FOCUS ON PRODUCT
When the world-class know-how of Gelal is combined with the Global power of its Clients, extraordinary things can happen…! Gelal is coming together with its Clients to test the boundaries of technology and make quantum leaps in what socks will look and be like in the future.
Dedication to Product Development is the main initiative driving the rapid growth of Gelal over the years. It is in the culture of Gelal to continuously develop articles complementing and enhancing the Clients’ collections and product-mix. Examples exist whereby Gelal has been instrumental in supporting its Clients (being Global Leaders) to create over time, complete collections, made-up with coherent themes per product-category or business-unit, depending on each Client’s set-up.
Product Diversity is key asset in Product Development; Gelal thinking out-of-the-box developments initiate conceiving and creating articles suitable for any kind of ordinary or sport or competition activity for men, women and kids. Gelal enjoys Leading Brand and Retail Operators’ confidence for creating daring articles with special properties like: golf socks (each sock in a pair having different physical properties and functions), trekking socks (for mountain marathons where anti-blistering is of paramount importance), cycling socks (requiring inner leg protection), cross-fit socks (requiring durability and cushioning/protection areas), recovery socks (with gradient compression zones), sun-safe sleeves (from materials blocking UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sunburn) etc.
Innovation in Materials, Product Features and Properties
Trusted Industrial Partner known for pushing ahead the development of socks across different fields of innovation, Gelal is a primary contact for joint R&D projects for manufacturers of machinery and materials related to the making of socks.
The confidence built over the years between Gelal and world-leading manufacturers of materials and machinery, permits such projects to be approached from the side of Gelal to the manufacturers when Gelal pursues innovations or novelties, as well as from the side of the manufacturers to Gelal when they need expert opinion, guidance, production-conditions testing or field-testing for their innovations or novelties.
At the end of the day, Gelal is the primary recipient of anything new, to the benefit of product development or of the workflow process in any way.
Gelal proudly demonstrates a continuous series of novelties and innovations in:
- using special and/or innovative materials like: biodegradable elastomers, ultra rigid materials like Kevlar® for durability, yarns from ocean-sourced regenerated polymers, hi-tech anti-slippery yarns, anti-friction materials for anti-blistering etc.
- achieving special product features like: photo-quality prints with rotary (360⁰) digital printing, designs showing when exposed to heat or light, stay-up welts in knee-high activity socks etc.
- vesting particular properties to socks like: high absorbency, wicking or anti-bacterial properties, gradient compression, stay-in-place invisible socks, anti-slip properties in the foot area etc.
The clients of Gelal enjoy a biannual (seasonal) brief on all sorts of innovations and novelties achieved in the preceding 6 months.
Gelal has registered three PATENT applications for innovative material use achieving novel properties on socks and a novel environment-friendly workflow process, resulting to savings in energy, natural resources and drastic reduction of product cost.
Manufacturing Innovation is a field where Gelal has successfully addressed several challenges, resulting to substantial gains.
- Automation: Gelal guided specialist automation companies, having developed special machinery and appliances, automating manufacturing operations like toe-closing, pairing, packaging, warehousing management & operations, inter-factory transportation of semi-finished and finished items
- Workflow Processes: Gelal revisited processes and operations like boarding/ironing, washing and wet treatments, operatives’ and technicians’ attendance in knitting halls etc., achieving significant savings in resources, energy, labour, materials CO₂ emissions etc
Gelal has launched together with automation and IT applications specialist companies, joint R&D projects related to the application of Robotics in several manufacturing operations as well as in Warehousing. Initial response being very positive, industrialisation robotics will materialise at Gelal very soon …
The drive of Gelal to pursue Manufacturing Excellence and Manufacturing Innovation is to investigate and develop novel materials, products, systems, processes, machinery and equipment, to save costs, yet, always within the scope of sustainability, and reduction of its CO₂ emissions and Footprint on the Planet.
Gelal is a privately owned, independent, financially sound corporation.
The Top-Level Management & Directors is a healthy combination of owners’ family members and seasoned external Managers, ensuring coverage of all corporate key operational functions.
Effective communication across all tiers of hierarchy drives performance, results and growth! Well-balanced schedules of meetings covering all operational functions and tiers of management (in both manufacturing units) are supported by the latest-technology inter-company communication aids.
The key principles of the People Management Strategy of Gelal:
- All tiers of employees enjoy worthy retention initiatives.
- Gelal provides exceedingly high Workplace Standards, as audited and certified by its clients.
- Job security.
- Quality-level and Performance-related bonuses.
- Inter-personal bonding; strong bond-building among staff, between staff and Management Teams, Managers and Directors.
- Training, educating & capability-build organised sessions.
- Teamwork building.
- Provision of motivation and initiatives.
- Increasing peoples’ skills and competencies.
Gelal believes in tackling challenges by building expertise within its workforce!
As an example, for addressing Lean Manufacturing, Efficiency improvements and optimising Workflow Processes, Gelal avails an in-house team of 32 qualified engineers of different specialisations and 8 experts qualified in IT-related subjects!
Ensuring to have only the best People on-board at all times, Gelal pursues the following initiatives:
- Retention & Succession Schemes ensuring continuity across all Management Levels, supporting expansion plans.
- Hiring talent and expertise wherever/whenever identified.
- Building capabilities from mid to high-level Management Tiers.
- Identifying the worthy, offering to them special treatment and exciting opportunities for advancement within the corporate structure.
LEADERSHIP AREAS & INITIATIVES
Gelal sees socks manufacturing as a process to be disrupted. Gelal and its Clients have a shared passion for innovation and creativity, for leading change and finding what is next.
Gelal demonstrates contribution to world-leading advancements in machinery, re-engineering of workflow processes, manufacturing operating models and monitoring systems.
