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can be achieved in apparel factories. Performance Improvement in Apparel Factories Background Region / Cluster Delhi / NCR Ludhiana Bengaluru and Chennai Tirupur Average Indian Factory Benchmark Factory (appx) Source: Technopak Analysis An average apparel factory in India works at an operational efficiency of about 47 per cent, which is far lower than that of a benchmark factory, which operates at an average efficiency of 55-60 per cent. The efficiency for a benchmark factory has been arrived at by averaging operating efficiency of a number of competing countries. Even within India there exists great disparity in the operating efficiencies of garment factories located in various clusters. Exhibit 1 summarises the efficiency levels of major apparel manufacturing clusters in India against a benchmark factory. Particulars No of Machines Man to Machine Ratio Total Available Min./ Day SMV of the Product Output Per Day Average CM Cost in USD CM Earned Per day Input cost @ 90% of CM cost Profit in USD Exhibit : 2 Scenario A 300 2 1,42,128 20 7,107 2 14,214 12,793 1,421 Scenario B 300 2 1,69,344 20 8,468 2 16,936 12,793 4,143 Efficiency 36% - 42% 40% - 45% 40% - 45% 42% - 50% 47% 56%
There exists a gap of nine per cent in efficiency levels between an average Indian factory and a benchmark one, which, if bridged, will result in a massive increase in profits. Exhibit 2 compares two factories working at 47 per cent and 56 per cent efficiency respectively. Since operating at higher efficiency levels will not result in higher operating
at all times. How to approach Performance Improvement Now that it has been established that improving efficiencies by a small amount can result in massive gains to the bottom line of an organisation. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are numeric indices that are used for gauging the performance of the organisation towards the defined goals or areas of improvement.costs for the factory. The KPI should be easily measureable and must be quantified so that the team can. Once the training needs have been established. while an unreasonably difficult goal will demotivate the team and they will not be inspired to achieve it. simplified. The goal setting should follow the SMART methodology of goal setting. the profit of the factory can increase to about 300 per cent of the previous levels. Identify areas of improvement and set up achievable goals Identification of the improvement potential needs to be in tune with the overall organisational goal and must be further broken down into smaller goals with measureable outcomes. On the other hand. non value-added activity is one that does not add market form or function. The value-adding activities are desired activities and should be improved to make it more effective. Goal setting should be done with a high degree of caution. Approaching performance improvement Value stream mapping and gap analysis Value stream mapping is a lean tool used to separate value-adding activities from non value-adding activities. Valueadded activity is defined as any activity that increases the market form or function of the product or service. The performance improvement can be broken down into the components below: Identify key members of Performance Improvement Team Having the right set of people working towards the performance improvement goal will define the efficacy of the entire performance improvement drive. and is not necessary. see how well they are faring against the goals they had set out with. These activities should be eliminated. let us see how a factory should approach performance improvement. an easy-to-achieve goal will result in sub-optimal improvement and the team will not put in their best effort. The key to sustainable performance improvement is to form a dedicated team that is working towards the common goal of performance improvement. The process of carrying out improvement is by assessing the gaps in the process. extensive training should be carried out to train the workforce towards delivering better results. reduced or integrated. These are things for which the customer is willing to pay. It is also of utmost importance that the team’s thought process is aligned to the goals of the organisation. Non value-adding activities must be eliminated in order to make the process more effective. Like-minded people working towards a common goal will result in a better outcome than a team that does not get along well. The training should not be viewed as a cost. The non value-adding activities are also defined as lean wastes under the seven-wastes framework. which can be grouped under the following heads: The objective of gap analysis is to identify the training needs of the people and the need for process improvement. rather it should be viewed as an .
Convert (where possible) internal activities into external ones by say. Once the correct culture has been built.investment that will yield results in the longer run. or once the next batch has started. go and get the required thread. During this phase. and separate the internal and external activities. they should be constantly motivated to achieving these goals. in case a gap in the team’s composition is identified. the job-oriented training programs for focussed teams begin. like displaying photographs on notice boards at prominent areas within the factory. it is of utmost importance to align people’s thought processes to the larger organisational goals. In addition. needle and folders for the operation before the previous style is finished. The reduction of style start-up losses can be carried out by following the procedure mentioned below. and this can be achieved by carrying out extensive culture building exercises. Internal activities are those that can only be performed when the process is stopped. Key drivers for process improvement program Training and motivating people Before even starting the performance improvement program. while external activities can be done while the previous style is still being produced. keeping an extra machine ready with all necessary adjustments already made. In order to maintain the requisite efforts of people toward the performance improvement goal. Process improvement There are many tools that are available in the realm of process improvement and one may get lost in the sea of information. Streamline the remaining internal . then appropriate recruitme nt should be carried out. Performance-linked incentives should be awarded to boost the morale of the team. there are many non-monetary incentives that can also be used. observe the current methodology. The process improvement tools that are most relevant for any apparel factory are reduction in style start-up losses and workplace management. For example. the assessment of the available skill-set should also be carried out and.
Also it may lead to people not having the right set of tools. fasteners and so on. Keeping the workplace organised reduces the time lost while finding the tools and equipment. thus resulting in reduced efficacy. Streamline the external activities. as it may lead to an elongated payback period. straighten. that is available for the manufacturers to choose from. that they are always readily available) is that of improved productivity. thus making it unviable. so that they are of a similar scale to the internal ones. Work aid is one low-cost choice that is available to the manufacturer and can yield major gains in productivity. There is a wide range of work aids. Repeat the above to further improve the process. thus improving the productivity. outdated equipment and machinery would mean more downtime. Document the new procedure and actions that are yet to be completed. The technology selection should be done keeping in mind that the so-called state-of-the-art hightech machines might not be the best choice for the job. The method of workplace organisation is called the “5S” methodology --sort. such as puller . The most obvious benefit from items being organised in such a way (i. is the most frustrating form of lost time in any plant. On the other hand. shine. other than folders. standardise and sustain. thus struggling to get the quality output from the process.activities by simplifying them. Production workers being diverted from production to look for tools. gauges. production paperwork.e. Selection of optimum technology Selection of optimum technology is the key to ensure that the people in the organisation have the right set of tools with which to work.
and it becomes the responsibility of the manufacturers to take the large pie of the opportunity by improving current levels of performance in order to remain reliable and competitive. Focusing on selecting the right work aid for the operation can lead to the reduction in cycle times and quality problems. the operator is not viewed as a member of the maintenance team. to name a few. . in TPM. Manufacturers rarely use these other work aids. manual profiles/jigs. as well as operators. the operators are enabled to understand the machinery and identify potential problems. process and technology for the optimisation of the manufacturing process. Conclusion It is imperative that manufacturing entities integrate people. correcting them before they can impact production and thus decreasing downtime and reducing costs of production. the machine operator is trained to carry out many of the day-to-day tasks of simple maintenance and fault-finding. Cross-functional teams are created that include a technical expert (often an engineer or maintenance technician).feeds. machine extensions. elastic metering devices. Keeping the equipment in good running condition is also critical to ensure its effectiveness and this can be achieved by having a detailed preventive maintenance schedule. India has a significant opportunity in both domestic and export markets. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a good tool in reducing machine downtime.. micro-lifters. In most production settings. In this setting. auto-label pickers. etc. which will result in improved performance of the manufacturing facility.