Work Study in Garment Sector: The Magic Tool of Improving Apparel Productivity

Importance of Work Study in the Clothing Industry

Concept of Garments Work-Study:

Most of the apparel industries of the Bangladeshi ready-made garments sector are not really productive which is compensated by off the clockwork. Some factories work more than 14 hours per day to achieve apparel production and shipment target. This situation cannot continue for long as foreign buyers have become very sensitive to violations of local laws and their code of conduct. So Bangladesh garment manufacturing industries have no other choice but to improve apparel productivity substantially. The problem can be solved by applying the work-study method.

Work study in apparel industry

Work-study in the apparel industry

We may cite an example of this. A factory does not know the work-study method and produces self cammies (ladies knitwear) @ 200pcs per hour and only 1600 pcs in a day of eight working hours by implying 24 sewing machines in an apparel production sewing line. But to effect shipment in time, it needs to produce the items @ 300 pcs per hour or 2400 pcs per day of eight working hours.

Conventional consideration in this country to produce 2400 pcs apparel per day each to raise working hours 8 to 12 hours instead of improving clothing productivity from 200 pcs per hour to 300 pcs per hour by designing proper sewing machine lay-out and balancing the apparel sewing line. The method that extends a helping hand in improving apparel productivity in such cases is the work-study method which is also coined as time method study and motion study.

What is Work-Study in the Apparel Sector?

Works study is a component of management science and it was developed by the well-known American scientist F.W. Taylor, generally known as the father of modern management science.

It is a scientific method that ensures measurement of work content of a job and takes recourse to a better method of doing it and thus realizes the best utilization of human, machinery, and other resources of an organization.

The job of works study is to investigate how work is being done whether there is any defect in doing it and to improve the method of working of the job so that clothing productivity improves per unit time, per unit worker, or unit machine. Works study also must determine the standard time by which a qualified worker can accomplish the job within that standard time.

Thus we may define, works study in the following way:

Works study is the systematic method of examining existing ways of doing a job to improve apparel productivity and to set up a standard time for each job.

Features of Work-Study:

Works study as a method is systematic in nature. It succeeds because it is systematic in studying the problems and also systematic in developing the covered solution.

The comprehensiveness of Work-Study:

In garments or apparel production floor, works study is a very thorough process in investigating problems and it is also comprehensive in determining the solution of such problems.  It is a time-consuming matter as work-study is involved in the rigorous study of problems and through working out solutions.

Apparel production manager or floor manager or supervisor cannot devote enough time to dedicate to such a systematic and thorough study. The works study is a full-time duty. It is the reason why an enterprise needs to allocate a full department for the work-study matter. As its importance, apparel industries must have a separate and independent works study department.

-Written by

Mayedul Islam
Merchandiser at Fashion Xpress Buying House.
Badda, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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