Catbird NYC designs and manufactures its own line of demi-fine jewelry in Brooklyn, NY.
As is the case for many NYC manufacturers, Catbird NYC operates in a limited production space. As sales increased, they needed to find ways to increase productivity without expanding their footprint.
In addition, growing demand restricted their ability to train new staff, as their experienced jewelers were already overloaded and could not absorb the productivity decrease associated with training. Separately, they were also limited in their ability to create affordable, high-polish, small pieces due to the high labor cost of creating such pieces by hand. Their technology and production processes needed automation.
Catbird applied for a Futureworks NYC Ops21 grant, partially funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. With this grant, they were able to implement mass finishing and automated technology to their production process.
This technology enabled them to provide a cost-effective, high quality, high polish on small pieces in an automated fashion. The mass finishing equipment decreased total production time and reduced the time an item spent on jeweler’s benches, which freed up their experienced jewelers to do other value-add activities.
Thanks to the new mass finishing technology, Catbird was able to introduce a new product line which generated roughly $10,000 in first month of operation. They also enjoyed a $70,000 increase in monthly sales tied to relaunch of existing products. Order fulfillment time on associated products decreased by weeks, allowing for further differentiation in Catbird’s market.
The use of the mass finishing technology resulted in more efficient use of Catbird’s studio, saving roughly 192 square feet of production space. Automation also resulted in a 34% reduction in production hours per month on styles produced using mass finishing. Overall, there was a 5% reduction in jeweler labor costs per month during initial launch.
Ops21 is a multi-faceted program designed to help NYC manufacturers learn about and adopt advanced technologies, specifically advanced materials, robotics, and digital manufacturing. It is part of the greater Futureworks NYC initiative, which aims to help manufacturers embrace advanced technologies and increase local production.
Ops21 Grant funds are generously provided via the Futureworks NYC Ops21 program, which is funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and led by the New York City Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC).
ITAC can help you locate, apply for and receive funding for a variety of projects. Contact us today to learn how you can qualify!