Stitches

Making the Move to a Bigger Shop

Since setting up shop in a larger location in February, Howard Potter, CEO of A&P Master Images (asi/702505), says he’s given close to 300 tours. Something that has continued to surprise him is how many people praise the spotless showroom and polished production area as anomalies in the industry. “I was shocked,” Potter says. “I didn’t understand that we weren’t the norm. It’s one of those things that you don’t believe until you see … other shops and equipment that are downright disgusting.”

Utica, NY-based A&P moved from a 4,200-square-foot space to a 5,500-square-foot building on a one-acre lot, giving the decorator plenty of room to grow. Setting up the new building with a streamlined workflow in mind has helped the company increase efficiency by 33%, Potter says. Purchasing $91,000 in new equipment, including a Workhorse Sabre automated press, hasn’t hurt productivity either.

But one of the things Potter believes is too often ignored in the embroidery industry is cleanliness and organization. There’s no point in spending so much on new equipment and new digs if you don’t spend the money to maintain them. “That’s like buying a nice car and not getting the oil changed in time,” he says. This philosophy has led A&P to hire a part-time employee, who works 25 hours a week, specifically to keep the shop clean.