Key Factors Nov2019

9 Key Success Factors for a Garment Factory (Part 2)

In continuation to the previous article: ‘Key Success Factors for a Garment Factory’ , Wastra is now sharing five more factors that are important to establish an efficient garment factory.

5. Training & HR

Training & HR are crucial for any labour-intensive industry and garment manufacturing is no exception. It is almost impossible to produce a quality product without a trained workforce. Understanding the importance of training & HR, the Indian garment industry conventionally has been employing standard methods of training, which involves four weeks of basic training for unskilled people. The basic aim of such training program is to impart technical skills required for production. Research suggests that soft skills are equally important for ensuring high performance, however, little emphasis has been paid towards soft skills, which includes motivation, health & hygiene, group behaviour, self-management, time and team management, etc.

Given the criticality of training, modules such as High-Performance Training envisions skilling, wherein 80% of the labour is multi-skilled and most of them can be made certified trainers as well. Given the criticality of contribution of workforce in the garment industry, skill development with special emphasis on High-Performance Training becomes an important factor for success.

6. Buyers’ tie-ups

With emerging garment manufacturing countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, India is facing a stiff competition to maintain its global standing. In such challenging situations, developing long term partnerships with buyers is the best way to sustain and grow the business. Considering the growth of apparel consumption globally and in India, investments in such tie-ups will definitely reap benefits in the long-term.

These long term partnerships mutually benefit both manufacturers and buyers. While benefitting the brands with a reliable destination to source from, it helps manufacturers increase their profitability by strengthening their brand value, ensuring flow of orders and decreasing the risk of any stalled inventory.

7. Information Technology Tools

Today, information technology has become an integral part of apparel industry. The data collected on a shop floor can be fully utilized only if it is analysed properly to arrive upon strategy-defining results. Modern software provide manufacturers with the ability to monitor and control almost all the aspects of their business from anywhere in the world. These software establish a single user interface with a centralized database for the proper flow of information among various departments of the garment factory. It facilitates planning and co-ordination between different functional areas within a manufacturing unit and maximizes the value realization by integrating supply chain operations within & outside the garment factory. This also helps in identifying and controlling the root causes of delays while providing strategic insights to solve the identified issues.

Also, with reducing lead times, a manufacturer cannot afford to spend much time in finding the problems and this is where software helps. For example, real time data of a sewing line quickly alerts the production manager to take corrective actions in case of reducing output. Hence, software not only store the data for calculating outputs at the end of day, but give real time analysis to monitor it continuously and that makes software an important factor for success. However, given the wide variety of software solutions offered by several companies, it is very important to cautiously match the needs of the organization versus the offerings by the software.

8. Customer Service

Customer centricity is no more just related to service sector, rather it is transforming most of the manufacturing businesses. For garment manufacturers, it is important to not only manufacture the right products at right time, but also cater to the changing requirements and have a service orientation such as customer resolution management, being flexible and adaptive to new designs, having internal quality audits, etc. With changing buyers’ demands such as short product lifecycle, high number of stock-keeping units, it is important that manufacturers form long term partnerships with brands to ensure that the manufacturers are both aligning and upgrading themselves as per buyers’ needs.

9. Product Development

Product development is the lifeline for adding new buyers as well as retaining the existing ones. With product strategy being a vital part of the overall business strategy, it is vital for garment manufacturers to adapt to global requirements. Product development not only includes adapting to changing product design and requirements but also adhering to the short product development cycle. Modern innovations such as digital product development process using virtual technologies, provides the opportunity for companies to shrink the product development cycle time from months to days.

Also, with the concept of long-term partnerships, buyers prefer to source multiple products from a single manufacturer who can cater to different products. Such a partnership ensures a consistent supply to brands as well as ensures profitability for manufacturers by consistent flow of orders. Hence, product development is not just one key success factor rather is inevitable to survive in this global competition.

As per Wastra, these nine key factors are very crucial for any garment manufacturer and can guarantee success to a great extent. Wastra believes in establishing engineered factories that automatically takes care of several success factors mentioned above such as layout, efficiency, training, choosing the right technology and software, etc. We help investors build garment manufacturing units by taking into consideration all the nuts & bolts of an efficient garment manufacturing unit. Given the supportive government policies and India’s strengths as an apparel manufacturer, we strongly believe that the opportunity for apparel manufacturers is beyond question. It is just a matter of manufacturing efficiently with a defined strategy.

This article has been authored by Akshita Mishra, Associate Consultant and Aditya Rajyan, Research Analyst.