Balancing a fine line in an environment of change
A Coats Viyella case study

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Page 4: Objectives

Coats Viyella 2 Diagram 3The first and largest division is Industrial Sewing Thread in which Coats is the world leader with over 20% share of the world market. Industrial sewing thread largely goes to garment makers. But there are some other important users, for example, the shoe industry and an important growth area is the automotive industry, where Coats is currently involved in developing the appropriate sewing threads for air bags. So the industrial thread business, although largely focused on the garment industry, also caters for other important niches.

The second division in The Thread Business is the Craft business: that is consumer sewing thread, hand knitting, embroidery thread, hand-craft kits – a wide range of products increasingly designed more for craft enjoyment than for making clothes. Again, Coats Viyella is the world leader in craft products.

Finally, there are Zips, where through ownership of Opti in Europe and Talon in the United States, Coats are the second largest zip maker in the world. The vast majority of zips are sold to industrial customers and they are increasingly sold and distributed alongside industrial thread. This is an area of intense competition and includes the major Japanese competitor YKK.

Driving the value chain

Coats Viyella 2 Image 3In a keenly competitive market “winning companies” will be the ones who are able to satisfy customers effectively and provide them with value for money. The end consumer of the value chain is the buyer of clothes (or other textiles) who is looking increasingly for sophisticated and fashionable products. Supplying the consumer is the retailer who today is demanding higher and higher service from manufacturers. Retailers want to minimise the amount of stock they carry. They are seeking to be able to sell new stock as quickly as possible and to have as few “write downs” as possible in the form of end of season sales.

Retailers are looking for just-in-time delivery from manufacturers of the latest fashion items to replace existing stock. This pressure passes down the line from the garment manufacturer to the thread manufacturer. The garment manufacturer wants to have the right products, the right colours and the right qualities just-in-time. Coats is the largest manufacturer of threads in the world and it has also been able to become the best. The premium value that it is able to add in the process of production is to produce the colours and service which customers require.

The objective of Coats Viyella Threads is to provide the customer, large and small, with a responsive, flexible and reliable service. The Business recognises that it will only thrive by establishing a close working partnership with its customers to create mutual benefits. The goals are excellent products, ready availability, with fast and accurate turnaround from order to delivery.

Coats Viyella | Balancing a fine line in an environment of change