HIALEAH, Fla. -- Apparel contractor Ray Beder has projected a 10 to 15 percent sales volume increase this year for his family-owned business, no mean feat in an industry that is struggling to survive the crush of offshore sourcing.
Beder has some things in his favor. He is aggressive and he has taken advantage of his location -- Miami, the gateway to the Caribbean. But most important, Beder isn't afraid to lay out the money it takes to keep his company a leader in its field.
For example, the company will be spending about $300,000 to move into a 60,000-square-foot facility this year where operations will be centralized.
RB Apparel makes several products, from children's sleepwear, ladies' and men's knit tops (including placket shirts), pullovers, and bottoms of various constructions.
Because of RB Apparel's proximity to Miami ports and the Caribbean Basin, much of its production is cutting for offshore use.
But like others contractors, RB's focus has changed greatly because of the push for 807 production by domestic apparel companies. Eighty percent of RB's cutting today is for offshore use and the rest for domestic; 10 years ago, the opposite was true.
If the North American Free Trade Agreement expands to include parity for Caribbean countries, Beder expects his cutting business for offshore sewing to grow even more.
"By lowering the tariffs and making it easier for American firms to deal with [807 countries], then I assume more people will go there, and they will cut their goods in south Florida," he explains.
Like others, Beder wants some of that business for his company.
Up to now, operations have been spread out in an 18,000-square-foot sewing facility with 150 stations, a 25,000-square-foot cutting plant with 10 40-yard tables and a facility for corporate offices.
By centralizing sewing and cutting under one roof, Beder believes he will increase growth by 10 to 15 percent. He plans to upgrade the new plant more in the future by adding electronic spreaders, flotation tables and Gerber cutting machines.
The move also will bring management together under one roof, including Beder's wife Susan, vice-president of administration, and his two sons, Steve, vice-president of manufacturing, and Gregory, who is in charge of data systems and works in planning and development.Customers include Cape Cod, a ladies' wear division of Kellwood Co., and William Carter Co., among others.
The latest big modernization was the addition of Gerber's Accumark computer-aided design system last year. It was purchased as the first step in the creation of an automated cutting facility. Grading and mark-ing started as a one-scope system, according to Brenda Ross, director of pattern and marking systems, but, by the end of six months, had progressed to the need for a multi-scope system.
RB reduced the throughput time of marking and grading from six to eight hours to two to three hours with the Gerber system. Gerber's CAD system, says Beder, has "opened horizons for us. It helps us get goods out faster and it improved quality."
Throughput time from cutting to shipping is two to three weeks, approximately five days shorter than a year ago, says Beder. He attributes the decrease to customer demands and to the company's fully computerized system, which aids on-line balancing and known-standard-allowed minutes.
Production rates are as many as 60,000 units per week in sewing and as many as 200,000 units per week in cutting, depending on the product mix.
"We are moving to improve our total company efficiency, including quality and throughput time," says Beder. "We want to provide our customers with the Quick Response that they need so badly."
Equipment at RB Apparel's sewing operation includes Juki serging with chain cutters and back-latch attachments, lockstitch machines with underbed trimmings, O.G.M. air turners, Sussman hand irons with vacuum board, Hoffman pressers and a Sussman steam tunnel.
Sewing operates in a modular setup, which the company started three years ago. Operators were cross-trained when the company made the change, making it easier for RB Apparel to shift from one type of construction to another.
The company keeps up with the latest technological and operational developments with help from Jones, Riley & Associates, the apparel consulting firm it has worked with for the past seven years.
Their joint expertise, Beder says, has helped RB Apparel increase its efficiency through systems methods and updated equipment. "Without them," he claims, "we could not imagine being in the domestic cut-and-sew business, progressive in the areas of quality, throughput time and meeting customers' delivery dates."Beder says he plans to continue to improve product quality and efficiencies, which should, in turn, feed the company's growth at that 10 to 15 percent annual rate. "We want to be very important to the manufacturers who need our services," he says.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)