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Synopsis 09: Purecotz Creations

Background:
Organization of a first generation entrepreneur, Purecotz could be seen to be at the beginning of its success story. With a small start in manufacturing and exporting kids' garments made of organic cotton (that's how it's Purecotz), today it is a name to be identified with the same.

The company has registered office in Mumbai, India and its manufacturing facility is at Umbergaon in the state of Gujarat in India.

The Assignment:
With an initial tentative estimate of a year's working, the management gave an open agenda for improvements in the first three months with specific request about a core department of Merchandizing and that too for a specific activity BoM i.e. Bill of Materials of that department.

On paper, this BoM activity is driven by a computerized tabulation and the Production function is also organized on conventional lines. So, a study with application of classical industrial engineering (IE) techniques along with focusing on available computer output for improvements could have been a usual way to begin with, as had been thought of initially.

However, the first three months observations - in which the management was quick to implement suggestions pertaining to layout, work allocations and manning having long-term implications - revealed that the operational systems were conspicuous by their absence. Most of the current problems were stemming from inadequate planning system and the lack of quality system to name the major two.

So, the study priority was changed from application of conventional IE techniques to developing these systems first. This was also found relevant as owing to relatively remote location of the manufacturing facility, adequately trained, experienced manpower is not available and the staff showed the need of hand-holding and step-by-step guiding.

After initial observations it was recommended to organize operations as two distinct activities which could develop to become Separate Business Units - one, merchandizing including sampling and other, production including dispatch.

Next, Merchandizing department's activity was followed with mix of system observations and recommendations along with hand holding but with relevant guidance from the top management. Simultaneously, establishment of Production Planning system was attempted and achieved.

Next, two important systems were envisaged; one, for production control and other, for quality manufacturing. In this, the first system is to deal with numbers; i.e. quantity of produce on an hourly basis to have production management under check.

The other system is to deal with manufacturing of the requisite quality on an ongoing basis, aiming at zero rejections at company's final inspection stage itself. This would provide a real goal to the working category of people, which would indeed matter to the final customer - the parents of kids.

Application of these two systems is envisaged for bringing about necessary development of the human resource as well as for an integrated ERP (being underway) to help actually achieve the eluding target of operational efficacy.

Conclusion:
This is a classic case of entrepreneurial initiative and trust which brings subtle changes having long term efficacy; the conventional techniques could then be applied for improving efficiencies of the individual departments in short runs on an ongoing basis.

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