How advanced equipment is producing better garments and better profits.
The heroes behind many successful garment producers are machinery manufacturers. The continual investment in developing newer and better technology by companies like Tajima Embroidery Machines Ltd. is enabling the apparel industry to raise its efficiency, as well as offer buyers innovative new products.
R & D is in Tajima’s DNA. The Japanese machinery manufacturer introduced its first embroidery machine in 1964 and since then Tajima has developed almost every major technical advancement in embroidery equipment. For over 50 years the company has relentlessly pushed the boundaries for machine embroidery and set new industry standards.
“We are the first to make the prototypes [for new machines] and we set the technical specifications,” said L. C. Chan (陳利松), CEO at Tajima Embroidery Machines (China) Co. Ltd. “For example, at the moment sequin embroidery machines are very popular. Tajima developed this over 20 years ago. We also invented chenille embroidery,” he said. The company’s new development is embroidery machines that have an iPad-like control panel and offer a less complicated and more user-friendly experience.
Customer Service On Demand
Quick technical support is a key part of Tajima’s success. No matter which city you are in, if you give us a call in the morning, we will arrange our technician to visit your factory to solve the problem for you within the day,” said Mr. Chan.
The company was one of the first embroidery machine manufacturers to provide online technical support. “Quick response is not good enough for us. We are in an information age. We want to give our customers instant help. Every new Tajima machine has a built in remote control system. Customers no longer need to wait for a technician to come. We can give them technical support through the Internet. In fact, based on our experience more 90 percent of the problem can be solved through our online service, saving customers time and money.”
Vision for the future
Accurate market information has been vital to Tajima’s success. “As a machinery manufacturer we need to keep an eye on where production is shifting to,” said Mr. Chan. “We have subscribed to Inside Fashion for a long time because it gives us accurate information about what’s happening in the market. It helps us identify our market and better position ourselves for the future.”
Gear Up for a Changing Market
Mr. Chan sees a clear trend towards China’s factory downsizing and spreading out to parts of the country where more labor is available. “Nowadays, it’s less likely for a young person from Sichuan to choose to work in a factory in Canton. He no longer needs to travel thousands of miles away from home to find a job. Today he will find plenty of opportunities in his hometown. ”
Automating the Industry
To help the apparel industry deal with today’s labor problems, Tajima has developed increasingly automated machines.
“Three years ago we released embroidery machines that can change under threads automatically,” said Mr. Chan. “Our direction for the future is to developed more user-friendly machines that don't rely on skilled workers.”