15 Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Production

15 Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Production

Swati Wadekar
Executive IE officer at PratibhaSyntex, Indore
Email: swatiw1110@gmail.com


The world is changing very fast and becoming more and more challenging. Every minute counts, especially in the production sector where time equals money. Productivity is a common focus in production organizations, and authorities stress its improvement for better profit margins, especially in the apparel industry. Product quality and productivity are the two main factors of any production organization that can fix the future of that organization. Better productivity is the result of the overall effort of any organization. It is very necessary to pay close attention to product quality. The international labour organization (ILO) defines productivity as the ratio between “output of work” to “input of resources”. Productivity is directly connected to the use of available resources. If you don’t use work resources well, productivity goes down. But, if you work at add value, and then you have high productivity. By the effective uses of resources you can reduce per unit manufacturing costs and lower per-unit cost means an increase in profit level.

Improve Productivity in Garment Production

15 Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Production:
To improve the productivity in the garment manufacturing industry, various techniques can be used depending on the production system of the organization. Here, I have mentioned 15 ways where you can focus and start working to improve productivity in garment production.

1. Provide skill improvement training:
Operators are the root of the organization. So you need to ensure that each operator has the skills we require. Many experts say “Operator training is an investment”. Production from the operator depends on his level of skills. The low-skilled operator will use the higher resources (time) and provide less output. So you need to provide proper skill improvement training to the low skill operators. Operator training is not expensive. A proper skilled operator will do their job efficiently and as per our requirement. Give training to the operators means more time and more money.

2. Training for supervisors & managers who involved in production line:
Apparel manufacturing sector is becoming more challenging day by day and to do smart work it is very necessary to update skills and knowledge of supervisors and manager who are involved in production. Each supervisor and manager must be trained with fundamental management skills and communication skills. Communication skills should be good of all supervisors and managers so that they can make understand their words to all operators and other persons easily.

Secondly, a supervisor or a manager should understand the fundamental of industrial engineering like operation bulletin, skill matrix, layout, movement of cut panels, capacity study and line balancing etc. If they understand these, they can help engineers to improve line productivity.

3. Hourly monitoring of production:
Production should be hourly monitor by the line supervisor. There can be many reasons for the low production like the operator maybe not skilled, absenteeism of workers, line balancing is not proper, high DHU%, operator not giving target according to their capacity, machine maintenance problem etc. if the production does not meet the target, find the reason behind that and try to solve the problem as soon as possible.

4. Improve line balancing:
The purpose of the line balancing is to reduce unnecessary movement and maximize operator utilization.

While balancing the line some things need to keep in mind like moment of pcs, space utilization, proper sequence of workstations, ergonomics etc. In a balanced line work will flow smoothly and no time will be lost in waiting. At the time of line setting select operators according to the operation. Once the line is set, conduct the capacity study at the regular interval. Use pitch diagram method to find bottlenecks inside the line. You have to think how you will minimize WIP level at bottleneck operations. Even a well managed factory can improve productivity through line balancing.

5. Continuous feeding to the sewing line:
“No feeding or irregular feeding” is one of the top reasons for lower productivity. If the production department does not get regular cuttings for making garments, productivity obviously goes down. It is not the fault of the production department if they did not get cuttings to sew. Ineffective cutting department is the reason for irregular feeding. If cutting will be proper, feeding will not be stop in the line and with the regular feeding productivity will be increase.

6. Reduce lines setting time:
It is often seen that whenever there is a style changeover in the production line, the efficiency of the line falls from the high peak and becomes very low. And then it’s taking at least 4-5 days to reach the peak point. Reason: a lot of time is lost during setting of the line for a new style. So to maintain line productivity level you have to work on minimizing line setting time. To reduce the line setting time, style should be review in advance by line supervisor, Quality checker, I.E., Quality and production incharge, mechanic etc. Required machines should be ready in advance, Operation bulletin and line layout should be ready, with these all things you can reduce the line change over time as well as increase productivity.

7. Using an auto trimmer sewing machine (UBT):
In bulk production, upgraded and automated machines should be used. Just think how many pcs an operator is producing in a day? And every time he is cutting the thread with the trimmer. Think how much time he is wasting only in trimming the thread. It is non value added thing. With the help of UBT machine thread cuts automatically and you can save the time. In result productivity will increase.

8. Remove bottleneck operation:
In garment industry bottleneck means the lowest capacity of one or more operations which result in lowest production. I have mentioned here three steps to remove bottleneck. First, achieve existing norms (based on current cycle time). Suppose current cycle time is 60 sec. and if we take the output of one shift means 480 minutes. So with the calculation in 480 minutes, 480 pcs should be out. So first thing is that are we producing 480 pcs? Means first we have tried to meet our capacity. Second thing is we should eliminate non value added activities of that particular operation and last one is reducing value added activities in the existing cycle time. Means can we speed up the existing process or can we fasten the activity? With this all things we can remove bottleneck from the operation and improve productivity.

