Operations Case Winning Solution SIOM


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Garment making process (at BGEL - hypothetical) is a 5 stage process as shown in figure 1. Each stage consists of set of
tasks which require different skill set and machines to carry out the operation effectively. Quality check
is currently done at the end of production phase, any produce which could not meet specification or
quality standard has to completely go through a rework.

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Operations Case Winning Solution SIOM

  1. 1. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel Fixing the Achilles Heel Team- ActiveY NITIE, Mumbai Shanu Singh, shanuchaudhery@gmail.com, 9702018520 Vijay Grover, vijaygr@gmail.com, 9702018460
  2. 2. SIOM Fixing the Achilles HeelCASE: BANGALORE GARMENT EXPORTS LIMITEDGarment making process at BGEL is a 5 stage process as shown in figure 1. Each stage consists of set oftasks which require different skill set and machines to carry out the operation effectively. Quality checkis currently done at the end of production phase, any produce which could not meet specification orquality standard has to completely go through a rework. Cutting Stitching Machine Machine Stage2 Stage4 •Laying •Making Slacks •Packaging •Cutting •Body Stitching •Attaching •Quality Check Collar to Shirt •Rejection/Acce ptance Stage1 Stage3 Stage5 Stitching Manual Machine Quality Check Figure1: Process flow model at BGELPareto AnalysisInorder to a take focused approach; we have followed Pareto analysis methodology. Here we have triedto find out those problems which results in majority of defects or capacity reduction. This is done withthe help of 2 layered analyses such that each analysis reinforces the finding of other.Analysis 1Reasons for high defect rate as well as for not meeting the production capacity are categorized as shownin table 1.
  3. 3. SIOM Fixing the Achilles HeelCategory Name Description OccurrenceMachine • Malfunctioning 3+1 • StoppageInformation Communication • Defective and improper instructions given to 1+1 workers, Missing instructions • Schedule not communicatedWorker Skill • Mismatch 1+1+1 • Shortage • ReassignmentMaterial • Shortage 1Absenteeism • Work reassignment to handle 1+1 • High absenteeismSpecification • Wrong specification used 1+2+1 • Specifications not met • Specification changes not properly communicatedCoordination • Coordination problem among production 2+1 sections • Coordination delayCarelessness • Wrong assembly of pieces 1 Table1: Problem categorizationDistribution of problems which cropped up in the span of 10 days is done to find out the weightage foreach of the problem category and hence helping us in setting our priority for tackling those problems. Occurance in Last 10 days Specification 15% 20% Machinery Information Communication 10% carelessness 5% Worker Skill 20% Material 15% Absenteeism 5% 10% Coordination Figure2: Problem category distribution
  4. 4. SIOM Fixing the Achilles HeelClearly as shown in figure 2, specification, machine, worker skill and coordination are the major set ofproblem categories since these contributes to around 70% of the problems encountered in study period(ten days).Analysis 2On the preliminary analysis of the data given in case, we have identified two key performanceparameters: • Effective production which could be delivered to client (maximization) • Capacity wasted away (CWA) (minimization), which is calculated as: CWA = (Daily Production Capacity – (Effective Production)) where Effective Production = (Daily Production – Daily Rejects)Day Production Rejects Effective Capacity Wasted Production Away (CWA)1 5957 298 5659 8412 6043 423 5620 8803 5450 600 4850 16504 5878 353 5525 9755 6012 541 5471 10296 6123 490 5633 8677 5878 764 5114 13868 5367 590 4777 17239 5590 839 4751 174910 5670 510 5160 1340 Table2: Quantitative analysis for key parametersFrom the analysis given in table 2, it’s clear that CWA is highest on day 3, 8 and 9. Therefore we need tofocus more on the issues cropped up on these days, these are as follows (table3):Day CWA Issues3 1650 Schedule and specification changes not properly Communicated Skill shortage
  5. 5. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel8 1723 Coordination delay Rework due to wrong assembly of pieces.9 1749 Wrong specification used Malfunctioning of machines Missing instructions Table3: Major issues seen in period of 10 daysAgain we have found similar set of factors as found in analysis 1. Therefore while designing thestrategies we need to focus on these factors on priority.
