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Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC. Presented by Paul Fogleman – Executive Director Carolina Hosiery Association For The National Governors Association – June 6-7, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia. Hosiery Is Big Business in NC. 60% of all US hosiery production comes from NC.
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Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC Presented by Paul Fogleman – Executive Director Carolina Hosiery Association For The National Governors Association – June 6-7, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia
Hosiery Is Big Business in NC • 60% of all US hosiery production comes from NC. • Over 35,000 People are employed in Hosiery. • Over $4 Billion in sales. • Brand names such as Nike, Adidas, Rebok, Liz Claiborne, Hanes, GAP, Lands End are made in NC.
Changes in Hosiery • More changes to the hosiery industry in the past 5 years than the previous 50! • Why?
The HTC had 3 full time employees located in Hickory and Asheboro. Had done a good job of meeting technician and operator needs for first 5 years. No University involvement in HTC. Training only at HTC. Products more difficult to make Dyeing and finishing was now critical Wastewater regulations getting tougher. Many more immigrant workers in workforce. Need for R&D and Testing for Hosiery. Retailer demanding much quicker deliveries, better quality at lower cost. The Situation in 1994-95 HTC Industry
Industry In Transition • Industry consolidation • Workforce training required for new technologies. • Trends • Labor costs were growing • New technologies were needed • Market was shifting ( greige and vertical mills) • Government partnerships were growing • Retailer demands were changing – chargebacks, returns, etc
The Plan – “Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC” • Funded by NCACTS – (NC Dept of Commerce) • Created by CEO’s representing 25 hosiery manufacturers of all sizes. • Facilitated by the Carolina Hosiery Association • The goal of this document was to define what the industry needed to stay competitive and grow beyond the year 2005. • Included goals, objectives and budgets.
Trip to Italy – March 1996 • Study Networking Among Italian Manufacturers • Gain A Better Understanding of Technologies Coming From Italian Machinery Suppliers. • Learn About Government Initiatives To Help Italian Manufacturers Expand Their Markets.
Key Elements to Success • Industry developed the plan so they had “Ownership” and buy in. Everyone worked on it together. • Presented to Governor and State Legislature by CHA. They saw that it was well thought out. This was done in lobbying efforts by NCACTS,CHA, and industry going to Raleigh repeatedly. It gave a consistent message. • The Governor gave the directive to over 25 state agencies and universities to see where they fit into the plan. It was hard to ignore the document as it was the industry saying what they needed to survive. • HTC was given a boost in funding due to this plan.
Develop Relationship with NC State University for support in R&D. • 3 year consortium of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, NCSU, HTC led to the successful rollout of standard test methods for testing hosiery. These methods are currently on the web and have been universally accepted by the industry. • Led to the 6 year partnership with NCMEP for benchmarking of the hosiery industry along with lean manufacturing and supply chain implementation in plant.
Utilize Trade Associations to Facilitate Manufacturing and Marketing Networks • Formed Carolina Legwear Limited in 1996 which was a marketing network of small manufacturers to go after niche markets. If eventually failed but we learned a lot about what to do and not do. Concept is being revisited with 5 mills currently forming with a different structure. We feel that the concept was “right”, just a little ahead of it’s time.
Utilize Community Colleges to Bring English As A Second Language into Workplace Courses • Through a grant from NIST and help from the NC Community College System we produced a CD “Basic English for Hosiery”. This documents the various hosiery jobs and translates hosiery terms into Vietnamese, Spanish and Hmong. • Has had over 200 copies distributed to manufacturers, community colleges and suppliers for their use.
Utilize Department of Labor, Commerce and Other Government Agencies To Deliver Services • Wastewater Analyzer Software • Industry Jobs Profiled For Job Content and Skills Development Needs. • Wastewater Testing Lab Developed and State Certified For Use By Any Manufacturer Needing These Services. • E Commerce, Government Procurement and Exporting Seminars Held For The Industry. Many Mills Have Reported Increased Sales From These Activities.
