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Glove Company: 5-Steps To A Short And Long Term Product Plan

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Is your glove line in need of a refresh?  What about new products … is there a need for improvements to a current line … or for a new line entirely?  Sales and customer feedback is the best barometer of where you are versus where you need to be.  And here’s a 5-step process you can use for planning ahead and closing any gaps. This is a 50,000 foot view but hopefully gives you some fresh ideas for your product planning process. more Your Existing Product Portfolio:  Identify the Gaps Take a look at your existing product portfolio and think...

Leather Glove Manufacturers: Inspiration From The 2014 APLF

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

This year’s  Asia Pacific Leather Fair (APLF) wrapped up earlier this week.  With over 1,200 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors, it’s a huge showcase for the leather industry, where you see everything  from classic leather selections to emerging trends on display.  The show is a great place to exchange ideas and information with colleagues in the industry. This year the need to source alternatives due to rising hide prices was a particular topic of discussion. And of course, we all want to see what’s new.  Bright colors, distressed textures, alternatives that offer price advantages —  you can see it all here, under one roof. The...

Strategic Sourcing: Keeping Glove Prices In Line When Costs Rise

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

The past few weeks have seen some dramatic trends for importers and sourcing professionals. The Chinese currency (RMB) has fallen steadily over the past year, reaching a 12-month low against the dollar in March. On the other hand, leather prices — a main material in many of our products — have been rising steadily. In fact at the APLF this week, that’s all anyone talked about. In the face of cost volatility, what can we do to manage margins and profitability?  How should it impact our planning? Let’s take a closer look at what these changes mean for our customers. Managing Higher...

How A Private Label Manufacturer Is Like A Point Guard

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

When you manufacture private label gloves, it’s like being a point guard, in a way …     You create scoring opportunities for your teammates.   When they score, you take satisfaction in knowing you’ve done well. You don’t take credit for what you do. That’s just part of the job, and part of being on a team.  So today’s post is to share a bit of good news for a client of ours — who shall remain nameless.  more Our Client Deserves a Round of Applause.  Our manufacturing client was recognized for an onthesnow.com 2014 Editors’ Choice awards in the Gloves and Mittens category. High...

Glove Company: A Peek Behind The Product Planning Curtain

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

 If you manage a product line, it’s a good idea to periodically conduct a line review.  Do you have a process to do this annually or biannnually? Today we’ll pull back the curtain on our own product planning process. By sharing our process for analyzing customer needs, trends, and innovation … we hope you find some ideas that are useful. So what does the turtle shell pictured above have to do with powersports gloves?  Read on. Powersports Glove Planning Process: Olympia Sports Set aside time to review your line, style by style, with an eye towards how to keep product...

Glove Manufacturer's Guide To Branding

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

There is no disputing the importance of brand when it comes to consumer apparel. Think about 3 iconic brands, and how they make the wearer feel: … the lifestyle conveyed by a Nike swoosh,   … the exclusivity of an LV logo,   … the “this is my tribe” feeling of a Yankees baseball cap. Each of these brands makes the wearer feel good, admired, confident. And in each case, there are many variations when it comes to physical execution. What are our branding options when it comes to gloves?more Emotional Branding vs. Physical Branding Always start by thinking about your customer,...

Glove Supplier Q & A: Which Outsourced Services Are Right For You?

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Glove sourcing isn’t one size fits all. In fact, it’s more like visiting a buffet. Some companies completely outsource all aspects of glove manufacturing, others simply need a specific service to supplement current capabilities. You may need help with design … or sourcing and manufacturing … or have things pretty well in hand (no pun intended) and just need occasional consulting. How do you decide? Here’s a Q & A with a twist … use it to learn which kind of glove manufacturing services can help take your business to the next level. Question # 1: I’m just starting a glove line....

Leather Price Challenges: Glove Supplier Costs Continue To Rise

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Two key leather fairs take place over the next two weeks.  Lineapelle will take place in Bologna this coming week.   APLF (Asia Pacific Leather Fair) will be the first few days of April. It seems that everyone involved in sourcing and producing leather products will be attending the leather fairs with more keen interest. Why? more Look at the chart below …  it shows the price trend for the cost of a HIDE of heavy Texas Steer. The price continues its upward trend thru Jan/Feb 2014 … with no signs of abating. Regardless of the different hides used for shoes/ bags/...

Get A Grip! Manufacturing Gloves With Better Grip And Durability

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Your glove brand should deliver on the key performance characteristics that matter most to your end user, and enhance his or her product experience. As glove manufacturers and designers, our goal is to help you do this, by raising the bar on glove performance, within your budget. With careful materials selection and design, you can incorporate added performance features and maintain margins, too. Today, we offer advice on improving grip and durability.   Get a Grip: How to Design Gloves with Better Grip and Durability Two of the most critical characteristics that we have to achieve with our choice of...

Manufacturing Gloves And Strategic Sourcing: How To Speed Up Delivery

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

If you are on the product planning side of things, you undoubtedly know about “standard” lead times for product coming from Asia. But in the real world, we often don’t have the luxury of lots of extra time. Forecasts aren’t perfect. What if sales exceed expectations, or your size breakdown comes in differently than forecast? How can your supplier help you expedite product?more Speed to Market: Options for Faster Delivery It would likely come as no surprise for you to hear “90+ days” from order to ex-factory date: 35 days for raw materials manufacturing, 10 days for shipping from raw...

Counterfeit Thinsulate Hunting Gloves: A Cautionary Tale

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Last week I happened to be talking to someone at 3M about hunting gloves, and the topic turned to counterfeit components. Turns out, this supplier had caught a particular manufacturer using counterfeit Thinsulate while producing branded gloves. It seemed like an important story to share. Here’s an unpleasant truth: there are disreputable factories promising brand name textiles, but what you see isn’t always what you get. Here’s how to make sure that you get the glove — and the components — that you and your customers have paid for. more   Your Reputation Is On the Line It goes without saying that your reputation is on...

Innovations For Glove Manufacturers: New Materials

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Last month, we attended the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Show in Salt Lake City.   This show is always a source of inspiration, and if you’ve never been there, I’d highly recommend a future visit. Leading technical materials suppliers use this venue to introduce new materials for high performance gloves, apparel and sports gear, and manufacturers show off new product lines. I wanted to share some of the highlights that have really excited us as we head into a new season of product development for our customers. Technical Materials:  2014 Innovations for Glove Manufacturers: Here are three innovative new materials that we are excited...

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