Data ma­nip­u­la­tion is not ap­pre­ci­ated and ac­cept­able any­where.

Stitch World - - NEWS -

How­ever, many a time, it is seen that daily pro­duc­tion fig­ures are de­lib­er­ately ma­nip­u­lated in ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing units to de­pict the ex­pected fig­ures and please the up­per management. Not only the man­ual sys­tem but also the feed­ing of data in ERP sys­tem are re­ported to be ma­nip­u­lated. Did you face any such is­sues in your or­ga­ni­za­tion? What are the ways to pre­vent data ma­nip­u­la­tion in the main­te­nance of records?

Yes, you are right, data ma­nip­u­la­tion is a com­mon prob­lem in our in­dus­try. This de­lib­er­ate er­ror is be­ing done re­peat­edly due to fear of threats from the se­nior/top management. Ac­tu­ally, it starts with wrong plan­ning, lack of style analysis and sup­ply chain chal­lenges. The se­nior/top management should as­sure the depart­ment heads to pro­vide ad­e­quate so­lu­tions for the prob­lem ar­eas. Fear of los­ing the job is the key rea­son be­hind this lack of trans­parency.

I have also ob­served lot of ‘pro­duc­tion data’ ma­nip­u­la­tion in terms what is be­ing ac­tu­ally pro­duced and what the tar­get re­ally is, even at in- charge level. This is done in or­der to cover the loss on cer­tain days when the ab­sen­teeism is high or some sup­ply chain is­sues are not re­solved. I con­trol this sim­ply by coun­selling and train­ing the staff on the im­por­tance of num­bers. They are now well aware of the fact that dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will cer­tainly be taken if any ma­nip­u­lated fig­ures are no­ticed. Also, I as­sure them from time to time by pro­vid­ing so­lu­tions for all the dif­fi­cul­ties they are fac­ing to make them feel that their fi­nan­cial prob­lems are also heard.


GM (Op­er­a­tions), Shahi Ex­ports Pvt. Ltd., Farid­abad

A prob­lem, if re­viewed, can be re­solved but if the prob­lem is not re­viewed and just over­shad­owed, it will not be elim­i­nated. And this ca­sual at­ti­tude will al­low the prob­lem to get big­ger and ac­tu­ally cre­ate nui­sance in the last stage. The same goes with data ma­nip­u­la­tion. Fudg­ing of data at any point of time is not ap­pre­ci­ated in our or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In CTA Ap­par­els, we have a check­point to stop this ma­nip­u­la­tion. We only ac­cept those pieces which come off the shopfloor and go down to the next depart­ment and for us, each cor­re­spond­ing depart­ment is the buyer for the pre­vi­ous depart­ment. There­fore, the pre­vi­ous depart­ment can­not show fake data as it’s the next depart­ment which is giv­ing the ac­tual re­port. And the au­then­tic­ity of the re­ceived re­port is checked by the hourly mon­i­tor­ing of the data out­put. For ex­am­ple, if a line says that it has worked till 6 o’clock and de­liv­ered 1,000 pieces but the cor­re­spond­ing depart­ment says that they got only 900 pieces, the prob­lem must be within the state­ment of the first depart­ment. Af­ter in­quir­ing, we come to know that now the first depart­ment has com­pleted 100 pieces too but could not send it, rea­son be­ing any­thing. Fair enough, we sug­gest them to just keep those 100 with them and add it the next day. There­fore, the au­dit depart­ment takes care of all these mon­i­tor­ing re­ports. Due to this ini­tia­tive, we have achieved re­duc­tion in al­ter­na­tion, line WIP, last hour data col­lec­tion and fudg­ing. We nailed all four bot­tle­necks with sin­gle plan­ning. So, in my view, hourly check­ing and re­spect­ing the next depart­ment as a gate­way is the only way to stop data ma­nip­u­la­tion.


GM (Op­er­a­tions), CTA Ap­par­els Pvt. Ltd., Noida

Yes, data ma­nip­u­la­tion is a se­ri­ous prob­lem nowa­days in ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing units. Even in our or­ga­ni­za­tion, we have faced such kind of is­sues but we de­vel­oped the ideas to tackle it. From my point of view, to pre­vent these is­sues, we should im­ple­ment some sys­tem prop­erly such as hourly pro­duc­tion/op­er­a­tions which should be mon­i­tored by elec­tric board dis­play that needs to be set- up in PD or MD’s room. Be­lieve me, one can­not get a bet­ter op­tion than this. We have im­ple­mented this and the re­sults that we have achieved are over­whelm­ing.

Ad­di­tion­ally, there is a need to pro­vide a log­i­cal tar­get to pro­duc­tion line/unit, and each week, the ef­fi­ciency of the pro­duc­tion line/ unit should be con­sid­ered dur­ing plan­ning for a sig­nif­i­cant tar­get. This would help man­u­fac­tur­ers re­duce the load of pro­duc­tion and trans­parency would be main­tained in the whole process.

Apart from these, what I sug­gest to stop data ma­nip­u­la­tion is:

1. Pro­vid­ing in­cen­tives to the op­er­a­tors on daily over pro­duc­tion/op­er­a­tion to get a true sta­tus as it in­spires staff to be truth­ful.

2. Proper mon­i­tor­ing from in­put to out­put can help pre­vent pre­sent­ing lame ex­cuses as well as hide & seek of in­for­ma­tion.

3. Find­ing the rea­son be­hind the sud­den sur­prises given by the su­per­vi­sors. Most of time, it is found that they hide some­thing from the start of any op­er­a­tion and try to give sur­prises fi­nally to win boss’ con­fi­dence.

4. Ar­rang­ing an in­ter­nal au­dit for ev­ery sec­tion from time to time. This makes all the staff to be true to­wards their work­ing.


Sr. Mer­chan­diser, Se­tara Group, Bangladesh

This is an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion about fac­tual data and its ma­nip­u­la­tion. Yes, of course, data is gen­er­ally ma­nip­u­lated dur­ing and af­ter pro­duc­tion, espe­cially in vol­ume- driven fac­to­ries.

We see this hap­pen­ing ev­ery day in some of our fac­to­ries in Viet­nam where the piece rate sys­tem is ap­plied. The daily out­put is ma­nip­u­lated by the line leader in or­der to achieve tar­get out­put set by the pro­duc­tion management and some­times the un­fin­ished prod­ucts which floats in the line, are still counted as the fin­ished pieces. This sce­nario is pretty harm­ful for the man­u­fac­tur­ers be­cause, at the end of the day, all the de­tected/ iden­ti­fied ma­nip­u­la­tion would lead to con­se­quences like in­di­rect mon­e­tary loss if not elim­i­nated prop­erly.

In or­der to pre­vent this is­sue, not only the record/re­port should be trans­par­ent but also the management’s mind­set would have to be changed to stop time and dol­lar loss. Top management must un­der­stand that they need to in­dulge more in the work­ing of mid­man­age­ment to know the ex­act pro­cesses of the shopfloor so that in case of any dis­crep­ancy, they can sug­gest so­lu­tions. I have rec­om­mended to im­ple­ment hourly pro­duc­tion mon­i­tor­ing re­port which the pro­duc­tion floor is now tak­ing care of and some­how at present, we are able to re­duce the ma­nip­u­la­tion of data..


Ap­parel Sourc­ing & Pro­duc­tion Man­ager, Ed­die Bauer, Viet­nam

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