Apparel industry to benefit from JASTECA- JUKI Production Management Programme

Monday, 10 June 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The JASTECA Institute of Management has teamed up with J.K. Agencies (Pvt) Ltd., to organise a JUKI Production Management Programme to bolster productivity and production management techniques of the local garment industry. This specially designed programme, which was initially conducted two decades ago is organised in coordination with JUKI Corp., Japan and is suited for executives, middle and senior level managers of the garment industries in Sri Lanka. The programme will cover a wide range of topics such as process analysis, operational analysis, time study, motion study and introduction to lean management, which would be beneficial to those organisations that have not yet employed these new management techniques.

The resource person for this programme will be an expert from JUKI Corporation, Japan, namely Sewing Research Institute General Manager Sasaki Satoshi. The workshop will be conducted from 19 to21 June, 2013 at the SASAKAWA Hall, No: 04, 22nd Lane, Colombo 3.

JASTECA Institute of Management (JIM), which is the training arm of Japan Sri Lanka Technical cultural Association (JASTECA), is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to assisting the local industries to uplift their productivity and efficiency by organising workshops of this nature. Established as a trust of JASTECA, the aim of the JIM is to educate staff at all levels working in industrial and commercial ventures especially on Japanese-style management training and other aspects of management.  JASTECA was the pioneering organisation which introduced concepts such as 5S and Kaizen to Sri Lanka.

J.K.Agencies (Pvt) Ltd., established in 1975, is one of the leading companies in Sri Lanka, which is involved in importing and distributing machinery and spare parts to the apparel industry. Being the principal agent for world renowned JUKI Brand industrial sewing machinery and its spare parts in Sri Lanka, they cater to a wide-ranging clientele in the local garments industry.

Developing and employing efficient production management techniques in the garments industry is vital in ensuring production quality, reducing production time and costs. In this regard, having a skilled production management team has become essential to any organisation involved in the garment industry in today’s enormously competitive environment.

The benefits of an efficient production management system include integration of different areas such as resource planning, product design and cost control etc. This will enable companies to offer better quality and delivery on time. It will also help to reduce errors, increase company flexibility, manage stocks and down-time and impact on the organisation’s process repeatability.

Sri Lanka’s apparel export industry is a leading contributor to the country’s economy.  The industry has grown over the last three decades and has become a significant foreign exchange earner and the largest single employer in the manufacturing industry. It provides direct employment opportunities to over 300000 and 600000 indirectly, which includes a substantial number of women in Sri Lanka.

After having established itself as a reliable supplier of quality garments at competitive prices, Sri Lanka also upholds ethical practices, thus being identified as a producer of “Garments Without Guilt’, making the “Made in Sri Lanka”, label synonymous with quality, reliability as well as social and environmental accountability.

The industry is faced with difficult times at present due to the recession and sluggish growth in America and European markets. However, industry experts point out that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”  A top industry expert pointed out that “there was no reason for doom and gloom in the industry, based on statistics despite a global slowdown in key export markets”.

According to him, though American apparel imports have remained flat at US$ 77 billion over the past two years, Sri Lanka is one of the only three countries that have recorded export growth.

Analysts point out that when costs are considered Sri Lanka has a competitive advantage over countries such China and Thailand.  In China, costs per operator per month for 240 hours of work, which is over US$ 600, which is much higher when compared to Sri Lanka.

With the recent debacles affecting the Bangladesh apparel industry, there is reason to believe that some of buyers might look for safe operating environments and they could seriously look at Sri Lanka.

It is in this opportunistic environment that the JASTECA Institute of Management has organised this JUKI production management programme to assist the local industry. Currently the industry is focusing on improving productivity and increasing wages in its bid to maintain its position as the major player in the country’s economy and to keep up the growth momentum.

Presently, the focus is on education, training and skills development in the industry. Analysts point out that the local apparel industries need educated youth from the universities to join their ranks. Its aim in organising this program is to meet the needs to the industry and help it grow and become a leading destination for apparel exports in the world.