  6. 6. SIOM Fixing the Achilles HeelQUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION (Answered on basis of factor priority found in above analysis)1. In spite of undertaking number of quality improvement measures, why do you think BGEL failed?In a complex, worker intensive environment at BGEL, a small loophole in process or system can lead tobig quality failure. The cause-effect relationships for the problems identified in Pareto analysis areshown in figure 3 with the help of fishbone diagram. Figure3: Fishbone diagram for cause-effect relationshipInspite of taking many quality control measures, BGEL failed mainly because of lack of thoughtful andscientific implementation of these measures. Reasons for such failures can be broadly categorized undergarment specification, workforce availability & skillset, coordination challenge, machine operations andquality check.(I) Quality CheckTwo things identified that the company does not have are: • In-line quality check mechanism
  7. 7. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel • Formal testing and inspection plan (TIP)As a result, company has to largely rely on end-of-line quality control checks. In trying to control quality,100% of product had to be checked at the end of the lines, by quality control personnel prior to packingfor shipment. The lack of in-line checking resulted in an abnormally high end of line defect rate andmany completed products had to be reworked completely, or rejected due to the late detection of thefaults. This results in low productivity as well.(II) Garment Specifications• Specification sheets, which are meant to improve the communication between design and production teams and to clarify product requirements to the workers (so that costly errors could be prevented), are not able to serve their purpose.• Currently there are no training program for workers (short internal training or instruction session on using and understanding specification sheet)• Inability of workers to understand specification in some of the cases. This could be because: § Lack of training for newly hired worker § Usage of non-standard format for specification definition.(III) Workforce Availability & Skillset• Absenteeism has been seen as one of the regular issue. It might be because of any of the following reason o Ineffective or tiring working position o Unhygienic working conditions o Undefined leave policy• Skill required for operation needs be developed by proper training. Improper or lack of training lead to: o Reduction in production speed o Damage to machines o Delay in communication o High chances or miss-communication or miss-coordination
  8. 8. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel(IV) Coordination Challenge• Management-Production: Changes in schedules are not getting communicated from management to production level.• Technical Design Team-Production Supervisor-worker: Changes done in specification by technical team are not getting transferred to workers involved in the production.• Production-quality: Quality standards required by QC team is not shared with production team, workers do not know/understand what quality is expected from them.(V) Machines Operations and Maintenance• Currently there is no proper provision for production level worker training; it leads to mishandling of machines especially by newly hired workers or reassigned workers.• Scheduled maintenance plan at regular interval is missing.• No provision for performance related incentives for maintenance workers.(VI) Material UnavailabilityBGEL has seen an instance of material shortage in span of last ten days. Such stoppage leads to defectsand low quality production especially in case of sewing, stitches.
  9. 9. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel2. If you are a Quality manager at BGEL, what immediate measures you will undertake to control theproblem?Measures to be taken are based on the priority and the timeframe required by the different problemcategories found in the analysis. Under immediate measure we will take up those activities which havehigher priority and require relatively smaller time frame for implementation.(I) Workforce Availability & SkillsetAbsenteeism has been seen as one of the regular issue. No relevant action is taken to control it. Rootcause analysis for the same needs to be done since it might be because of any of the following reason• Ineffective or tiring working position – Work method study and motion study needs to done to improve it• Unhygienic working condition, if there, should be cleaned immediately.• Undefined leave policy – BGEL needs to define the strict leave policy with a proper worker back up planSkill required for operation needs be developed by proper multi-aspect training:• Knowledge about information flow between different interfaces like QC, maintenance department, machine repairing workshop and raw material supply department• Knowledge about production flow for items• Knowledge about specification understanding• Basic operation knowledge• Machine operation knowledge(II) Quality CheckBGEL should go for implementation of formal testing and inspection plan (TIP), it can be implemented inmulti-layered approach so that defects could be found early, thus reducing the amount of rework andensuring quality end product. Four layers can be as follows:
  10. 10. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel• Pre-Production Inspection: This is done before production starts. It is done to crosscheck for final verification of Bulk fabric and trims materials, styling cutting way, manufacturing details and workmanship of the garment or pre-production sample as per the customer requirement.• 1st inline production inspection: This inspection is done at the start of production when first production output of particular style of garments is inspected; to distinguish possible discrepancies or variation and to do necessary corrections in production process or specification. This type of inspection is done at preliminary stage of manufacturing of a style covering mainly style detail, general appearance, workmanship, measurements, fabric quality, Trims and components, Lot color, printing, embellishments and washing quality.• 2nd line Production Inspection: This inspection is done during production to ensure initial discrepancies have been corrected and rectified. This inspection is a follow-up of the 1st inline production inspection and is generally carried out after 1st line inspection when discrepancies have been detected at that time.• Final Random Inspection: This inspection is carried out when the production of the total quantity of an order or partial delivery is completed. A sample lot will be selected from the order and a percentage of the garments will be inspected, this percentage usually being calculated on the basis of AQL (Acceptable Quality level) sampling inspection system as specified by the buyer. Pre-Production 1st line Production 2nd line Production Final Random Inspection Inspection Inspection Inspection Figure4: Multi-level quality check model
