Head of operations, PVM Supplies
Tell us a bit about your business
Since 1999 we have been supplying a broad range of industries both in the south west and across the UK with workwear and uniform. Irrespective of the type business, our work ethic of understanding individual requirements and the importance on delivering to customer expectations has always remained the same. We have experienced a remarkable journey from two staff in an office in our dining room to a fabulous team of 24 dedicated staff in our current premises at Exeter airport.
What is the latest embroidery machine that you have bought?
We purchased an eight-head Barudan embroidery machine in February 2017. Our business strategy has always been to be the best at what we do and in line with this we have taken the final step of bringing all of our embroidery in-house. We always knew that at some point in 2017 we would purchase our third machine; this was brought forward when we were awarded a grant from the Making It Local Leader Funding.
What other machines did you look at before purchasing this one?
On visiting the Print Show in 2016 I took the opportunity to look at a number of other machines, but having already purchased two Barudan machines, my heart was really set on having a third.
Why did you choose the Barudan?
Prior to bringing our embroidery in-house we outsourced our business to embroidery companies. We have been fortunate in that they have been open about sharing their knowledge with us and when we looked to purchase our first machine in 2014 they guided us towards Barudan. After months of research and many other companies endorsing the quality of the Barudan machines we made our first purchase. The machine is incredibly robust, logical to work but most importantly the quality of embroidery that it is able to produce is consistently high.
Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t like about it?
Our most recent machine is the latest Barudan model, which comes with a few modifications. The latest touch screen technology is even more user friendly with simple settings and clear icons.
What’s it like to use?
As an operator it feels like your main role is to ensure you hoop your garments correctly, the machine takes care of pretty much all the rest. Luke, who has recently joined us, was running all three machines on his own within two weeks of company training.
What is it used for?
As suppliers of one-off fully customised clothing and specialist staff uniforms, we are able to embroider most garments. Our customers, many and varied, include aviation, rail, catering and local authorities. The added value of having your own machines is that occasionally your customer may ask if you can embroider something a little unusual for them and it always gives me a great satisfaction when I can say yes.
What other machines do you have?
We have three standalone Barudan machines, a four-, a single- and, our most recent purchase, the eight-head.
What would be your advice to others thinking of buying an embroidery machine?
Understand your customer expectations and plan for realistic volumes. It is a false economy to purchase a machine that your business ‘may grow into’. In our experience the more the machines are used, the better they run. Threads and backing have a shelf life and you can waste time and money by using threads that are past their date.
Invest in researching your machine, talk to other businesses and understand that all five components – machine, digitising, garment, thread and backing – are all integral to the finished product.