Many concepts in a manufacturing village or either new or not obvious the below list of FAQ's might make understanding of the Knitted Project easier. Remember I am an engineer and I will try and correct any issues verbally (at best).
Please Note: This is a proposal for the first manufacturing village. Central Services will need to be set up as a franchise later. This will not affect any time talbles for setting up the Knitting Project. All the work on what needs to be done is already done.
The first and best key to success: Personally, as an engineer, BSEE, and someone who started making model airplanes in 4th grade, I bring an enjoyment of producing things to each and every manufacturing village. Those just wanting to start manufacturing without understanding the needs of a customers and a joyous solution are not going to be around long enough to make a profit. I personally guarantee a 90% chance of success for each satellite and I believe it will be more like 100% as I hate to fail at an engineering project.
I need people with a propensity to build businesses to the appropriate size. If creating and growing groups is one of your expertise areas, come and see me. Entrepreurial spirit is very necessary.
A business plan for just the golf sweaters, without the other vertical markets which are very much similar, is presented under menu MV Projects/ Knitted Projects/Golf Sweaters. Or click on this link: Golf Sweaters Business Plan.
1. A manufacturing village consists of a central services doing all the common and not so common back office infrstructure functions leaving the manufacturing satellites free to concentrate on manufacturing great products.Such functions include accounting, websites, legal stuff, warehouse, and so on. advertising, and so on. Central services also helps design and setup the satellite production facilities. A monthly fee ispaid to central services. See Manufacturing Village Map.
2. A manufacturing village is sort of like an new business incubator that never goes away. Providing infrstructure for back office operations.
3. A major central services responsibility is insuring the continued success of the satellites through monitoring and auditing the satellites.4. Up to 10 satellites surround the central services. If each satellite produces $5 - 10 million in sales the manufacturing village become a substantial operation.
5. The Knitting Project contains several satellites owned and operated by entrepreneurs for each vertical market.
- Office sweaters for women
- Executive style sweaters for women
- Golf sweaters for individual men and women and organizational sweaters
- Knitted undergarments for health workers wearing scrubs
- Sweaters knit with Arimid (Kevlor is DuPont brand) for bicycle and motorcycle riders
- Stylish sweaters and dresses for women
- Children's sweaters are the last part of the project since I tend to think children's clothes are too much work
6. Possibly customized sweatshirts and pants as this is the same demographics as the sweaters but could also be another manufacturing village due to volume considerations and complexity.
7. Due to the use of washing and drying machines as part of the process for knitted products the facility needs to be on a ground floor with a concrete floor.
8. Automated knitting is not an inexpensive process. The knitting machines alone cost $150,000 each. Setting up and hiring and training people, the cost of the facility, a couple of months of testing, building a complex ordering website, etc. all adds up. In the businessplan I start with two machines and work up. The best part is the number indicate good profitability in a very short time.
7. Investment money can be raied in several ways. One of the themes that comes up over and over is the idea of local investment, local production, and local profits. Therefore, money should be raised locally if possible. Perhaps even using the "Kickstart" methodology as defined in the federal "JOBS" laws. Obviously experts in the legal aspects will be necessary.
8. Many people will worry where the designs come from. I don't. Not only can the proliferation of good designers in the New York City area be easily located, the company that makes the knitting machines has many patterns and designs available with the computer code for modifications. Additionally, the movies from the 1930 have so many excellent fashion awaiting reawakening I'm not sure it is possible to run out of style. Maybe our unknown competitors will run out of style, but that is no reason we should have empty and boring designs.
10. A word about technology. All the equipment companies for the required production are working very hard on staying current. I've been out to the facility for the knitting company and know what is required. I also am current on the state of design software and it is excellent.
11. The ability to sell direct via the internet makes profit possible. Wholesale is not the platform for customized products. Having a network of agents in offices, golf clubs, certain boutiques, etc. expert in fitting women to look good is worth a 15% commission.
12. Information on style might be just pages of information or a writer's column. Information would cover the best color for you, how to look slimmer, the latest in fashion, and so forth.
13. We are manufacturers: we don't buy finished goods and add decoration. We buy yarm made to our specifications and knit finished goods. Eventually we will spin our yarns.
14. Don't expect the need to advertise too much. The volume we can produce is fine with word-of-mouth advertising.
15. No woman can be too tall, too short, too wide, too narrow, or even too stressed not to want a custom sweater.
16. Business environment: As I want long-term employees and owners the work environment must feel welcoming, contributive, and cooperative. We also must be very cognizant of women being the major consumer segment which requires we listen as often and as much as possible. Our customers are our friends.