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case 652 pic 1 impactiva footwear qa

Wrinkled tongue – Case #652

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: wrinkles on the tongue because the factory was applying glue to the lining.

case 652 pic 1 impactiva footwear qa case 652 pic 2 impactiva footwear qa

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to stop using glue at the lining as it is not necessary for the construction, and in this way the wrinkles are avoid at the same time that they save materials, labor and time.

case 652 pic 3 impactiva footwear qa case 652 pic 4 impactiva footwear qa

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

shoe quality control

Knitted upper – Case #651

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the toe puff can be seen through the knitted upper after lasting.

shoe quality control

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to attach two pieces of black cotton drill backer to the toe puff in order to prevent the problem.

shoe quality control

shoe quality control

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

shoe quality control

Decorative buckle attachment – Case #649

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the non-functional buckle wasn’t secured with a strap, and being kids shoes, it can fall or be removed by the children easily.

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Impactiva solution: we got the factory to secure the buckle between the upper and lining strap in order to avoid this potential problem.

shoe quality control shoe quality control shoe quality control

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

 

shoe quality control

Auto-vanishing pens risk – Case #648

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the factory was using auto-vanishing pens for outsole marking. There are chances that the pen markings can reappear in cold weather.

shoe quality control

shoe quality control

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to do the sole marking with needle impressions instead of auto-vanishing pens.

shoe quality control

case 648 pic 4 impactiva footwear qa

shoe quality control

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

shoe quality control

Open stitching – Case #646

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the lining zig-zag stitching opens because the material does not have enough strength.

shoe quality control

case 646 pic 2 impactiva footwear qa

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to add cotton tape along the zig-zag stitching to avoid the stitching opening.

shoe quality control

shoe quality control

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

mold prevention impactiva

Shoe boxes: a mold risk – Case #645

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the shoes boxes are stored on floor. Not only they can get dirty or stained, they can catch humidity that can later develop mold.

mold prevention impactiva

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to store the shoe boxes on pallets and in cartons in order to avoid direct contact with the floor.

mold prevention impactiva

mold prevention impactiva

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

case 644 pic 4 impactiva footwear qa

Inconsistent pleats – Case #644

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: the pleats look inconsistent and they open due to insufficient glue application at the edges.

shoe quality control

case 644 pic 2 impactiva footwear qa

case 644 pic 3 impactiva footwear qa

case 644 pic 4 impactiva footwear qa

 

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to change the glue application cut-outs shape (wider at edges) in order to improve the glue application and achieve a good pleating shape.

case 644 pic 5 impactiva footwear qa

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case 644 pic 7 impactiva footwear qa

case 644 pic 8 impactiva footwear qa

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

 

 

impactiva footwear quality control

Kicking in – Case #642

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: outsole was kicking in

impactiva footwear quality control

 

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to add a 2 mm. texon board at the heel part of the sole. This solved the heel kicking problem.

case 642 pic 2 impactiva footwear qa

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Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.

Impactiva process optimization footwear

Retail Survival Depends on More than Just Speed to Market

by Jose R. Suarez

Speed to market has been among the most talked about topics in retail in recent years, but while brands and retailers focus on simply cutting days out of production processes, many don’t realize the critical role consumer experience plays in introducing greater speed into the supply chain.

With growing competition, consumer demands and pressure for faster deliveries, speed to market is more essential than ever in the apparel and footwear industries. But speed to market requires more than just cutting down on production processes—it requires delivering consistently high-quality products through a season-less development process that allows for continuously available fresh product.

 

The importance of consumer experience

Today’s consumer wants a shopping experience with seamless, end-to-end gratification, including stores designed for fun and inspiration, input on product designs and new technologies to explore, like in-store virtual product try-on. But above all they want freshness—new product in the omnichannel all the time.

Unfortunately, factory bottlenecks have made it difficult for many companies to deliver this customer experience. Specifically, while brands and retailers are striving to create optimized demand chains with a pull-versus-push product strategy, their factories haven’t been able to accommodate this change in paradigm.

Among retail’s problems in delivering on those consumer demands, have been challenges at the factory level. Brands and retailers are looking to create optimized demand chains, a pull versus push strategy for product, and many factories aren’t yet aligned to accommodate. Add to that, labor costs are continuously rising, the pool of skilled labor is continuously shrinking and constantly country-hopping to chase the lowest cost simply doesn’t work anymore.

To overcome these challenges and achieve the real speed to market needed for growth and survival, forward-thinking leaders should concentrate on three key areas: thinking in days, not months to sure product freshness; producing right from the start to deliver faster; and cutting manufacturing lead time by embracing lean processes.

