The road ahead is quite challenging. Good things do not come cheap. With higher compliance related expenditures, the cost of doing business goes up in the apparel sector. This gives stiff price competition to the entrepreneurs.
In such a situation some may opt for reduced production capacity to make up for additional expenditures on compliance requirements. But as the industry aims for apparel exports of USD 50 billion by 2021, production capacity has to increase further and faster.
Indeed, sustainable growth of the industry is a shared responsibility of all parties including manufacturers, buyers, workers, government, civil society, and media. Entrepreneurs should continue to maintain higher compliance in a sustainable manner.
However, the issue of technology and its impact on employment has to be thought of seriously. Ethical buying and a fair price are not under the purview of profit-making brands. If that was so then some other competing countries would have been dropped from their sourcing list.
Apparel sector investing so much for safety and technological up-gradation, and government also increased labor wages. In the short run, an increase in labor costs does lead to higher production costs.
RMG manufacturers have to meet the increased cost of production through higher productivity and moving to high-value products and high-end markets. Higher productivity will require state of the art technology and skill development. Hardworking Bangladeshi workers are ready to put extra labor to learn technical skills.
However, the issue of technology and its impact on employment has to be thought of seriously. Ethical buying and a fair price are not under the purview of profit-making brands. If that was so then some other competing countries would have been dropped from their sourcing list. Some companies are seeking to reduce costs further by sourcing from low-cost countries. Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan regions are under their consideration.
For better surviving, in this sector, the apparel manufacturers have to think in a different way.
The mentioned five points are the backbone of this sector for surviving and Keep the position in the global market.
Here will discuss Manpower utilization in this sector, others four points will discuss next article gradually. From experience, some apparel industry is using Man-Machine Ratio (MMR) more than standard MMR. Standard MMR is 1:1.9, which is considering now as a benchmark.
There is Breakdown of Standard MMR- Management- 15%, Cutting-10% (Fully automated), Sewing-125%, Finishing-20% and Quality-20% all are against running sewing machines of the specific factory.
After visiting some apparel industry I found more than Standard MMR and they are not also close to Standard MMR, figures are 1:3.5, 1:3.23, and 1:2.92, etc. like this. Can you think how much cost is involved with Excess Manpower? It’s a drastic money wastage. The above four points are part of Industrial Engineering tasks except 5 no point.
So if Apparel manufacturers can think and run this department properly and practice the above five points surely this sector will survive and will the best apparel supplier in the global market.