8 Lean Wastes in an Apparel Factory Context

Lean Wastes in an Apparel Factories Context

For Upper Tier Factories  (well managed apparel factories, with demonstrably well managed production and quality systems) the typical most frequently encountered wastes are: Non-Used Talent, Motion, and Over Processing. 

These 3 wastes are common at well managed factories for 3 reasons (1) defects and other "lower level wastes" have been somewhat addressed by the factory already, (2) the common mistake of  thinking held by many upper tier factories' managers that over processing is needed to ensure quality. These managers still fail to affect factory-floor systems that train and empower the lowest levels of management, possibly due to high employee turnover or other reasons, and (3) eliminating excess operator motion during the sewing process is probably the most difficult of the wastes to eliminate since it involves a total re-training of worker posture, materials-handling layout, and operator sewing related habits modification. 

For Lower Tier Factories  (less well managed apparel factories, with less well managed production and quality systems) the typical most frequently encountered wastes are:  defects, transport, and waiting. 

These 3 wastes are common at less well managed factories for 3 reasons (1) the factory is still not able to decrease defects. This can occur when the factory has high operator turnover, and/or line management personnel (Line Leaders, Line Tech) who systematically do not use that data to improve the line to reduce defects,  (2) there is no system to control bundles input into the line, and to propel those bundles forward one-at-a-time, reducing WIP builtup, and (3) line change over process is still presenting to these lower tier factories severe challenges of long, drawn out change overs, which force  the line to virtually stop for several hours or even days at some factories.

The good news is that all the wastes can be reduced through proper training and management, and profitability through increased productivity can easily be achieved if the process to do it is well led by an experienced person.

5 Garment Factories per Month Opening in Myanmar -average size 1000 workers

The garment sector in Myanmar has developed because the EU lifted economic sanctions, potentially opening up 100,000 jobs in the garment sector, state media reported quoting the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association (MGEA), according to a report by Mizzima

“Previously, there were only 300 garment factories in Myanmar. Now, there are over 400 garment factories in Myanmar thanks to the lifting of economic sanctions,” Dr. Khin Maung Aye, chairman of MGEA was reported as saying.

Currently, five garment factories are being opened per month. And, there are 1,000 employees working per factory according to the MGEA.

The EU ended Myanmar economic sanctions during the incumbent government period in October 2016.

Importance of Language

By Khin Wine Phyu

လူတဦးနဲ့တဦးကြားနားလည်မှုနဲ့ဆက်ဆံရေးအဆင်ပြေစေဖို့မှာဘာသာစကားကအရေးကြီးပါတယ်။ကျွန်မတို့အပြောင်အပျက်ပြောလေ့ရှိတဲ့ international language လို့ခေါ်တဲ့လက်ဟန်ခြေဟန်နဲ့ပြောခြင်းကတကယ်တန်းတိတိကျကျညွန်ကြားသတင်းပေးရမဲ့လုပ်ငန်းများအတွက်အသုံးလုံးဝမဝင်နိူင်ပါဘူး။့ကျမတို့မြန်မာနိူင်ငံအထည်ချုပ်လုပ်ငန်းတွေမှာအများအားဖြင့်စက်ရုံအုပ်ချုပ်သူများ ကျွမ်းကျင်ပညာရှင်များဟာတရုတ်နဲ့ကိုရီးယားလူမျိုးအများစုဖြစ်ကြပါတယ်။များသောအားဖြင့်အဂ်လိပ်စာကိုကြားခံအနေနဲ့အသုံးများပေမဲ့လဲဘာသာစကားနဲ့ယဉ်ကျေးမူကွာခြားတဲ့အလုပ်သမားနဲ့အထက်လူကြီးများကြားမှာနားလည်မူလွဲမှားပြီးလုပ်ငန်းခွင်မှာရောလူမူရေးပိုင်းမှာပါအခက်အခဲမြောက်များစွာပေါ်ပေါက်ခဲ့ဖူးပါတယ်။ဝမ်းနည်းစရာကောင်းတာကနိုင်ငံခြားသားများကလုပ်ငန်းအဆင်ပြေရေးအတွက်မြန်မာစကားကိုတတ်မြောက်အောင်ကြိုးစားသင်ယူပြီးတတ်မြောက်လွယ်ကြပေမဲ့မြန်မာလူမျိုးတွေကတော့လေ့လာသင်ယူမှုအားနဲနေသေးပါတယ်။ ကျမကိုယ်တိုင်ပါဘဲ။အဂ်လိတ်စာကိုကျွမ်းကျင်စွာရေးသားပြောဆိုနိူင်ပေမဲ့အဂ်လိပ်စာမတတ်ကျွမ်းတဲ့တရုတ်ကျွမ်းကျင်ပညာရှင်များနဲ့စကားပြန်နဲ့တဆင့်ဆက်သွယ်ရတာအဆင်မပြေလို့တရုတ်စကားကိုလေ့လာခဲ့ဖူးပေမဲ့ခက်တယ်ဆိုတဲ့အကြောင်းပြချက်နဲ့လွယ်လွယ်ကူကူဘဲလက်လျှော့ခဲ့ပြီးယနေ့ထိလဲဆက်မကြိုးစားခဲ့ပါဘူး။ 


