Many Clothing manufacturers are undergoing a radical change. On the one hand, manufacturing capacity is moving to countries like Bangladesh even from China, whilst on the other hand, success still depends increasingly on manufacturers’ consistent ability to deliver. The unit labour costs are increasing and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. The success of a company, however, is based not only on low manufacturing cost-the market also values good service. This is the case for the high end sophisticated clothing market which is both a challenge and an opportunity for countries like Bangladesh. In case of the high end products quantity ordered will be less and style will be changed very frequently. For fast reaction whether making up for delayed or faulty supplies, pressure of time and cost, providing small lots or trade fair exhibits required immediately every enterprise is familiar with the resulting organizational and manufacturing problems. Companies with hierarchical organizations find themselves helpless in the face of chaos in their manufacturing division.
The fast and flexible response required, the policy of being able to supply on demand is the strong point of those companies which now can have the market- is often may lost in the process. Manufacturing services should not be judge only in terms of sales-they do also of- fact the whole policy of the company. It is the know how required for the rational manufacturing of new products or the experience acquired with new process that give companies the ability to build up capacities for sophisticated high end garment production. After the enthusiasm for doing regular products of the past years, it is now high time to strengthen Bangladeshi production facilities for high end sophisticated products.
The manufacturing processes designed for batch of workshop production are frequently unable to cope with tasks and goals for the future. Trendsetting manufacturing strategies-as we all know- are based primarily on the productively and flexibility of staff . But it takes more than just the employees’ hands. The use of the latest technology is also a strategic factor for success. Well trained, motivated, skilled workers can easily be integrated into team structures to make production more flexible, faster and cheaper. Everybody is aware of advantages offered by this system-yet many companies fear the management work involved. Executives find it hard to understand how responsibility for organization, planning, control, quality and cost of manufacturing is simply shifted to an independent production team, which in the final analysis, shares or even takes over their authority. Team manufacturing used to be associated primarily with humanitarian efforts made to free staff from the physical burden of repetitive jobs.
Today the necessity for forming self-controlled teams derives above all from the need to respond to change in the manufacturing process as independently and therefore as quickly as possible. Vitality becomes the basic prerequisite for managing the chaos in an optimum way. Ideally all team members are so skilled that they can, theoretically, do any of the jobs involved and so moved and so motivated that they implement the necessary adjustments and innovations without outside help. If the individual enjoys his work, Staff problems such as high turnover and absenteeism vanish automatically. The idea of the “factory in the factory” is by no means new in the clothing industry. In the past it was mainly the repeated operations that had to provide fast, flexible and cheap solutions to manufacturing problems. Why should the basic principle – adapted and fine turned for one’s own production-not work the same way and perhaps even better? Close proximity and direct access to the company’s information and communication network can bring significant advantages. Communication shortcuts are indispensable, not only within the textile production chain but also to the solution of manufacturing problems in those companies with decentralized production sites.
It goes without saying that efficient, self controlled teams make use of the production technology at their disposal today. Only optimized “team technology” combines productivity and flexibility. Sewing in particular requires special motorial skills, as we all know. That is why a reduction in the necessary handing steps and skills is the prerequisite for flexible manufacturing, Experts are required for difficult to learn procures but for a flexible response “generally” are required. In the computer age – why don’t we store the manufacturing know how that was so hard to acquired and just recall it at the press of a button when required as has been done in other sectors of industry for ages? “Expert systems” and “intelligent machines” never forget anything and make fewer mistakes than human being.
To improve the quality, quantity and speed of production constantly, the use of flexible manufacturing technology is just as essential as the skilled staff who know how to use it. The creation of this urgently required team technology is a challenge for everybody involved in the sector. Let’s roll up our sleeves – and get on with shaping Bangladesh’s future as a location for the high end sophisticated clothing industry also along with high volume regular product line.