REPORT – JACK OVERSEAS DISTRIBUTORS’ MEET 2018
One surely feels gleeful when he/she is welcomed by countless people giving ecstatic salutation claps and chanting ‘ Welcome to Jack’ again and again. Since 2016, Jack Sewing Machine Co. Ltd., a leading sewing machine manufacturer of China, has been welcoming hundreds of guests from all across the world every year. As part of StitchWorld and Apparel Online magazines, we have been privileged to be a part of all three editions of the meet. The 3rd ‘Overseas Distributor Meet’ in October 2018 witnessed around 1,000 customers, industry experts and distributors as well as the team of Vibemac, an Italian pioneer of Jeans automation which was recently acquired by Jack. Signing ceremony and intelligent manufacturing presentations…
The meet revolved around the theme ‘Jack Leads in Garment Intelligent Solution’. The first day started with a conference where signing ceremonies of JackVibemac collaboration as well as Jack-Xuhao collaboration took place.
Jack bought 80 per cent stake in Vibemac for a total of EUR 23.2 million ( US $ 28.6 million) in early 2018 and, since then, this collaboration has been making headlines for all good reasons.
“We are positive about this merger as China itself is the largest denim manufacturing country in the world and we believe Jack’s strong channel advantage in China is surely going to help Vibemac get its due recognition in the Chinese denim market,” commented Carlo Guerreschi, Founder, Vibemac after the signing ceremony.
The other acquisition by Jack was that of Xuhao, a renowned name in China due to its strong shoe and leather products manufacturing solutions, and the merger is expected to help Jack expand in these segments. “As we are targeting to diversify, Xuhao will help us understand what all kind of technology solutions shoe and other leather products need so that with our strong R& D, we can further innovate Xuhao’s sewing machines,” informed Vincent Guo, Vice President, Jack Group.
China has been facing tough local conditions, so it is now gearing itself up to imbibe smart technology to counter the increasing wages and rising tariffs to US. This point was discussed at great length among the industry experts.
He Dongdong, CEO, IROOTECH opined, “The garment industry in China is moving away from lowcost manufacturing; instead it is targeting to build smart factories within to combat cost challenges.” IROOTECH is a Shanghai-based IoT solution provider which is currently catering to transport and automotive industries but, with the rising attention of smart manufacturing within apparel sector, the company will soon start providing IoT solutions to this industry as well.
Speaking on the same subject, Yang Jinchun, Vice Chairman of China Garment Association, expressed that the rising cost of apparel manufacturing in China is a major concern and over the last few years, despite EU, USA and Japan growing in their apparel import, China has been witnessing negative trend in these major markets. “The situation will further worsen if necessary steps are not
taken. Smart manufacturing is the key which should include data collection, integrated resources and continuous innovation in order to revamp garment manufacturing within the country,” opined Jinchun.
“Intelligent sewing is one of the many aspects to make manufacturing ‘smart’ and that cannot be overlooked in the process,” said He Ye, Chairman of China Sewing Machinery Association ( CSMA). She further explained that by 2017, China had around 800 sewing machine manufacturers and most of them are not innovating the sewing processes, therefore, the garment industry has actually not been able to catch up with the changing trend. So, to transform companies within China, CSMA carried an intelligent sewing factory and technical service alliance project in 2017 on 20 manufacturing companies from clothing, automotive, home textiles, shoe and interior sectors.
The project included the revision of relevant standards in the field of intelligent sewing and, with the help of this project, CSMA found some bottlenecks and constraints that need to be removed. “Weak foundation of software and hardware; lack of professionalism and traditional way of looking at problems were common issues observed in all 20 factories,” said
He Ye. However, with strategic route, training as well as proper root cause analysis of the problems, the factories have started transforming into intelligent factories.
He Ye commented, “In order to accelerate the development of the intelligent industry, our association has already started to explore and promote relevant work in the sewing sector. We have organised teams to conduct regular benchmarking analysis of status quo of the industrial intelligent sewing research and development.” It’s worth mentioning here that 10 factories, till October 2018, completed successful evaluation after the project, while the remaining 10 are soon to be evaluated.
Ruan Jixiang, Founder, Jack Group, while concluding the ceremony, in his passionate presentation, disclosed the role of Jack sewing machines to help China attain ‘intelligent future’ for its garment industry. Ruan came up with two plans: technical and business development. “Deskilling of workers, quality in garments, flexible production and fast delivery are the needs of today’s garment industry which we aim to achieve in our technical plan, while our business development plan includes strategies which are designed to implement technical plan on a broader scale,” explained Ruan.
A factory visit can be made a fun-filled activity provided the host is someone like Jack. Hundreds of visitors from all parts of the world were divided into six groups and each group was led by at least three of Jack’s team members who handled all the technical queries of the visitors. The visitors here got to know some unknown yet captivating facts about Jack. With the help of US $ 20 million investment, Jack’s Xiachen-based factory is known as the China’s first intelligent production line
Hundreds of visitors from all parts of the world were divided into six groups and each group was led by at least three of Jack’s team members who handled all the technical queries of the visitors. The entire factory premise was wellorganised and visual communication inside the factory was its strong point. In its entire factory, Jack promotes 6S rather than working on 5S principle.
of sewing machine shells, a breakthrough in the manufacturing of sewing machines. The entire factory premise was well- organised and visual communication inside the factory was its strong point. Most of the times, it is observed that factories promote 5S when it comes to ‘Quality Management System’ implementation overlooking the 6th ‘S’ which is Safety. But, that’s not the case here. In its entire factory, Jack promotes 6S rather than working on 5S principle. Explaining the importance of this kind of practice, Lucian, Regional Manager, South Asia Department, Jack said, “Safety is not something that should ever be overlooked and all the factories must adhere to safety standards. Jack’s vision is clear: The more you see something, the more you remember that and push yourself to follow that.” The workers and supervisors in the factory were seen following all the safety rules as well as were found wearing Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE) such as glasses, gloves and mask, wherever necessary.
