Pacific Garments: 42 years of legacy in niche
Embracing passion for their products, Pacific Garments manufactures woven women’s dresses, tops, blouses, shirts, casual pants and stoles which are a perfect blend of innovation, fashion and style. “The fashion in Japan is extremely different from anywhere in the world. Men, on one hand, are more inclined towards business suitings whereas, women’s fashion statement consists of at least five layers of clothing, starting from lingerie, camisole to shirt, blazer complemented with a stole,” said Rakesh Gupta, the young face of the company steering the business.
Defined by small quantity, exclusive and expensive, niche demands a dedicated team and an organized set-up from design to manufacturing. With a wide range of sewing machines, Pacific Garments takes up orders as low as 30 pieces that can go up to 30005000 pieces. As in a mass apparel manufacturing facility, the company follows assembly line system to manufacture higher order quantities. In case of small order quantities, the same assembly line is treated as a number of assembly lines.
“For instance, an assembly line consists of 28 operators. A style to be manufactured has the order quantity of 500-1000 pieces. The same assembly line would be broken in to groups of 3-4 if the order quantity is around 50-100 pieces or even less,” explains Rakesh. However, he avers that not only the mass manufacturers but also the niche manufacturers like him are facing the wave of strong competition. “Prices are falling, profit margins are decreasing. There are some manufacturers in the market that give the products at throwaway prices,” shares Rakesh, further adding to his woes, “These manufacturers are posing a big threat to the organized business because they intend to do one-time business and then move out of the business, leaving others to suffer with the increased competition.”
‘Green’ Pacific Garments is constructed from fly ash bricks rather than banned basic bricks which help the building to remain 30% more cool.
Offering a new product with value addition and new design elements are the secrets that have kept Pacific Garments in business all these years and helped it prosper. “Our products are less automated and more manual. New products and new designs are our secret to survival,” avers Rakesh. Though there is fabric wastage and low efficiency, the new designs and a shift from basic are the sustaining factors for this niche business.
Meanwhile, ample use of workforce does not mean that Pacific is not inclined towards ‘Machine Technology’. Since human efforts are just not enough to handle the system efficiently, Pacific has adopted technological solutions. To avoid delays, unplanned circumstances and monitor production, it is equipped with Texma ERP. This indicates that the need of technology in the company does not go awry. “Use of humans more than the use of technology never means that technology is not a need for us. Rather it’s just we have a culture to promote artisans by providing them stable employment,” says Sandeep Dobriyal, Director, Pacific Garments.
Apart from these excellencies, Pacific Garments also follows various management systems in its facility to integrate quality and excellence not only in their products but in each and every department of the facility. The company follows a penalty system where people committing mistakes or breaking rules, have to pay a certain amount of fine irrespective of whether they are from the top management such as MD or Chairman, sewing operators or finishing operators. “However, the amount of fine is higher for the top management and somewhat less for the mid management,” says Rakesh with a tone of humour.
The company takes care of both compliance and sustainability as the core requirements of the facility. It is equipped with the ETP plant and a rainwater harvesting plant in its premises.
The amount of money collected at the end of the month from the fine is then handed over to different departments, one at a time. “The respective department can have snacks and tea party from that money. This kind of practice has helped me introduce a sense of responsibility among my staff and a stronger bonding,” shares Rakesh.
Furthermore, to keep operators transparent and aware about the work-flow, there are clear instructions given to the supervisors to conduct mandatory morning meetings on daily basis just before the starting of production. “We have made a system where we ensure not to skip any of the meetings no matter what comes up as urgent, which makes our operators know the value of deadlines and quality,” says Rakesh.
Similarly for his company, pieces of fragmented needle in a garment is a big no… Needle check in all garment is a must before sending them to packing departments. The buyers mandate the passing of the garment piece through needle detector machine. For Japanese buyers, the violation of this requirement makes suppliers pay a very hefty forfeit. “There is a penalty of US $ 2000 per piece in Japan for such negligence,” highlights Rakesh.
Pacific Garments follows compliance very strictly in its facility. Furthermore, to leave no loose ends, the company is maintaining the practice of packing department as a ‘metal free zone’. It penalizes a person with a fine of Rs. 500 if he/ she is found walking in the department with a garment in his/her hand. It promotes passing of the garment through the needle detector first and then walking inside bare handed.
“We have been following this practice in our factory from last 5 years,” Rakesh states proudly. Besides, Pacific Garments has introduced leather slippers for the staff and the operators in their facility that ought to be worn while entering the packing department. The person has to take off the footwear he/she is wearing and wear leather slippers before entering the packing department to avoid the entrance of any foreign material. “This will help us maintain cleanliness in the packing department. Also, I am planning to adopt this practice in other departments as well,” informs Rakesh.
Madhushree Gupta (C), Director with Rakesh Gupta (L), Director (Marketing) and Sandeep Dobriyal, Director, Pacific Garments
The company uses leather slippers while entering the packing department to avoid entrance of foreign materials