Discover the true value of your machines with some help from Marshall Atkinson

In the all too chaotic realm of garment decoration, behind the blaze of colour and the hum of machinery lies a world defined by efficiency, time, and value. One metric, ‘value per hour’ (VPH), stands as an unsung hero.

Have you heard this term before? If not, that’s okay. But I think you’ll come to appreciate its significance and how it can shape your business decisions.

Delving deep into the VPH concept

Every business thrives on the principle of generating maximum value within a given time. This is where VPH carves its niche. Simply put, VPH measures the revenue a piece of equipment generates in one hour of its operation.

This is your DTG (direct-to-garment) machine. Or one of your heat presses. Each of your automatic screen printing presses or your embroidery machines. Whatever you are working with every day.

Why does this matter? Picture your workspace as a bustling stage theatre. Each machine represents a performer on stage; its generated revenue is the applause, and its operational time is the duration of the performance.

Naturally, equipment that receives louder applause for consistent time periods becomes the star of your show. For instance, if your embroidery machine produces £5,000 of work over 40 operational hours last week, its VPH is £125. Another embroidery machine on your floor only produces £2,300 for the same timeframe. That equipment has a VPH of £57.50.

This means between the two pieces of equipment, one is averaging £67.50 more per hour than the other one. Annualise that, and you’ll realise that it could be costing you a lot of money. (2,080 hours per year x £67.50 = £140,400.)

Is this because of the type of work that is going to the underperforming machine? Is it the inability of the operator to get more work completed? What is holding back the performance here?

….Read Marshall’s full advice on discovering the true value of your machines in our January 2024 issue here

Marshall Atkinson is a production and efficiency expert for the decorated apparel industry, and the owner of Atkinson Consulting and co-founder of Shirt Lab, a sales and marketing education company, with Tom Rauen. He focuses on operational efficiency, continuous improvement, workflow strategy, business planning, employee motivation, management and sustainability.