Updates To The Plan • Has been updated 4 times since the original “Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing In North Carolina” plan. • Concentrated on marketing initiatives for the industry. • Still relied on industry partnerships with government and education.
The Updates Brought: • Legsource.com – An E-commerce site for the US hosiery industry to communicate needs, over/under capacities, employment and technical needs etc. • Goal is to generate more business for the US hosiery industry. • Easy way for retailers and consumers to find US manufacturers. • Averages over 4000 hits/day from 300 unique users. • Mills are receiving real business. One mill had a sales increase of over $250,000 due to Legsource.
What we are currently doing • Broadcast emails examples Consumer pages Click on the link below to view new products from Kayser-Rothon Legsourcehttp://www.legsource.com/consumers/kr_womanhose_prod.htm Supplier rollouts Click on the link below to view an important announcement on Legsource from DuPont Textiles and Interiorshttp://www.legsource.com/dupont/dupont.htm Procurement examples Manufacturer Supplier
Web Site Development • Developed by people with hosiery industry experience. • Most are $50.00 each. • Register sites with search engines. • Most sites receive new business or new contacts immediately after launch. • Purpose of Legsource and web site development: For hosiery manufacturers to take advantage of the internet to generate new business.
Plan Updates Brought – (Continued) • Lean Manufacturing Training to over 26 manufacturers and 20 suppliers. • Supply Chain Training Scheduled for January. It will be customized for hosiery. • Led to the development of a full testing lab facility at the HTC doing quality and R&D testing for manufacturers and retailers. • Prototyping of new products not necessarily related to hosiery.
Sock Testing Consortium Joint Project of: • NCSU College of Textiles • The Hosiery Technology Center • Hosiery Manufacturers – ( 40 Companies) • Hosiery Suppliers – ( 25 Companies) • Retailers - (7 Major Retailers) • Testing Labs – ( 3 Testing Labs) • 3 Different Textile Associations – AATCC, THA, CHA Goal was to find repeatable testing methods for testing socks for fit, durablity, and colorfastness.
Results of Working Together • Methodology for measurement was developed and machines created to measure sock fit accurately and repeatably. • Reduced variation by 40% in the fit area and 30% in the durability area. • Put on the web at www.legsource.com • The entire industry has adopted these new methods,especially retailers.
Testing - Impact to the Industry • A Hosiery Testing Lab was created at the Hosiery Tech Center with the capabilities to test all hosiery products at at very competitive rates. Have 3 full time people performing hosiery testing. • Many mills have launched new product lines based on the tests run by HTC Testing Lab. Over 40 different hosiery mills have used the HTC since Nov 2001. • Saved on yarn claims over $400,000 where the yarn company and manufacturer would have been charged with a large chargeback. • Better durability methods led to the recovery of an extremely large product line from a major retailer for a hosiery manufacturer. • The HTC is now performing all sock testing for Kmart. JC Penny and Wal Mart testing labs have adopted these methods.
Partnerships for Additional Services • Manufacturing Extension Partnerships of both NC and SC for Lean Manufacturing Implementation. • NC and US Department of Commerce for Exporting Help and Research of Overseas Markets. • NC Department of Labor for OSHA Help. • NC State University College of Textiles for help in Testing Protocols. • NC General Assembly • Carolina Hosiery Association for Strategic Planning and Government Lobbying Efforts.
National Initiatives • Working with US Dept of Commerce to bring resources to the hosiery industry for export help and marketing of US goods abroad. • Working on a grant to expand our services to help hosiery manufacturers nationwide. • Pursuing the opportunity of being included in the nationwide sizing study being performed this summer by TC2 and NC State University. • Keep the industry visible on trade and regulatory issues.
Reasons Why HTC Works • The HTC has a 12 year history of success in working with the hosiery industry since 1990. • Industry involvement in the HTC. The HTC grew from the industry and services changes as the industry needs changes. • Partnerships developed by the HTC and use of these partnerships to deliver meaningful “bottom line” services. • We are a resource, let us know how we can help!
The End A complete transcript of this presentation is available at www.legsource.com/nga