Further, the CNC workshop in the factory consists of three production lines: lockstitch A4 line, lockstitch A6 line and overlock C6 line, and overall monthly output is 52,000 units majority of which comes from the A4 line which contributes 32,000 units. The testing and assembly areas of the factory left the visitors amazed as high automated equipment were seen being used to check oil spillage, needle penetration and thread tension etc.
Moreover, in an interesting revelation, Jack took all the visitors later in the day to the newly made beautiful exclusive showrooms of MAICA, Vibemac and Jack in a separate building where each and every product of the three companies were up on display for the visitors. The showrooms have been operational since May 2018 and are expected to play a key role in Jack’s branding strategy to promote MAICA and Vibemac.
The visit to Xiachen factory was followed by the visit of Bullmer cutting and spreading division in Linhai. The technological visit was indeed an enriching experience helping the visitors understand Jack’s R& D capabilities and quality standards in a better way.
The Annual Overseas Distributor Conference…
The Annual Jack Global Distributor Conference was scheduled on the last day and was held in Taizhou International Hotel. The conference kicked off with the keynote speech of Jack’s Founder Ruan Jixiang on ‘ Value Marketing’ followed by a presentation of Jack Strategy report. According to Ruan, stronger technology; faster services; higher long-term value of product; and better quality is the combination that makes a brand strong enough to grab the top position and Jack is exactly following the same mantra. “We are fiercely moving on our way to become the world’s number one sewing technology provider,” shared Ruan.
In the new era of intelligent manufacturing, regardless of traditional business or the future market, he further opined that the price war will not only defeat the unbeaten competitors, but will also indirectly affect the value of the brand itself and lead the whole sewing industry to enter into the vicious circle. “What Jack needs to do is to create value for customers by quality and technology, and let the whole industry move towards benign development. Only by moving towards value marketing, we can achieve the set target,” explained Ruan.
But what exactly is value marketing? To understand the same, one has to go back in time when people used to think that needle and needle plates are easily replaceable parts and therefore these parts were not given due importance. But, with the changing mindset and technology evolution, the industry has learnt that these parts are actually core components and the good quality parts save on rejections, rework and also improve productivity as well as do away with problems such as seam slipping, needle breakage and thread breakage. “This is what ‘value marketing’ is all about’. Avoiding all old practices in order to get more values out of the investment. Jack is geared up to do that only,” elaborated Ruan.
Jimmy, General Manager ( Sewing Machine Division), Jack, brought forth the industry analysis to overseas distributors, based upon the macro trend, market customers, sewing industry and Jack’s own aspects.
In a quite interesting step taken by the Chinese Government way back in November 2015, the supplyside reform was formally proposed in which the laggard production units were made to close and it was done by bringing changes in policies such as national environmental protection, tax collection, illegal construction ordinance, small enterprises closure policy and reform in labour laws.
“The steps were taken to eliminate small, medium and unhealthy garment factories as well as sewing equipment manufacturing units,” pointed out Jimmy. This will lead towards growing the market share of big enterprises and that’s what Jack is looking to capitalise on. “In 2017, we sold approximately 1.42 million machine sets and proper implementation of these policies will take this figure to 2.20 million sets in 2018,” said Jimmy confidently. It was observed during his presentation that with nine R& D centres, 1,000 R& D team members, and 14 offices in over 130 countries, Jack provides strong technical service and thus creates win-win global cooperation opportunities for itself.
Victor Kim, Vice General Manager ( International Trade Department), Jack shared a number of statistics to prove his point as to how Jack is doing better than its competitors. During January to June 2018, Jack achieved US $ 170 million sales turnover, up 45 per cent from the same period last year, prompting the best ever performance of Jack in the first half till date. Jack has further set sales target of US $ 532 million in 2020 and US $ 771 million in 2021.
A good factory is where people feel safe. A robust network and the enterprising management brought in good growth for Jack which will continue. Victor also appreciated the strong support and hard work of the dealers around the world. And, to further encourage them, Jack announced to give them financial support of US $ 15 million, a 50 per cent increase from last year which includes marketing push and training.
With continuous efforts of Jack family that includes its employees as well as its overseas and domestic dealers and sub- dealers, the whole Jack group is rapidly on its way to become the world’s number one company of sewing technology. Appreciating the role of agents and dealers for their support, Vincent Guo, Vice President of Jack Group and Vice Chairman of Jack Sewing Machine Co. Ltd. pointed out, “The agents and dealers are catalysts. They are our eyes and ears as they understand the pain points of customers and spend their time with them to know what their problems are,” summarised Vincent.
The ceremony concluded with award distribution in which Jack rewarded its biggest asset, the dealers, to recognise their efforts made in 2017 that helped Jack grow even bigger. Also, Jack recognised the best dealers of Vibemac in India and Bangladesh who escalated sales of Vibemac products in these two countries.
Official signing ceremony of Jack-Vibemac collaboration
Jack’s entire team which is responsible for the Indian market
Beautiful sitting area at the shopfloor in Jack factory for workers and production people
A worker engrossed in sewing testing process inside Jack’s factory
Official signing ceremony of Jack-Xuhao collaboration
Victor Kim, Vice General Manager (International Trade Department), Jack
Vincent Guo, Vice President of Jack Group and Vice Chairman of Jack Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.
Jimmy, General Manager (Sewing Machine Division), Jack