Croscill consolidates its plants
By Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, 1/12/2004 12:00:00 AM
DURHAM, N.C. —
As part of a greater initiative to step up its global sourcing, Croscill has shut its Mebane, N.C., cut-and-sew window facility and moved the operation to another plant in Durham that had been running at half capacity. The Mebane plant employed 200 workers in its heyday, but had been downsizing its work force in the last few years. Sixty employees were transferred to Durham, while 140 have lost jobs.
In addition, Croscill will be opening a new 126,000-square-foot distribution center on 30 acres in Oxford, N.C. in February, to begin shipping in March. The 35-foot-tall facility features the latest technology, such as high-speed laser-guided forklifts.
"Through a combination of efficiencies, changes in the business environment, the economy and imports — almost in that order — we've been able to consolidate (the manufacturing) part of our business," explained chief operating officer Doug Kahn, adding that the space necessary for manufacturing has decreased as operations have become more streamlined.
On the international front, Croscill will be expanding its Shanghai office in the Pudong area of China, adding five positions in quality control and merchandising to assist in finding and sourcing new product. Currently its sourcing office has a staff of three, which will grow to eight as the new positions are filled.
This renewed emphasis on sourcing began in August 2003, when Croscill hired Steve Abramowitz and David Halley, as vice presidents, global sourcing for textiles, and also realigned its spec office. The initial plan was to divide sourcing responsibilities by fabric type rather than product category or geography. Kahn said that having a presence in Shanghai is key. "Being there on the front lines is important for quality, speed and ease of communication," explained Kahn.
"The home textiles world is certainly changing rapidly, and more attractively priced goods with better value are becoming available in China and the rest of the Orient at a dramatic pace," added Kahn.
Kahn said that 50 percent of its units were cut and sewn in the United States a year ago and this represented 75 percent of the company's dollar volume.
Today, 30 percent of units are sewn in the states, but the ratio continues to decline.
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