CTA Apparels – Staying ahead in race
Efficiency can be achieved only through team work and that too if all the team members of all the departments work with one another to ease the flow of work. An epitome of synchronization of all four departments (Design, Production, IE and Quality) can be well observed in CTA Apparels. To remove all the crucial bottlenecks that interrupt production processes at a later stage, all four departments focus on meeting deadlines as well as on ‘Plan Cut Date’ (PCD). Design team works in close collaboration with IE team for transparency in product designs and IE team then transfers this understanding to the quality and production teams making a never-tobreak cycle.
“We conduct PORA (Pre-Order Risk Assessment) meeting for an order 30 days before starting its production. After we all have a uniform view about the needs of a particular order, we then conduct AORA (After-Order Risk Assessment) meetings in which we fill gaps between design and production processes in order to improve efficiency,” explains Shashi Bhushan Jha, QA Manager, CTA Apparels.
The moment the company gets an indication about a probable order, the management starts to identify the risk factors that are further informed or discussed with the buyers for the technical changes. The buyers are then requested to tweak the design accordingly making further processes easier. “The benefit of conducting these PORA and AORA meetings can be witnessed with the hike in overall efficiency of the plant from 40% to 65% over the years.”
Not only for the management, but also for the sewing operators on the shopfloor who intensively focus on WIP management, these morning
meetings are organized. The emphasis is basically on the first two hours of production. Once the workers achieve this 2-hour efficiency on a decent note, they are pumped up to perform better, thus, the management no longer needs to worry about peak hours’ efficiency.
Currently, the first 2-hours efficiency of sewing floors of CTA is around 60% which the management is aiming to increase to 90% in the coming months. “Motivating workers for this is the only key. We do not close doors even if they are late in morning. If they concentrate and dedicate themselves towards work, we give them some flexibility,” shares Manuj Dawar, GM-Operations.
Having achieved efficiency CTA now wants to turn the stone to cost reduction. Had the cost reduction in apparel industry been so easy, there would not have been any cribbing about it all across the apparel value chain. Although the apparel industry has been intensively working to overcome this scenario for years now, yet, only a few of the apparel manufacturers have achieved the targeted results. CTA Apparels is one of those few manufacturers which is gearing up to control 70% of the garment cost through its textile mill.
Currently, the company is producing approximately 1,00,000 metres of woven fabric per month and is further aiming to increase it by three times over the next two months. Dinesh Kumar Dubey, GM (Production) of the company stated, “Sourcing fabric through this mill will enable us to minimize WIP on shopfloor as well as help us end our dependency on the third party fabric supplier and we can make our production processes even better.”
CTA believes it’s easy to become vertically integrated and get equipped with all the necessary technologies but it becomes a problematic situation if that technology is not used in the correct manner. “When we used to outsource fabric, we generally had 4-5% fabric wastage because of defects. Now we are able to eliminate those defects by manufacturing fabric in our mill,” claims Dinesh. He explains how the management in textile mill controls data feeding in spreading machines by choosing small lengths of fabric rather than using large lengths in order to eradicate fabric bowing and skewing. “With this, we get maximum wastage of 2% thus, now we are saving fabric cost by around 3%,” comments Dinesh.
The sewing floors of the company are equipped with more than 2,000 UBT machines; with major chunk of these machines being Highlead and the rest belonging Gemsy brand. It has recently added another floor having next generation Highlead UBT auto lifter machines.
The company is producing approximately 1,00,000 metres of woven fabric per month and is further aiming to increase it by three times over the next two months.
Not just the textile mill, CTA has many more techniques in its basket to reduce the cost of a garment. The sewing floors of the company are equipped with more than 2,000 UBT machines, with major chunk of these machines being Highlead and the rest belonging to Gemsy brand. In a whole new technological move, the company has recently added another floor having next generation Highlead UBT auto lifter machines. “Now we will be able to reduce SAM by one more minute,” exclaims Manuj.
Challenges CTA is still facing…
Apart from all noticeable advancements and achievements, CTA honestly shares about the areas which are still unsaturated and need more care in order to be improved. Attrition rate is one of them. “We have been facing this issue for quite some time now. At one point of time, it used to be 10% and today it’s high as much as 35%,” comments Shashi.
To tackle this issue effectively, quality team has a check point for attrition rate in its CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Action) internal audit sheet. And, to reduce this rate significantly, CTA is planning to add motivational factors for workers in the check points and train the workers on these points. “Till next audit, we will work on the check points and training segments, then we will analyze CAPA again. We do not want any hurdles in our way of success,” concludes Shashi.
CTA’s textile mill is equipped with Loop ager printing machine by Texfab
The finishing tables have different bins attached below for different garment defects
Shashi Bhushan Jha (L), Quality Manager with Manuj Dawar (C), GM (Operations) and Dinesh Kumar Dubey, GM (Production) from CTA Apparels