India has been an integral part of the international textile and clothing industry throughout history. India’s textile & apparel exports stood at US$ 40 billion in 2017 and are expected to reach US$ 90 billion by 2025. The growing market presents huge opportunities for investing in apparel manufacturing. One of the most gorgeous reasons for investing in garment manufacturing is that it is less capital intensive with high asset to turnover ratio.
Nevertheless, investing in apparel manufacturing business alone does not guarantee success. With growing international competition, it is significant that the apparel factory is both compliant and competitive. Organic & More, an initiative by Vickram Kumar offers organic cotton garments and accessories all across the globe. As per Organic & More, some of the key factors that are very important for success of any garment manufacturing business are as follows:
Buyer’s demand for higher value at lower price is driving the need for maintaining best productivity levels. Productivity in apparel manufacturing is a meaning of 4 M; Manpower (trained staff at all levels), Machinery (technology level of industrial sewing machines), Material (availability at right time and quality) and Methods (standard systems and processes). For instance, a high-tech factory alone cannot promise higher productivity and needs trained manpower to operate those machineries.
In present times, operating at best productivity level is no more optional and has become expected to succeed and takes a toll on profitability, if not maintained. As per Organic & More, an improvement of 20 – 25% in productivity can result in 5-10% improvement, even next paying higher wages to workers in form of production incentives. Also, at a country level, the presence of effective garment manufacturing set-ups upsurges its overall attractiveness in the international market, attractive larger orders and ornamental wage-earning chances for the workforce.
Compliance refers to meeting legal obligations, for protection the health, safety, and welfare of workers in an organization. Buyers internationally are focusing on sourcing from compliant apparel factories with buyers such as H&M & ZARA etc. insisting on traceability to ensure that the goods are ethically manufactured. The Government of India has also introduced multiple compliance norms such as labour compliance, social compliance, environmental compliance etc. Henceforth, conforming to the recognized standards of manufacture has become one of the key success factors for any apparel manufacturing business that aims to cater to worldwide buyers.
While compliance has become very significant, it might be confusing for a new investor given varied necessities by worldwide brands. In such cases, an apparel manufacturing consultant can help investors build a compliant garment factory suiting the different necessities right at the time of factory planning, thus incorporating the essentials of these systems in a clothing business plan.
Factory layout refers to the physical preparation of the industrial facilities such as machines including manufacturing sewing machines, storage systems, supporting fixed resources, etc. A real layout must not only signify optimal physical preparation for space-saving but should also be well designed for reducing material movement, labour movement, etc. The development of an effectual plant layout results in smooth work flow across the manufacture process, improved manufacture efficiency and ensures 12-15% space-saving.
A well-organized layout also incorporates the varied compliance requirements such as Safety, Health and Environment norms and is a visually attractive factory. Therefore, preparing a well-organized factory layout is critical and as such the know-how of a clothing industry consultant always proves to be helpful. At Organic & More, our clothing factory experts undertake a scientific approach to design factory layouts that are complaint and productive at the same time.
In this developing world, technology has become an important part of running any business. It is vital that clothing manufacturing firms introduce timely technical progressions in order to ensure product quality and supportable growth. In most of the cases, an automated machine reduces manual interference thus resulting in direct cost savings because of decrease in labour cost. In addition to reduction in manual labour, some additional benefits of automation include better quality, energy-saving, reduced failure and inventory control.
Normally, technology is frequently associated with high-tech machineries with robotic systems. Nevertheless, in clothing manufacturing, even simple use of folders and guides can help in automation to some extent. Also, technology is not just limited to industrial sewing machines nonetheless also entails application of software, which find requests in real-time data analysis, visual fits, transparency in supply chain, etc. Nevertheless, technology acceptance may not be the same for all clothing manufacturing set-ups. A highly automated machine might not prove to be beneficial for all product categories and set-ups and henceforth, level and type of mechanization should be chosen very wisely. It has a direct influence on capital asset as well as operating expenses and must be evaluated in detail.
Training & HR
Training & HR are vital for any labor-intensive industry and garment manufacturing is no exclusion. It is almost unbearable to produce a quality product without a trained workforce. Understanding the importance of training & HR, the Indian garment manufacturing usually has been employing standard methods of training, which includes four weeks of basic training for unskilled people. The basic aim of such training program is to communicate technical skills required for production. Research suggests that soft skills are similarly important for ensuring high performance, nevertheless, little stress has been paid towards soft skills, which contains motivation, health & hygiene, group behavior, self-management, time and team administration etc.
Given the criticality of training, modules such as High-Performance Training envisions skilling, wherein 85% of the labour is multi-skilled and most of them can be made certified trainers as well. Given the criticality of influence of workforce in the clothing industry, skill growth with special importance on High-Performance Training becomes an main factor for success.
With emerging garment manufacturing India is facing a stiff competition to maintain its international standing. In such challenging conditions, developing long term partnerships with buyers is the best way to withstand and grow the business. Seeing the development of apparel consumption internationally and in India, investments in such tie-ups will absolutely reap benefits in the long-term.
These long term partnerships equally benefit both manufacturers and buyers. While helping the brands with a reliable destination to source from, it helps manufacturers increase their success by consolidation their brand value, ensuring flow of orders and decreasing the risk of any stalled inventory.
Information Technology Tools
Nowadays, information technology has become an essential part of garment industry. The data collected on a shop floor can be fully utilized only if it is analyzed correctly to arrive upon strategy-defining results. Modern software provide manufacturers with the capability to monitor and control almost all the features of their business from anywhere in the world. These software establish a single user interface with a central database for the proper flow of information among many departments of the apparel factory. It helps planning and co-ordination between different functional areas within a manufacturing unit and maximizes the value understanding by assimilating supply chain operations within & outside the clothing factory. This also helps in identifying and controlling the root causes of delays while if strategic insights to solve the recognized issues.
Also, with dropping lead times, a manufacturer cannot afford to spend much time in conclusion the problems and this is where software helps. For instance, real time data of a sewing line speedily alerts the production manager to take helpful actions in case of reducing output. Henceforth, software not only store the data for calculating outputs at the end of day, but give real time analysis to monitor it incessantly and that makes software an significant factor for success. Nevertheless, given the wide variety of software solutions offered by several companies, it is actual important to carefully match the needs of the organization versus the contributions by the software.
Merchandise development is the lifeline for adding new buyers as well as retaining the existing ones. With product plan being an energetic part of the overall business plan, it is vital for garment manufacturers to familiarize to global requirements. Product development not only includes adapting to changing merchandise design and requirements but also adhering to the short merchandise development cycle. Modern novelties such as digital product development process using virtual technologies, provides the chance for companies to shrink the product development cycle time from months to days.
Likewise, with the concept of long-term partnerships, buyers choose to source multiple products from a single manufacturer who can cater to dissimilar products. Such a partnership ensures a reliable supply to brands as well as ensures success for manufacturers by consistent flow of orders. Henceforth, product development is not just one key success factor rather is inevitable to survive in this international competition.
As per Organic & More, these 8 key factors are very essential for any garment manufacturer and can guarantee success to a great extent.