English Summary

Language is very important for understanding between people. In the Myanmar garment industry, most of the technicians or instructors are Chinese or Korean people.  We normally use English to communicate, but there are many difficulties and misunderstandings. I think foreigners might want to try to learn more Myanmar language, in order to make everyone's work go more smoothly. If they try to learn, they can learn usually within a short period of time. Myanmar people however, generally take much longer to learn a foreign language.  I myself have learned  Chinese because speaking through unskillful translators I found that what I want to say was not being understood through translators.  So my advise, is apart from English, knowing the language which is sutable in a person's working area is a great help to be successful.

Flying Submarine: June 18, 1937

Amelia Earhart's plane being serviced in Rangoon on June 19, 1937

Amelia Earhart's plane being serviced in Rangoon on June 19, 1937

18 June 1937

18 June 1937: Leg 20. Amelia Earhart departed Calcutta, India enroute to Rangoon, Burma. After a fuel stop at Akyab, she and Fred Noonan continued on their way, but monsoon rains forced them to return to Akyab.

“When we reached the airport at dawn nocturnal rains had soaked it. The ground was thoroughly wet, precarious for a take-off. But meteorologists advised that more rain was coming and that likely we could dodge through the intermittent deluges of the day but that if we remained the field might become waterlogged beyond use. That take-off was precarious, perhaps as risky as any we had. The plane clung for what seemed like ages to the heavy sticky soil before the wheels finally lifted, and we cleared with nothing at all to spare the fringe of trees at the airdrome’s edge. For a time we flew through gray skies crowded with clouds that lowered at us as we passed over the many mouths of the Ganges and Brahmapurra rivers…Much of the way from Calcutta to Akyab we flew very low over endless paddies…Akyab is a picturesque place from the air. Two pagodas, covered with gold leaf, stand out…The airport is a port of call for most pilots passing this way. It has two runways and a large hangar. Imperial Airways and Air France stops regularly, and K.L.M., the Dutch line, when necessary to refuel or on account of the weather. . .

“We did not intend to stay at Akyab overnight. Instead we hoped to reach Rangoon at least, and started off from Akyab after checking the weather and fueling. Once in the air the elements grew progressively hostile. The wind, dead ahead, began to whip furiously. Relentless rain pelted us. The monsoon, I find, lets down more liquid per second that I thought could come out of the skies. Everything was obliterated in the deluge, so savage that is beat off patches of paint along the leading edge of my plane’s wings. Only a flying submarine could have prospered. It was wetter even than it had been in that deluge of the mid-South Atlantic. The heavens unloosed an almost unbroken wall of water which would have drowned us had our cockpit not been secure. After trying to get through for a couple of hours we give up, forced to retreat to Akyab.

“Back-tracking, we headed out to sea, flying just off the surface of the water. We were afraid to come low over land on account of the hills. When it’s impossible to see a few hundred yards ahead through the driving moisture the prospect of suddenly encountering hilltops is not a pleasant one. By uncanny powers, Fred Noonan managed to navigate us back to the airport, without being able to see anything but the waves beneath our plane. His comment was, ‘Two hours and six minutes of going nowhere.’ For my part, I was glad that our landing gear was retractable, lest it be scraped on trees or waves. . . .” —Amelia Earhart

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