Tibard are a family business from Manchester who provide workwear and uniforms to organisations, from multi-nationals to local pub, across the country.
How did you manage to get organized?
During the penultimate week of March, the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was realised. Hospitality, our traditional market, was effectively put on hold. However, we had an Industry 4.0 manufacturing facility which could be put to good use to support the national effort.
What challenges did you face?
The NHS was taking on volunteers and recent retirees as well as re-organising their workforce to better tackle the virus. Therefore, they were in desperate need of more scrubs. Our factory traditionally produces chefwear and aprons but with a great deal of effort we were able to transition our manufacturing to meet this need.
Approximately how many scrub suits are you able to manufacture?
We devised cutting patterns and sourced the correct fabric and put our scrubs straight into production. From the fabric being delivered on Monday, our first orders to local hospitals were beginning to dispatch by the following Thursday. At present, we are producing up to 13,000 scrub suits a week in no small part due to our new Lectra Vector iX fabric cutter, which is a 33% increase in outpout compared to our previous machine.
If you had one piece of advice to share, what would it be?
At Tibard, we are incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated and talented workforce of machinists and seamstresses who embraced this challenge in order to do our part. Our flexibility and speed of transition was in no small part due to their skill. If there is one thing we would advise it is to always ensure your staff understand the job in front of them. When you have the right people, you know you can rely on them to get the job done and that’s precisely what happened with us. Combine that with having the best equipment available and your production capabilities become far more adaptable.