Production Tips

Manufacturing run challenges your sports brand can avoid

Manufacturing plant for sporting brands

How can sport brands avoid these 7 manufacturing challenges to ensure on-time delivery for your seasonal products?

Your marketing team is excited about the new sports helmet, goggles, or protective gear ready to launch next season. Your worldwide interdisciplinary team  has delivered an awesome innovative fresh design that will inspire customers - and your competitors. Now the pressure is on at the manufacturing plant. 

Until this crucial moment all the steps have gone smoothly and the raw materials were properly sourced. So now, as you hand over the project to the manufacturing plant, you just have to wait for the samples to arrive. 

You have used this far away factory before and the communication is good, and your raw material is vetted for quality, so why do you need to send someone halfway around the globe to oversee the floor process? (Besides, no one on your team has that much experience in the minutia of manufacturing installations anyway). 

Let's take a look at why it might be a valuable business investment to hire the services of a consultant to interface between your brand and the manufacturing plant staff on-site:

  1. People Pleasers

A factory will always want to please its customers. They often say “yes” to your request even when they are not clear about what the solution might be. Someone with a wealth of knowledge about helmet and goggle manufacturing will likely see the solution rapidly to save on time. 

  1. Seamless Quality Control

Quality control becomes seamless as there are no delays in sending samples back and forth and the decision-making rests the one single accountable person: your on-site manufacturing consultant. Raw materials sourcing helps brands reach new sport fashion and safety heights.

  1. Supply chain issues

Communication from afar can be frustrating, especially if your plant is in another country where there are different languages/time zones in the mix. Also, intercultural issues can come into play. Someone acting on your behalf, face-to-face with the factory can alleviate friction when everyone is under a tight seasonal deadline.

  1. Out-of-the-box thinking

The secret of production lies in the details. Sometimes manufacturing plants do things the way they usually do. However, a small change can make a big difference in lead time and quality output.

Here is an anecdote that saved my client time and money:

This story involves weight differences in a weight critical safety product, where the products outside production tolerances would have to be destroyed for not meeting standards.

The factory did check every step of the process prior to my arrival. I started with the supervisors at the end of the assembly line, to check the processes from there. However, at the third position, I figured out a worker used a fan to cool himself because of the hot  Asian climate. Every time the fan faced the balance, the balance just increased by 5 to 10 grams due to the airstream. This is a lot for a light product! We repositioned the balance, covered 3 sides with walls and the problem was solved immediately. 

Otherwise, the brand would have faced a quarantine of 1000 units for being off tolerance!

  1. Innovation

You don´t know what you can´t see. Ensure you aren´t paying for idle workers, inefficient machines or factories without the right technology. Your consultant will handle the issues quickly and ensure this is the right plant for your future projects.

  1. Gain operational visibility to do more with less

Don’t find out about problems from your customers. Head off any issues in advance by monitoring your system's operations, performance, and agility so you can act to rectify any anomalies on the spot during the manufacturing run. 

  1. Globalization Burnout and organizational resilience

To squeeze the best out of world class providers and human resources often means that your team has to deal with various time zones, cultures, languages - and maybe even ramp up on skills beyond their job description. Add international travel to the mix, and you could be burning out some of your most valuable employees. So give your team a bit of a break and outsource a consultant to handle some of the manufacturing process heavy lifting. 

Your consultant has built a rapport and streamlined production with your factory for your next project. Fantastic! 

Or, perhaps once you finish this project, some hard decisions need to be made based on the post-production report.

If it makes sense to move your brand's next sports helmet, goggles or protective gear project to another plant, you will want someone like Clovis Henzen Consulting who can properly appraise the ideal manufacturing installations for your particular product.

I would love to hear your comments and feedback about this article! I answer all messages, so please write to me.

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