Magnum USA, a division of Hi-Tec Sports USA has acquired Falcon Shoe Manufacturing Co. and its historic Lewiston, Maine footwear factory. The move all but secures the future of the factorys current labor force, and has already resulted in the addition of two positions. Updating and revitalization of the factory will begin promptly. Magnum intends to implement the “Just-in-Time” inventory management, improving quality and productivity. Additionally, Falcon is one of three footwear factories in the United States with ISO 9000 approval, a worldwide quality management standard.
“This is the best way for us to control our own destiny,” said Hi-Tec president and CEO Paul Brooks in a conversation with The B.O.S.S. Report. “The factory wasnt in a position to handle our increased demand. The opportunity presented itself and we had the need.”
Magnum has been specifically targeting sales to the U.S. Government, the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, for quite some time now. In February 2004, the company was approved by the USPS as an official footwear vendor. The military is also a big opportunity for the brand, along with a focus on first-responders.
Brooks told BOSS that the factory has two lines in operation now, but he expects to double the capacity in the next 18 months. “The space and the equipment is already there,” he said. “Its simply a matter of adding personnel as we ramp up over the next few months for Magnum.” He described the acquisition and the opportunity it presented for local workers as “a ray of sunshine” for the community.
Magnum currently produces about 10% of its boots in the U.S., a number that Brooks sees getting as high as 50% depending on the programs it secures with the U.S. government.
The factory currently produces footwear for private label programs as well as other brands. Brooks said he saw no reason they would cease that production. He did they will also use the plant for some high-end Magnum product and some high-end Golf product, but saw no immediate need to use the factory for H-Tec boots, a prospect he didnt completely dismiss for down the road.