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UK clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg (C&C) is expecting a 40% productivity boost through a digital transformation project.

The company, which supplies premium brand clothing as well as protective wear, is now embarking on a major project that will capture real-time data from every part of the production process and enable the leadership team to make informed decisions to identify efficiencies, generate more accurate pricing, and increase profitability.

It also hopes the new Galaxius production management system will help improve the pay and job satisfaction of its skilled team machinists, a key part of its 40 strong workforce.

C&C has been supported in its investment by the Made Smarter North West Adoption programme.

Patrick Grant, managing director of C&C, explains: “At the heart of this new system is the introduction of well-informed decision-making based on accurate and real-time data. By combining better production control and incentivising our workforce we believe we could increase productivity by 40% while maintaining the highest quality.”

Victoria Grant, operations director, adds: “We acquired C&C because we believed it was a quality business with some extremely skilled employees. However, the traditional ways of doing things and embedded inefficiencies have held back the business from keeping up with the rapid changes in textile manufacturing.

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“The digital transformation workshop process helped us acknowledge that the shop floor was a black box and the first vital step for our business was to get hold of all that valuable data, so we could understand and control better the inner workings of our operations.”

Galaxius documents the whole journey of a garment from sampling to delivery. Data is transmitted, processed and displayed in real-time on a web-based management platform, which gives the leadership team visibility of the production line.

By breaking down a garment’s production into separate elements and applying a timing for each part, the business will know exactly how long it will take to produce a set number of garments and the manufacturing cost. C&C will be able to plan its production effectively, accurately assess factory capacity and provide customers with realistic delivery dates.

The simpler production planning system will enable the factory manager to focus on improving processes further. The improved efficiency will remove the need for overtime, reducing factory running costs by up to 20% during peak periods.

“The profitability of our factory very much relies on the efficiency of the sewing staff and the accurate costing of operations,” Grant says. “Galaxius will allow us to make decisions that will directly impact productivity which in turn will immediately increase our bottom line.”

In addition, as every stage of the critical path is tracked, C&C will be able to offer its customers full traceability of their garment through the factory and provide information for ethical and sustainable audits on who made their clothes.

“With traceability being a huge part of the sustainable fashion agenda, the ability to share this data with customers will give us a competitive advantage when pitching for new business.”