Introduction of the DG.NET embroidery solution creates new ways to enjoy embroidery!  

Tabio Nara Co., Ltd.  Birthplace Hiroshi Tanaka

Tabio Nara Co., Ltd. is an affiliate of Tabio Corporation, which operates “Kutsushitaya” and “Tabio.” The company, which oversees quality control and customer service for Tabio products, has been using Tajima’s embroidery solution DG.NET since November 2022. The department at Tabio Nara responsible for embroidery, printing, and other product post-processing is called “Birthplace.” We asked manager Hiroshi Tanaka about the background to the adoption of DG.NET and his current impressions of the system. 

Tabio Nara Co., Ltd. 
This company conducts quality testing and product research on socks designed and sold by Tabio Corporation. It also supports Tabio’s operations as a logistics center delivering products to stores nationwide. The company does custom embroidery as one aspect of customer service. 

Resolving issues encountered in custom embroidery services 

Tabio has been providing custom embroidery services as one aspect of their customer service. The department that now fills embroidery orders from approximately stores nationwide is Tabio Nara’s “Birthplace.” In addition to lettering embroidery, where socks are embroidered with the characters the customers request, the company also offers embroidery services, with designs using pictures drawn by the customer. 

While this service was designed to meet customer’s exact needs, creating the embroidery data for each individual pair of socks was said to be extremely labor-intensive. Looking back, Mr. Tanaka recalls, “With complex pictures, it could take several hours to create the embroidery data for a single pair of socks. And whenever it was hard to understand the design details or the positioning of the embroidery, we had to reconfirm with the staff at the store. We spent a lot of time just in that whole back-and-forth while creating the embroidery data.” 

Based on that experience, the company decided to consider bringing in embroidery machines linked to an online system. Was it possible to fundamentally review previous methods and create such a flexible and responsive custom embroidery system? It was while thinking this over and gathering information that they learned about Tajima’s DG.NET embroidery solution. 

The point that Mr. Tanaka and his team found particularly appealing was that there was no need to create new embroidery data for each job. After the text is entered and the colors and fonts selected, it’s all converted to embroidery data there on the spot and transmitted to Birthplace. At Birthplace, the embroidery is carried out according to that data, which reduces errors in creating data and increases productivity. This has heightened expectations that issues arising thus far will be resolved. 

Changes brought about after the introduction of DG.NET 

“Everyone in the company saw the potential of DG.NET, and the feeling was that we should make this a company challenge. It took about six months to get the system up and running. Implementation was smooth, and we got it done in a short period of time,” said Mr. Tanaka. DG.NET began operating on November 11, 2022, which was designated by the Japan Socks Association as “Socks Day.” 

They stopped making custom embroidery designs for each customer order, but since this gave the impression of poorer service, they decided to centralize everything with DG.NET. In addition to Hangul, initials, and other kinds of lettering and character embroidery, they offer a wide variety of other kinds of embroidery, including embroidering designs and collaborating on illustrations with other brands.  

When ordering online, the customer selects the colors for the embroidery, the text font, and the sock style. The details are sent to Birthplace, and an order form is issued. After the order details are checked against the sock style, the generated barcode is read into the system, the data is loaded into the embroidery machine, and the embroidery is completed in accordance with the order. DG.NET not only saves them the trouble of creating data, the reduction in human error has also cut product losses. Before introducing DG.NET, they processed about 500 pairs of custom embroidered socks per month, but orders later increased to about 3,000 pairs per month.  

Mr. Tanaka expresses his hopes for the future, saying, “Customers seem to enjoy the ability to choose their own colors and express any message they like on the socks. For instance, when a family member has a birthday, they can embroider a special message and give the socks as a present. I want more people to experience that joy.” 

Hoping for people to become familiar with socks made in Japan. 

The effect of adopting DG.NET is way beyond what they expected, as awareness of Tabio has spread through social media. It is often used for “Oshikatsu”—fans’ display of support for their favorite artists or characters—and orders can increase tremendously after a single post. Says Mr. Tanaka, “One day, we had an increase in orders for embroidery of a three-digit number. It was a number represented a certain character. I think someone saw the post on social media and thought, “Hey, I’ll do that, too,” and all of the suddenly it became a hot topic. One of the benefits of DG.NET is that it allows us to respond immediately to that kind of demand.” New ways to enjoy embroidery are continuously being created based on customers’ ideas and aesthetics. 

Mr. Tanaka hopes that these custom embroidery services will “get people feeling more familiar with Japanese-made socks. The background issue is the current state of the sock industry, which has seen many manufacturing sites moved overseas. Tabio will continue to manufacture high-quality socks in Japan, just as they have up to now. Revitalization of the market has become even more important in keeping these efforts alive. Expectations are rising for custom embroidery services as a way to provide the experience of high quality and complete service. 

Says Mr. Tanaka, “Our Customer Service Center is getting many happy comments from customers. We will continue using our embroidery services to support the feelings of people who want to take care of what they love and people who want to make those they love happy.” 

Thanks to DG.NET, customer satisfaction is steadily increasing. That feeling of fulfillment comes through in Mr. Tanaka’s comments. 

Tabio Co., Ltd. | Creating new value through embroidery. Producing one-of-a-kind socks, unique in all the world. 

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