The win-win quality partnership for yarn suppliers and users
Uster, Switzerland, August 28, 2013 – The right yarn at a fair price – it's the win-win ambition of textile producers and their customers the world over. No more arguments about quality shortfalls, no more claims for below-par deliveries, and a genuinely objective basis for costing a sales contract... In fact, the tools to realize this ideal are already available, through USTER® STATISTICS global benchmarks, the established and authoritative standards for the most important textile quality parameters. In the yarn production business, spinners rely on USTER® STATISTICS to check their yarn quality against the competition worldwide. And there is a growing appreciation of the potential benefits by downstream players, from fabric-making through to retail.
A major Chinese group is reporting significant advantages from the use of USTER® STATISTICS to help specify its yarn requirements and build a portfolio of trusted suppliers. Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd is the largest vertical knitwear manufacturer in China, supplying clothing to leading international names such as Uniqlo, Nike, Adidas, Puma and Kappa, as well as serving its own growing cluster of retail stores across China. With important export markets in Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific and the USA, Shenzhou International sales in 2012 totaled RMB 8,937,578,000 (USD 1,446,950,000, € 1,107,090,000).
The Group currently had over 51,400 employees and the area of the factories spans across 1,660,000 sq.m., which can produce various knitwear of over 210 million pieces per year.
Quality and price matters
Clearly, the Shenzhou operations consume vast quantities of yarn. With critical and demanding customers in high-profile brands, quality is a prime consideration, and careful yarn sourcing is absolutely crucial to both customer satisfaction and company profitability. USTER® STATISTICS help Shenzhou to determine which spinners are producing suitable yarns for a given application. It is not necessarily a question of yarns being rated as 'good' or 'bad' quality – what matters is how the yarn characteristics match the needs of the end-product, in terms of both quality and price.
“USTER® STATISTICS have become established as quality benchmarks for spinning mills all over the world, and they also help yarn buyers, like Shenzhou, to find qualified products and suppliers more easily and quickly,” says Ma Huajian, Director of Shenzhou ‘s Information Center. In sales discussions, the widespread acceptance of USTER® STATISTICS benchmarks to define quality levels has also been invaluable, the company finds.
Shenzhou, based at Ningbo in the Zhejiang Province of China, has been using USTER® STATISTICS for many years. With extensive in-house laboratory testing facilities, the company appreciates the automatic correlation between test data from USTER® instruments and USTER® STATISTICS values. Says Huajian: “After our company installed USTER® instruments, the well-known phenomenon of arguing back and forth with suppliers about differences in quality standards has decreased.” This allows Shenzhou and its customers to establish common reference standards for quality communication, with both parties agreeing the proper quality parameters. On this basis, the company also has a reference point for selection of suppliers, enabling it to build up a wider portfolio of spinners to use as yarn suppliers.
The USTER® TESTER 5 is acknowledged throughout textiles as the global standard in evenness testing.
Quality products and cost reduction guaranteed
Shenzhou's own positive experience with USTER® STATISTICS has convinced the company that other yarn users should be encouraged to adopt similar strategies, for the promotion and improvement of quality standards and practices throughout the textile industry. “It is a fact that USTER® STATISTICS are better known in the spinning sector than in other branches further along the textile productions chain,” says Huajian. “Spinners use them mainly to optimize their production processes, improve the consistency of yarn quality and compare themselves with their competitors. But that is only part of the story, and it is more important that more yarn users come to understand the enormous advantages they can achieve for themselves. With the tools to specify each yarn quality parameter according to the end-use, they can guarantee quality products and reduce costs – a real win-win for both buyers and sellers of yarn.”
This process involves the creation of a yarn profile for each article, listing quality characteristics suitable for the processes to be used and the final quality required. The yarn profile will include both absolute values and USTER® STATISTICS percentiles.
Ideal supplier portfolio easily achieved
Taking the Shenzhou model, yarn buyers can also improve their supplier portfolio, based on quality capability, and ensure they pay a fair price corresponding to the quality of the delivered material. Decision-making here is simplified by benchmarking the various quality parameters and using the values in USTER® STATISTICS to compare the performance levels of different yarn suppliers.
Shenzhou International is eager to promote wider application of USTER® STATISTICS across the entire textile chain, as part of its own continuous improvement strategy. Says Huajian: “USTER® STATISTICS are special benchmarks, reflecting actual product quality and accepted throughout the world. They are the pride of our industry, and we thank USTER for this important contribution to it, trusting that its innovative efforts in this area will continue in future.”
The 2013 edition of USTER® STATISTICS is available on the internet at www.uster.com/statistics or on CD.