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How to increase productivity in textile manufacturing companies

The biggest challenge that companies face today is not marketing their products but how to get value for the money invested in infrastructure and workforce in terms of productivity.

increasing productivity textile manufacturing

This is of special concern to textile manufacturing units where skilled workforce and state-of-the-art machines exist side by side and play a symbiotic role in the production.

This article is written for the medium sized textile units which may not be able to invest in a permanent process improvement consultant or even employ one on an as-needed basis. Here are some time-tested management techniques that could be of help to them.

  1. Study the ‘As is’ situation

The first step in any process improvement is to study the current situation. If you are a small textile unit owner, walk the floor from end to end taking note of each step of the process, time taken to perform that step, how many people and machines are involved in each step and their roles.

  1. Determine internal/external factors that influence the production process

Determine the factors acting upon each step. If there is inadequate staffing due to leaves that is an external factor. Adequate cutting machines and sewing machines would be an internal factor. Both play a part in process improvement. This study based on your first step would identify your bottlenecks.

  1. Identify areas to improve

Once you have the numbers on board, more facts will become evident. Some part of the process would be overstaffed and some understaffed. Take note of these and figure out a way to realign staffing. You might need a couple more sewing machines for example, make a note of all these.

  1. Implement changes

Once you have gained an idea of the overall picture. Take time to plan and implement the changes you have identified. It is best to explain the changes to the workforce at least at the macro level to create buy-in.

  1. Observe

The improvement areas have been identified, planning is done and changes implemented what now? Now you wait and observe. What looked good in theory may not always translate into practice. Skillset, what now? Now you wait and observe. What looked good in theory may not always translate into practice. Skillset mismatches can occur. So now is the time to observe and take notes and correct.

  1. Document improvement

You now have visible evidence of improvement. Pat yourself in the back but there are a couple more steps before you can rest. The next step is to document the improvement so it is not a mere feeling that is intangible but a well-documented story replete with numbers.

  1. Storyboard for future use

Write a storyboard starting with the issue and the steps you took to correct the issue. All the above steps and their results. This will move the whole process away from being person dependent and anyone can read the story and numbers and reconstruct the case or more importantly repeat the success.

The above steps can be measured and quantified; this is an essential part of success. The next few points will address the intangible factors, which are as important and more difficult to identify and improve.

A. Balance between work and life

Allow your workforce to have a healthy work-life balance. This keeps them happy and a happy employee is more productive than an unhappy one.

B. Employee empowerment

This is a much bandied about the word in management circles but little is done to practically implement the policy. Simply put, an employee is more productive when he or she feels ownership of a process. This can be achieved with education on the importance of what she/he is handling and its role in the overall production line and allowing their creativity to find solutions to issues.

C. Incentivize Innovation and performance

Keep an eye on that one employee who does things differently and more efficiently. He/She is the benchmark that others should aspire for and the best way to keep that performer is to incentivize him/her, either financially or through rewards and recognition.

These are some of the steps that can improve the production process and in turn bring about better productivity. Perhaps we can delve into the details in another article.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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