Manufacturing Excellence Initiatives pursued:
- Developed devices, appliances and systems improving the way machinery function and their efficiency output.
- In-House dedicated Lean Manufacturing Team creates advancements and applies related processes.
- In-House dedicated Continuous Improvement Team ensures achievement of high scoring upon every assessment.
Manufacturing Innovation Initiatives pursued:
- Created technologies to improve various manufacturing processes.
- Initiated innovations and novelties in co-operation with machine manufacturers.
- Retains newness of machinery across factories i.e. average age of knitting machines 4.5 years.
- In-house Team of dedicated experts create (computer-based) applications, automations and modifications for machines and apparatuses.
Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement Initiatives
Gelal pursues the fundamental basis for the success of Lean Manufacturing Methods, being, the ability to identify waste, reduce it and aggressively go for the elimination of non-value added activities and improve response to its Clients’ base.
In-house Teams of specialist and duly Certified Engineers (Green-belts and Black-belts!), are ensuring the implementation of the Lean Manufacturing Methods resulting from the relevant on-going processes as well as maintaining the Continuous Improvement Index within internally set targets.
The Better Cotton Initiative
The primary targets of BCI Initiative are to:
- Reduce the environmental impact of cotton production.
- Improve livelihoods and economic development in cotton producing areas.
- Improve commitment to and flow of Better Cotton throughout supply chain.
- Ensure the credibility and sustainability of the Better Cotton Initiative.
The grand majority of the cotton purchases of Gelal are BCI Cotton.
Lead Times Reduction
Despite the fact that Clients expectations result to ever intensifying complexity, Gelal provides customised Never-Out-of-Stock programmes for deliveries from 5 to 20 or 30 days, striving to continuously better the Lead Time targets as they are being set by its Clients.
Gelal has Business Partnerships with suppliers of materials (yarns) and services (dye houses), resulting to prioritisation of the Gelal orders, having a positive contribution to Lead Times reduction.
Maintaining High Quality Levels
Gelal is acknowledged by all its Clients to exceed all targets set for the different quality parameters, in all manufacturing areas and product parameters.
Meeting Operational KPIs
Gelal proudly demonstrates achieving significantly improved KPIs across all key operational areas, as compared to the targets that have been defined by the Clients. As an on-going internal process, the internal KPIs that are being set by Gelal are improved versions of the KPIs that are being set by each Client.
Continuous Cost Mitigation
Gelal has a proven track record of being pro-active in mitigating cost-drivers, continuously fighting increases of costs (operating and overheads), offering to its Clients a price benefit whenever a price reduction has been achieved.
The consistent price reduction initiatives of Gelal, along with honesty and integrity, have been key contributing factors in building with Clients relations of loyalty, founded on sound business ethics and mutual respect.
Cost-drivers mitigating projects currently deployed:
- Investments in new and modifications on existing machinery, targeting improved productivity.
- Extension of in-house-developed software applications across all manufacturing and operational areas, targeting improved efficiencies.
- Expanding automations and across different production areas, targeting reduction of labour expense.
- Employing in-house experts for advancing Manufacturing Innovation, production processes, workflow systems and peoples’ performance, targeting optimisation of operations.
Gelal has Business Partnerships with suppliers of materials (yarns) and services (dye houses), resulting to prioritisation of the Gelal orders, therefore resulting to Lead Times reduction and significant reduction of materials and services costs.
Such Business Partnerships enable Gelal prioritise on its Sustainability culture, maximising the share of sustainable materials and services as well as pursue development of special materials and services to be offered on an exclusive basis to specific clients.
Re-Inventing Gelal & Patents
Gelal is on a quest to explore the unknown in socks manufacturing, wanting its Clients to benefit from what it discovers.
The Thinking-Out-of-the-Box mind-set of Gelal is proven by the technological advancements and innovations achieved at manufacturing and product levels, as well as the swift capacity build.
Gelal has registered 3 applications pending PATENT: two for novel material use to achieve ultra-high grip properties in different types of socks and one for a novel workflow process that drastically reduces the consumption of natural resources, energy, product cycle time, costs and CO₂ emissions.
THE ETHICAL PRINCIPLES OF GELAL
The primary responsibility of Gelal is towards its Customers and its Business Partners, to meet their needs, their expectations and help them materialise their strategies and visions.
Everybody at Gelal, staff, managers, directors and owners, constantly strive to increase efficiencies and sustain reasonable and at all times competitive price-points, for the Clients’ benefit. Clients’ orders are serviced in a timely manner, with maximum degree of accuracy, while manufacturing is executed with the highest possible attention to detail, always at the agreed quality levels.
Gelal is an equal opportunity employer, adopting high ethics and responsibility towards all of its employees, men and women, working across all of its diversified operations. Every employee is respected as an individual; Gelal respects everyone’s dignity and recognizes every worker’s merit. Gelal ensures that its employees are highly motivated, feeling secure in their jobs. They are absolutely free to put suggestions and complaints forward. Gelal continuously and consistently sustains the highest possible Workplace Standards, always offering opportunities for development and advancement for those qualified.
Gelal provides very competent Management and all of its Managers’ actions are fair, just, ethical and prudent. The Managers and Directors of Gelal respect the community in which they live and work, are fully dedicated to being good citizens. An integral principle of the corporate culture of Gelal is to abide by the State laws, pay its taxes duly and promptly, ‘silently’ supporting worthy charities.
Gelal has a mind-set for pursuing Sustainability, continuously striving to reduce consumption of energy and Natural Resources as well as its CO₂ emissions and Footprint on the Planet.
The exponential expansion of Gelal is owed to the culture of all three generations of the business owners’ families over the years, to continuously re-invest the profits into the Company!