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Coats Digital optimisation for SAE-A

Optimising costing processes and significantly enhancing global manufacturing efficiencies.

24th March 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Seoul, South Korea


SAE-A Trading one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, has implemented Coats Digital’s GSDCost solution across all 41 of its production facilities in ten countries. 

The solution will enable the company to establish international standard time benchmarks, based on accurate standard minute values (SMVs) to optimise processes and drive increased efficiency and productivity across its entire workforce. It also enables transparency around global labour costs to be provided to brand partners looking to meet social responsibility goals.

Established in 1986, SAE-A operates in South Korea, the USA, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Myanmar, Haiti and Costa Rica. From yarn production through its fabric mills to retail operations in South Korea, the company continues to invest in technology to become one of the few apparel manufactures able to capitalise on a complete vertical-integration of its supply chain.

SAE-A is a key supplier to some of the world’s biggest retailers, including Carhartt, Gap, Kohl’s, Mast, Target and Walmart. It holds itself to stringent environmental standards and actively supports sustainability, fair wages and educational/medical programmes across the local communities of its global operations.

Using complex time measurements based on time studies and historical data found in a myriad of Excel spreadsheets across its huge global enterprise, SAE-A needed a standardised solution that would accurately record SMVs through effective, standard motion digitised codes to optimise its costing processes in all territories of operation and significantly enhance global manufacturing efficiencies.


“As a result of the pandemic there was increased pressure on the entire global sewing industry to secure new costing and buying schemes that were more accurate,  increased efficiencies and facilitated greater transparency within the supply chain,” said Travis Han of SAE-A’s manufacturing excellence team. “SAE-A wanted to be ahead of the curve and ready for whatever the future might bring so it was important that we had a common language embedded within all our global facilities to accutarely measure the actual cost of making each garment – factoring in varying fair living wage costs and machine efficacy across all our territories.

© SAE-A Trading

“Coats Digital’s GSDCost solution has the highest predetermined method-time standard (PMTS) reliability in the world and its robust, systematic training programme, with expert instructors is second to none. In short, we wouldn’t have chosen any other provider. Our process of digital transformation was fast and effective –  even during adverse conditions, such as social distancing and travel restrictions –  and the Coats team’s flexible approach and determination enabled the solution to be rolled out on schedule.”

Coats Digital’s GSDCost method analysis and pre-determined times solution is widely acknowledged as the international standard across the sewn products industry. It supports a more collaborative, transparent and sustainable supply chain, in which brands and manufacturers establish and optimise international standard time benchmarks using standard motion codes and predetermined times. This use of a common language and standards supports accurate cost prediction, fact based negotiation and a more efficient garment manufacturing process, while concurrently delivering on CSR commitments.

An enhanced feature is a globalised fair wage tool which combines the international standard time for any given style, with detailed factory efficiencies, contracted hours and the fair living wage for the country. This enables brands and manufacturers to quickly agree the fair living wage allowance for any given garment, in any factory in the world.


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