Groz-Beckert is the world’s leading provider of industrial machine needles, precision parts and fine tools as well as systems and services for the production and joining of textile fabrics. The products and services support the fields of knitting, weaving, felting, tufting, carding and sewing. The family-owned company, founded in 1852, employed more than 9,000 people and generated a turnover of around 745 mn euro in 2018. Groz- Beckert operates with agencies, production and distribution subsidiaries in more than 150 countries around the world. To know more about the company and its journey in Bangladesh, Apparel Views Editorial Team met and interviewed Andreas Dietz, MD, Groz Beckert Singapore. Given are some excerpts…

Please tell us what’s new Groz-Beckert is doing?

The new we are doing is not only limited to new products and developments, at the moment we are concentrating a lot on improving our service in Bangladesh. To improve our presence, we are growing our own team here. We are appointing more technical people in order to improve our service towards the customers support. Higher concentration will be on the service and support to the customers in Bangladesh.

Please tell us about the new developments at your end?

Groz-Beckert offers solution to all six product areas – Knitting, Weaving, Felting, Tufting, Carding and Sewing. The latest service highlight offered by Groz-Beckert is the INH Quality Management (=Ideal Needle Handling). It allows a trouble-free and time-saving handling of broken and damaged sewing machine needles. It also helps to meet the different specifications and compliances of brand owners and buying houses in a uniform procedure. As of late, Groz-Beckert also offers a digital solution for the documentation of needle breakage, which is called Smart INH.

Can you tell us more about Smart INH?

As early as the development stage of the INH quality management, Groz-Beckert identified its ‘smart’ potential.

In addition to the basic version, where the documentation of the needle breakages takes place physically, the so-called “Smart INH was therefore created for digital documentation of needle breakages and all needle changes. Different evaluations can also be carried out and data managed using Smart INH.

The INH process is based on the so-called needle output trolley. It prevents unnecessary paths and wait times during needle changes in the factories. Using the needle return box also prevents errors. The process is simplified further with the needle storage sheet, which creates an all-round more efficient process for the needle change – whether following a needle breakage or during the normal replacement process.

In the smart version, the trolley is expanded to include a tablet, which carries out the digitalization of the documentation. The patented Smart INH consists of two software components here: The mobile app INH@site and the management programme INH@office. Using the INH@site app, the relevant needle sections are photographed in the event of needle breakage or a needle change. Relevant data like the place and time of the needle breakage or the production order are assigned to the photographs directly. The resulting image data set created in this way is saved digitally.

How has been the evaluation of Groz Beckert in Bangladesh?

Groz-Beckert has been serving its needles in Bangladesh for last so many years. We started in 2007 with our own representative office in Bangladesh. Till 2014 we still had just two-three people here. Since 2014 we have increased the team which has reached up to 18 staff in the meantime, and now we also have a sewing laboratory. It is a very important market for us and we are looking clearly to further improve our presence here.

What is the growth of Groz-Beckert Bangladesh in last four years?

As I mentioned our team has grown from 2 to 18 people. Our sales growth was also remarkable. It is more than double in sewing and weaving, and remarkable on knitting and nonwoven side, though the market for weaving and non-woven is not that big for us in Bangladesh. However, overall we have grown in last few years in terms of percentage.

What is your market share in knitting here?

That is an often asked question, but difficult to answer as at the present, there are so many needles here in the market coming directly from China into Bangladesh and they have huge figures. But we are the market leader both in terms of quality and quantity.

How many countries are you managing under your leadership?

We have two offices in Singapore. Under our sales office in Groz-Beckert Singapore, we serve countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Then we have second company which is Groz-Beckert East Asia and that’s the umbrella organisation of all our Asian sales affiliates, and where we are 2 Directors, looking from the North East Corner Japan to over China and then to South West Corner Bangladesh. But India is managed out of Germany.

Do you feel Bangladesh knitting industry is adopting new technology and going for automation?

Yes, we have a good share in Bangladesh and growing every year, which is an indication that Bangladeshi customers are looking for high quality spare parts and machines. Bangladesh market is mainly export oriented, almost all major brands are buying from here and so it is really quality oriented market. They are willing to adapt the latest and advanced technologies.

How do you see Bangladesh knitting industry market in coming years?

Bangladesh is a second largest garment exporter in the world after China and targeting to double its export in next five years. Hence I foresee a good stable growth like what I saw in last three-four years here. The country will continue to have further high growth in comparison to all other textiles centers. It is one of the fastest growing markets next to Veitnam. I am very optimistic about this market.

How has been your experience of working with Bangladeshi industry?

My experience here with Bangladeshi people and customers is very pleasant. I am able to meet people, who are really interested in looking forward for improvement in production. For me it is a pleasure to come here every time and I am looking forward to have that experience in the next few years as well.