Competence of Raising Efficiency in Garment Industry: How Should It Be Driven

Competence of Raising Efficiency in Garment Industry: How Should It Be Driven

Khurram Bahadur
IE Executive
Remi Holdings Limited


Efficiency is now the driving need of our garment industry to adjust buyer demand. Most of manufacturers often push the operation management to go up to highest level of efficiency. Consequently, the running new manufacturing project rush to race to catch up minimum 65℅ efficiency. Raising efficiency in the garment industry is essential for improving productivity, reducing costs, and remaining competitive in a global market.

Efficiency in garment manufacturing is function of optimization of manpower, reducing wastes of idle time with achievement of highest level of production. There is no loss, if machine sit idle; but there is loss if worker sit idle.

Raising Efficiency in Garment Industry

Most of cases, in an interview of an IE Executive, they are asked about the number of the previous monitoring line and the percentage of efficiency of their line. According to the report of line efficiency, they are judged as good performer.

Not only on responsible IE, but efficiency is the systematic forecast result with proper implementation of whole management.

According to system of forecast result, the managers of apparel firms need to lead the factories to continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement ;which will upgrade the level of efficiency. This improvement is summoned by contribution of all department. Continuous improvement, which means Japanese terms ‘Kaizen‘; adding some small steps can make changes to better.

Example of key changes to continuous improvement:
A survey by Clemson Apparel Research, USA, reveals that the implementation of UPS material handling system increase the percentage of total sewing capacity varies from a low 9% of total capacity to a high of 92%.

One simple change of system can increase efficiency. Whether you change any system, every department should be aware of this implementation. One change can contribute to component of overhead profit margins.

Most of the cases in our garment floor, many times the operator wait for mechanics or technicians to solve machine problem which spoil their time.
Andon system; which can detect the point, where problem arise. This system is originating from Toyota production system, it is used as a tool to ‘stop the line’. When operator will press button for machine problem, floor mechanics or technicians would be noticed to appear in time. Thus many problems and wastes of resources and times have to be reduced which will increase efficiency.

Key approaches to set up efficiency level with workload balancing:
Previous feature, Fashion apocalypse, key challenges currently in fashion industry” mentioned about two key points; one absenteeism of employees and another point was bottleneck of production.

The way of increasing operational efficiency is largely dependent on attendance of employees. When employees will attend on time regularly, then regularity will bounce up the auto flow of performance rate. Thus where rate of production will increase, also efficiency will be grown up. Remembering the bottleneck of operation, it refers to a point where pace of productivity is restricted.

As we know, garments are manufactured goods. After completion of sewing lay out, each step of operation has different cycle times. Along with this variation some operation create bottleneck. To reduce time of inventory in each and every step, operation bulletin is made; which depends on the average of demanded times of different buyers’. The main approach is to increase efficiency level to set up standard time of operation. When new style come to operation line, the learning curve is set to adjust new standard time of operation.

First four days are considered for learning curve according to efficiency level. The change in the setting is done gradually as when the process of standard time and quality is maintained.

After some time of line setting, it will be seen that due to relatively high progress of work of some operators, bundles start piling up to some operators and operators at bottom point of line, will be sat for lack of work. The progress of the work is severely hampered due to lack of this work. The points for which the progress of the entire line is interrupted are identified as bottleneck points.

To identify bottleneck points, IE team have to work following these ways:

  1. Calculate the cycle time of each operation and convert it into minutes to find the basic time based on the operator rating and determine the SMV based on the basic time.
  2. Find the capacity by dividing 60 and transform to minute SMV in each operation to see where the capacity is least. Find those points and identify them as ‘bottleneck points’.

If employees of operation line come regularly, then those bottleneck points can be improved gradually. By one hour production study, every operators will be confirmed with oneself about their skill. The efficiency will be in progress when operators will be set to own process properly. At first, attendance have to be maintained. The workload balancing can be maintained if management can ensure to identify employee skill and track production pace regularly.


  1. Fashion apocalypse, key challenges affecting the fashion industry -Textile Today
  2. Material handling system will increase productivity -Apparel resources

More article from Khurram Bahadur: Manufacturing Excellence: A Roadway for Garment Industry in This Current Situation

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