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10 Ways Your Glove Company Can Help You Achieve Market Success

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

We saw this saying recently, and it made us laugh. <= “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”. It’s funny … but also true! In our industry, stories of contract factories that promise low cost and deliver little in the way of real value are legend. Instead of promising pennies, a true manufacturing partner should help you make better decisions, get better product in less time — and that in turn will enable more sales. On the other hand, a “penny wise, pound foolish” supplier may causing “hidden costs” to add up. Do...

"Made In USA": The Outlook For US Glove Companies (Part 1)

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

The time is ripe for forward thinking companies in our industry — apparel brands, manufacturers, and retailers —  to take a fresh look at domestic manufacturing. But for goods that are currently made in China and elsewhere, “reshoring” isn’t a slam dunk. On the one hand, the American consumer wants more “Made in USA” options.  In fact, “made in USA” is a desireable label for many Asian consumers as well. On the other hand, consumers remain price sensitive.   How can this reshoring come about?  And what does it mean for a US glove company like ours, that makes labor intensive...

3 More Sourcing Strategies To Manage Rising Glove Costs

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Rising prices are one of the greatest business challenges for retail buying organizations. The challenge is to manage costs in a way that doesn’t affect the consumer appeal of your product. As we showed last week, value engineering your product is one cost management strategy we can use to do this. By being creative with glove design, and using technical knowledge of the range of glove materials and available substitutes, we can often reduce costs in a way that doesn’t affect product performance. But many other costs are going up as well, so materials selection and value engineering your glove design is...

Glove Manufacturers: Re-Engineering Design To Offset Rising Costs

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Labor costs, leather and other raw material costs, freight, costs associated with consumer safety testing … If the prospect of higher costs and lower margins keeps you up at night you are not alone. In a recent USFIA survey of fashion executives, 81% ranked rising sourcing costs as their greatest business challenge. Here’s an approach that just might lead to a better nights sleep.more When Costs Rise, Value Engineer Your Product Sometimes, it feels like costs go up like a rocket, and down like a feather. But in the face of rising costs there ARE things you can do. Value engineering is a...

Sports Gloves Innovation: The Making Of The GaGa Glove

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

The founders of Talon Athletics were working at a local day camp when the idea of protecting players’ hands for the game of GaGa stung them like a bee. Young players were getting hand injuries — the thin baseball batting and other fingerless gloves being worn in the GaGa pit were not protective enough. A new, sport-specific glove was needed. Sports Gloves: From Idea to Innovation Throughout history, people have had new product deas … but how many actually act on them? When founders Scott Blumberg and Willilam Perez approached us in the fall of 2012 to develop a better glove for the dodgeball-like sport, they had an idea...

Glove Company Q & A: How To Optimize Glove Fit

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

A recent conversation with a glove buyer reminded us that sometimes, the easiest question can be the hardest to answer. At the start of a new glove project, she asked for the overall measurements for 3 different types of gloves, to begin her initial design work. Easy, right? Even if the requirements of a glove change due to style, the basic dimension of a small, medium or large person’s hand doesn’t vary … does it? Don’t all glove makers use the same basic size and hand measurements? Well … yes and no. The Holy Grail: “Ideal” Glove Fit Consistent, excellent...

Glove Manufacturer Toolkit: Designing Winter Gloves For All Budgets

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

The only thing worse than cold hands, is cold and wet hands. In a recent post, we covered warmth and insulation solutions. But client specs usually call for designing gloves that keep hands both warm AND dry. Today, we’ll talk about windproof and waterproof barriers, and other materials we can use to protect hands from the elements. As you’ll see, the solution we recommend varies by budget.more Glove Manufacturer Toolkit for Rain and Wind To keep hands dry, we add a fully sealed waterproof/ breathable (WPB) insert. The insert is a very thin film, usually polyurethane (PU) of a variation of...

Black Fingerless Leather Gloves: A Classic Choice For Riders

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Long gone are the days when ‘old school’ bikers would ride with their palms wrapped in red bandannas during a long ride. In Part I of our series on choosing fingerless gloves,  we highlighted some key features to look for when it comes to fingerless motorcycle gloves. But the most popular fingerless gloves for many riders are black leather fingerless gloves — a timeless classic.  Like any motorcycle glove, there are important differences that you may not notice, as well as different qualities of leather. Here’s what to look for when choosing a black leather fingerless glove: more Choosing Black Fingerless Leather Gloves...

Glove Manufacturing: Strategic Sourcing To Reduce Hidden Risks

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

What steps are you taking to anticipate and mitigate supply chain risks?  Is your glove line made in a single country or factory?  What about your raw materials … Events like floods and natural disasters, political overseas — even the occasional port slow down — are inevitable.  How would disruption to your manufacturing supply chain impact your business? Can we avoid these risks through better planning? Here are questions you can ask your suppliers, to enlist their help in identifying hidden risks, and be better prepared. Hidden Supply Chain Risks China still accounts for the lion’s share of global exports,...

Glove Company Challenge: Making Warmer Gloves

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Until about 40 years ago, hands were protected with shell materials like heavy weight deerskin or bison and lined with fur or hand knit wool. Now we have a wide variety of technologies that make the outdoors a better experience in all weather conditions. Great materials exist. The glove designer’s real challenge is to develop gloves with the right performance features for weather conditions WITHIN your budget. Here’s a 2-Part series on the materials and technologies we use to design gloves for cold weather.. The Science of Cold Weather Hand Protection Leading material suppliers like 3M, Gore, DuPont, Albany International, and Downtek have developed a wide range...

Improving Glove Quality: 3 Ways To Reduce Consumer Returns (Case Study)

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

We wanted to share case study regarding a manufacturing problem we had to trouble shoot. For a powersports brand, consumer complaints were an unacceptable 1% of sales on a best-selling fingerless glove style. The challenge was to figure out why, and remedy the situation.  By making three simple manufacturing technique improvements, the return rate was reduced by almost 50% in the 2 years that followed. Since “quality is job one”, we thought it would be instructive to share not only what we did, but what we learned.  Troubleshooting the Problem The problem: this particular fingerless motorcycle glove was tearing on a seam where a piece of looped webbing...

Diversifying Glove Manufacturers: 6 Factors To Consider

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

s working with just one supplier is the best way to control glove cost?  How many suppliers should you have, and how should you choose? At first, this seems like a simple question. There’s no denying the appeal of lower cost. The growth of manufacturing in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and others are all testament to that. However, we also read about a return to “Made in U.S.A.” in some cases.  While lower price is not part of this strategy, it offers other potential advantages. As with most supply chain questions, it is not as simple as it seems on the surface....

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