With more than 75 years in the intimate apparel industry, Cupid Intimates understands the importance of being flexible to the ever-changing industry conditions, while staying true to its roots and going the extra mile for their employees as well as for the world. Unusual in the apparel industry, Cupid designs and manufactures all its women's shapewear and panties itself; it doesn't use contractors. This gives management a freer hand to use efficient production techniques to pursue its cost-competitive position.
"We have been using specialized cutting and CAD technologies for over 20 years. Our four custom built cutters, capable of cutting 126 inches wide, were aging and we needed to further improve for even wider fabrics to get the best possible utilization of materials. We knew Tukatech offers customized solutions for CAD CAM. With our showrooms in New York, design and engineering in Bethlehem, Pa., planning and execution in Oklahoma, and cutting and sewing in Nicaragua and Mexico, we needed to streamline our processes," said Ken Langston, senior vice president of operations.
TUKAcad, TUKAcutplan and SMARTmark "enabled us to streamline our design process in a way that made significant improvement in our lead-time. Improvements were seen in the costing process, storage system, grading, and first pattern accuracy.
"We have been able to realize 1.5 percent material yield savings since our installation of Tukatech software. I expect to be able to realize more material savings with our newly installed 132-inch-wide cutters and spreaders," added Langston.
Cupid places technological innovation at the heart of its product development and production-process considerations. "As we entered the new millennium, we understood we could no longer see Cupid as simply a needle-and-thread sewer," says Tony Angelino, COO.
Being proactive and adaptable to the changes seen in the apparel industry over the course of its life has allowed the company to continue growing. The company takes a multi-faceted approach to product merchandising and distribution. It sells garments under its own brands, such as Cupid®, Naomi & Nicole®, and TC®; brands it licenses from others, like Miraclesuit®; exclusive brands, including Inside Magic®; and private-label brands of specific retail accounts. Cupid also competes in most American retail channels, from premium chains and department stores, to mass-merchandisers and pure dot-coms.
Cupid also offers a great working environment for its employees. Both of its factories contain medical clinics to serve their employees. Full-time nurses staff them, and doctors have office hours at various times during the week. Its Nicaraguan factory operates a store within the building that sells common household and grocery items. By purchasing items in bulk and re-selling them to employees at cost, the company is able to pass on the discounts it receives. Employees can pay for these items, interest-free and over time, via payroll deductions.
"I have yet to meet a team so coordinated and continuously thriving for perfection, from top to bottom. Everyone is connected and working towards the same goals. A rare thing to see that has been sustained for over seven decades. We have implemented technological solutions at hundreds of companies worldwide, but I have never experienced the kind of willingness to change and quest for improvements at every level. Most people hate change, especially if they have been using certain systems and processes for 20 to 30 years, but with the help of all users in five locations, this installation was one of our best and fastest. Thank you, team Cupid, for your great attitude. We all win together," says Ram Sareen, CEO and founder of TUKATECH.