9. Choosing best layout for sewing line:
Layout means, arranging the sewing machines and workstations in an assembly to optimize the production process of sewing product and showing the flow of the work from start to end. While making the layout, an industrial engineer should keep some things in mind like utilization of space, smooth pcs movement, process of pickup and dispose of pcs, best utilization of tables and other equipment etc. sewing line layout place a crucial role in productivity. With effective line layout, productivity will automatically increase. The purpose of designing a good workstation layout is to minimize the material handling time as much as possible.

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10. Setting individual operator target:
Assign different goals to each operator based on their skills and capacity instead of giving everyone the same target. By setting achievable targets, operators will be motivated to improve their individual efficiency. Gradually increase the targets using tricks and support operators who are below target by providing skill training. This approach enhances overall performance and ensures operators feel challenged yet supported.

11. Inline checking the quality of work:
Inline checking system will alert operators in more concentrating on their job. Traffic light system is most effective tool in garment manufacturing industry for the garment quality inspection. By the implementation of traffic light system, quality issues in sewing line can be highlight. The purpose of this system is to determine the quality problems within the needlepoint and to give proper solution to stop it from recurring immediately. With this inline quality checking system you can minimize the defects and improve the productivity.

12. Plan for operator’s Incentive scheme:
In British factories, without extra rewards, they can work at 80% efficiency but in Asian factories, without incentives, may struggle to reach 40% efficiency. Employees come to work to earn money in your company. Initially, you may think that an incentive scheme may reduce your profit. But in reality it works in the opposite direction. As operators give extra effort to the work, efficiency as well as productivity of the operator increases.

13. Use work aids, attachments, guides, correct pressure foots and folders:
These are tools that make the operators job easier and faster. With the use of these tools, they can make the work quicker than before. In new or small factories without experienced staff, operators might not know about these tools, so they sew garments without them. Factories using these tools tend to have higher productivity and better stitching quality than those that don’t. Folders and attachments are especially useful for making stitching consistent.

14. Research and development for garment:
During the development of a sample, R&D helps to ensure the utilization of machineries, attachments and work aids for the bulk production stage. You can plan for the skills of that particular operation. In this process non value added or non required process can be eliminate. As a result, production runs without any break.

15. Operator motivation:
At the end of the day everyone is coming to work for money. If workers feel motivated, they’ll work better. Things like the way we work, company rules, and getting rewarded for doing a great job affect how motivated we are. In clothing factories, paying extra money for hard work makes the workers more motivated. If the company shares some of the extra money they make with the workers, it can boost their motivation.

The fast-paced and challenging world places a premium on time, particularly in the production sector where time directly translates to money. Productivity stands as a key focus for organizations, especially in industries like apparel manufacturing, where profit margins hinge on efficiency. The interplay between product quality and productivity shapes the destiny of any production organization. Recognizing the importance of effective resource utilization, the International Labor Organization defines productivity as the ratio of output to input. To enhance productivity in the garment manufacturing industry, a multifaceted approach is crucial. This involves investing in operator skills, training supervisors and managers, monitoring production hourly, optimizing line balancing, ensuring continuous feeding to sewing lines, minimizing line setting time, adopting automated machinery, addressing bottleneck operations, designing efficient layouts, setting individual operator targets, implementing inline quality checks, planning incentive schemes, utilizing work aids, investing in research and development, and ultimately, prioritizing operator motivation through monetary rewards. By embracing these strategies, organizations can navigate the challenges of the evolving landscape and thrive in the competitive production environment.


  1. Shubham Anil Jain (2022), Productivity of Garment Industry: Various Ways to Improve It https://textilelearner.net/productivity-of-garment-industry-various-ways-to-improve-it/
  2. Textile Blog (2023), Productivity Improvement Techniques in Garment Industry https://www.textileblog.com/productivity-improvement-techniques-in-garment-industry/
  3. Nand Kishore Baraik (2022), Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Manufacturing Unit https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/9440/ways-to-improve-productivity-in-garment-manufacturing-unit
  4. Henry Pham, How To Increase Productivity In Textile & Apparel Indusstry?  https://garment.dony.vn/how-to-increase-productivity-in-textile-apparel-indusstry/
  5. Prasanta Sarkar (2012) 20 Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Production https://www.onlineclothingstudy.com/2012/02/20-ways-to-improve-productivity-in.html

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1 thought on “15 Ways to Improve Productivity in Garment Production”

  1. Is all nice and my iam working factory’s have those everything’s and others again nice achieve ment thanks sir iqm get is more for more than those things one more thechnicas if it not have your factorys use it is more help fully your,🤙


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