 

Thinking in days, not months

 The retail environment is quickly evolving, and in five years, today’s newest strategies to speed supply chains will be the new normal.

To begin, companies must rethink product design. They should standardize a high percentage of materials and components, design with manufacturing in mind, and increase the frequency of collections. Season-less product launching will soon be commonplace, with brands and retailers moving from 2 seasons per year to 6, 12, 24 or more. Manufacturing lead times will shrink to as little as 30 days, and tier-2 material vendors may start supplying with a mindset of days rather than weeks.

Brands and retailers should immediately shift their thinking, as the benefits of product freshness can already be seen at retailers that have remained successful despite the industry’s general malaise.

For instance, at T.J. Maxx, where comparable store sales continue to outperform analyst expectations, a continuous product roll-out has fueled the “treasure hunt” sensation for consumers and resulted in increased foot traffic. At Zara, the release of new collections every two weeks has given rise to the “scarcity sensation,” encouraging shoppers to buy on the spot. This strategy has also allowed Zara to avoid the vicious promotional cycle.

Conversely, Macy’s has largely stayed wed to its summer and winter collections, plus capsules, and its stable supply of brands and big discounts. Not surprisingly, the retailer has been struggling to get out of a longstanding sales rut.

 

Producing right from the start

 Once brands and retailers begin thinking in days, not months, getting factories to work in this same manner entails transforming their facilities.

Accomplishing these goals requires creating a factory culture of managing with data, numbers and metrics. In addition, it requires optimizing Tier-1 and Tier-2 relationships to allow for close partnerships that find ways to reduce material lead-times by 30 percent to 50 percent. Materials must arrive with extremely high levels of quality so that they can go directly-to-cutting without the need for time delaying 100 percent factory re-inspections.

 

Cutting manufacturing lead-time by embracing lean processes

Transforming factories also requires standardizing processes and enabling quick changeovers. To do so, companies should embrace lean strategies to maximize production flow and dramatically reduce manufacturing lead-times to hours and not weeks.

A key focus of this effort should be on creating a culture of continuous improvement. 70 percent of the efforts should be on change management and only 30 percent on implementing the necessary tools, like line balancing, standardized work, Kanban.

Companies should take steps to ensure that new behaviors and habits become a day to day standard for leaders, instilling values like discipline, accountability, transparency, positive energy, experiment-to-learn, and safety. In turn, those values will result in a culture of high worker engagement and a mentality of continuous improvement.

 

Case studies for achieving true speed to market

 Brands and retailers that are already focusing on these areas—through the implementation of a comprehensive quality assurance and continuous improvement programs—are yielding substantial results, as demonstrated by the following examples:

 

Women’s fashion footwear retailer. The brand, which produces more than 50 million pairs of shoes each year, faced delays among its Tier-2 leather supply chain. By implementing a Leather Quality Assurance Program with direct-to-cutting upon arrival from the tannery, it slashed 12 days from its supply chain. The company also improved its on-time delivery of its tanneries from 40 percent to 78 percent within the first 12 months. 99.5% of leather shipped without factory claims and nearly 98 percent went direct-to-cutting without factory re-inspection.

Casual women’s footwear brand. The brand, which produces more than 25 million pairs of shoes each year, was challenged to move production out of China due to cost reasons. In the new manufacturing country, they were getting a first-pass-rate of only 23 percent resulting in massive shipment delays. The company implemented a Footwear Quality Assurance Program, allowing it to reduce its rejection rate to less than 4 percent in only one season, thereby allowing it to meet their promised ship dates. Program teaching and coaching instilled a strong focus on quality among the factory’s artisans and supervisors, fundamental for the long-term sustainability of the transformation.

 

Ultimately, despite the many competitive and financial challenges facing the footwear and apparel industry, producing fresh, high-quality, efficiently made products remains the key to your future success. Your Survival = Consumer Experience * Speed2—the only way to ensure the sustainable satisfaction of all of your customers is to transform your demand chain now.

shoe quality control

Visible stitching holes – Case #641

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Practical solutions to problems encountered in the manufacturing process that demonstrate how we assist our customers’ factories to produce Right from the Start TM.

Problem: stitching holes are visible after lasting.

shoe quality control

Impactiva solution: we got the factory to attach a 35 mm. width tape underneath the vamp and counter joint in order to avoid the stretching of that area when lasting, which is the reason why stitching holes are visible.

shoe quality control

shoe quality control

Stay tuned for more Impactiva technical solutions to every day production problems.