  11. 11. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel(III) Machine Operations and Maintenance• Provision for production level worker training, it will reduce: o Reduce mishandling of machines o Reduce machine setup time o Reduce overall machine breakdown time.• Provision for extra backup machines, these machines can be bought on the basis of machine breakdown data collected during previous years. It will help in meeting the production level in those cases where machine is going through a serious damage and high repair time.• Maintenance/Repair supervisors should be trained properly because all quality check for repaired/maintained machines needs to be done by them. Strict checklist for the quality check for repaired/maintained should be in place.• Proper plan to carry out machine Scheduled maintenance at regular interval is required. This can be done by preparing and displaying machine-maintenance chart in the work area so that responsible worker and QC personnel could keep regular check.• Incentives for maintenance workers. It is important to keep them motivated to meet the production capacity of the machines. Incentive plan for the maintenance workers should be linked to factor like (run time/breakdown time), such that more the breakdown, lesser the incentive.(IV) Garment SpecificationsSpecification is the critical thread which connects technical design team, production team and thequality control (QC) team. Therefore following steps need to be taken in sequential order (Figure5)• Since all three parties are stake holders, representatives from all of them should be involved in final stage of specification designing so that production and quality representative have complete knowledge of final product to be produced, this can be done by technical design team giving demo of sample product to other two teams.• Production representatives/supervisors should give a small description of new specification to the production worker; it should be done in small training groups so that workers could easily focus and understand.
  12. 12. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel• Once training is done, copies of specification should be made available to all the workers (production & inspection line) so that they could understand and refer it whenever required.• The technical design department and the quality control department must be involved in implementation of specification sheet at the production level. This step should be implemented in coordination with 1 st line inspection plan of the QC team. Once all the adjustments are done in production setup and written specification (corrected), production team can take over the control. Specification Designing Technical Design Team Production Supervisor Quality Supervisor Specificaton Description Production Supervisor Production Workers Specification Distribution Workers/Machines Visible Central Board Specification implementation (1st line inspection plan) Workers QC personnel Design department Modification and Testing Updation in specification Updation in worker understanding Figure 5: Multi-level specification development, implementation and refinement model(V) CoordinationCoordination has to be managed specially between different interfaces or departments. In BGEL,coordination or communication issues which cropped between different departments can be managedas follows:• Schedule Sharing (Management-Production)
  13. 13. SIOM Fixing the Achilles HeelSchedule should be displayed in graphical format (Gantt chart) on the white boards across theproduction and planning unit. Any changes done in schedule should be reflected in all the charts with aseparate color along with a descriptor note so that it could be easily detected by supervisors andworkers• Communication of changes done in specification (Technical Design Team-Production worker) All the changes done by technical design team should be communicated to supervisors in a written form with changes marked clearly. Supervisor then can call short, group meetings to discuss the changes followed by distribution of new specifications with the marked changes.• Knowledge about quality standards (Production-QC) Critical quality parameters should be explicitly shared with the supervisors. These parameters should also be made part of specification document so that everybody knows in advance.
  14. 14. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel3. What would be your long term policy/plan to completely eradicate the quality problems?Lower priority and time intensive activities will be taken up under the long term strategy; these willmainly include material availability, machine replacement or upgradation and development ofknowledge sharing culture.(I) Material AvailabilityRaw material supply for strategic items such as cloth, button, threads etc is not ensured in current setupsince one such instance of shortage happened in period of 10 days. Successful supply chain performanceis based on a high level of trust and robust partnership strategies. Figure 6: Model for vendor selection for supply of raw materialsStrategic Partnership aims for synergy among partners based on trust with a belief that benefits fromalliance would be more productive than an individual unit. It provides:• Reduced conflict between partners.
  15. 15. SIOM Fixing the Achilles Heel• On-time delivery• Greater consistency in parts, supplies and semi-assembled products, if any• Effective information sharing among partners resulting in better knowledge for accurate forecasts(II) Machine Replacement/UpgradationOlder machines should be timely upgraded or replaced. This activity should be done in phased mannersince it involves high purchase and setup cost (loss in production due to wastage of time). This activityshall help in reducing defect and the breakdown time since new machines have low breakdown time.(III) Knowledge Sharing CultureLack of knowledge leads to re-occurrence of similar issues in different parts of organization thereforeimportant information must be shared within and among different departments – technical, productionand quality control.• Line supervisors should share experiences with each other and the technical department.• Any recurring errors should be analyzed by the respective supervisors and distributed to the other lines and departments immediately, once a problem (and its solution) is identified.• The technical department should provide much more detailed measurements and descriptions of the production processes, highlighting any points that are critical to quality, for line supervisors and workers