of injury for the end user and lead to compensation claims in the worst-case scenario. Groz-Beckert’s INH Quality Management system offers a standardised process with different solutions, which regulates the handling of needle breakages and needle changes within the sewing operation.
Besides preventing needle pieces from remaining in garments, INH brings efficient needle handling; reducing machine downtime; higher productivity; occupational safety and environment-friendly disposal of needle.
“If a needle breaks, it breaks into several pieces. And it becomes important that we detect and collect those pieces and take them out of the garment. It is also a compliance requirement. So, as we track it and keep the information stored digitally, the buyers can see these details on their tools. The Smart INH System is somewhat disrupting the process in all positivity,” commented Tanzim.
Digital Innovation is the way forward for Groz-Beckert
Digitalisation is a trend that’s becoming a necessity in the fashion industry and Groz-Beckert is a frontrunner in providing smart digital solutions to the industry. “We have a digital web portal where we showcase a full product catalogue with all technical details, a full end-to-end e-commerce solution where customers can discover and buy needles. We offer sewing/garment knowledge to help everyone in the garment industry and our latest digital innovation. The ‘Digital Needle Finder’ helps customers find the right needle for the right application – all via the digital portal,” mentioned Kabilen Sornum, Senior Manager, Asia-Pacific, (Marketing and E-commerce), Groz-Beckert East Asia LLP.
Competition keeps the momentum going
For a business to flourish, competition is important in the market as it helps a company understand the market and its requirements better. According to Groz-Beckert, as competition gets tougher, it becomes more important to strike the balance between quality and prices. The moment a factory is able to reduce the rejection of garments on the shopfloor, the cost of product and process reduces. If a factory doesn’t have the right needle to sew garment parts, it ends up having demotivated people on the shopfloor and one can’t expect high efficiency from the demotivated workforce.
“We believe this balance is easy to maintain. There is no way that we overlook the quality of the product that we sell and we set the prices based on the quality of our product which is why the market is accepting us,” concluded Tanzim.