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RMG wage hike: BD apparel sector can tackle challenges by 3 ways

The present wage hike and new minimum salary range for the RMG worker puts many of the apparel business entrepreneurs in threat of stopping or closing the business unit. Because the overall cost in the apparel industry is getting higher than any time that the sector experienced before. Moreover, many of the compliance requirements set by the different brands and the demand for various industrial certifications make the sector be halted for further expansion of business and to drive future growth. To overcome the challenges after the wage hike the entrepreneurs can take below initiatives that industry insiders suggest.

RMG wage hike: BD apparel sector can tackle challenges by 3 ways


1)Enhancing efficiency. 

Bangladesh RMG industry have passed more than 5 decades but the desired level of efficiency is not much satisfactory. The efficiency that is shown officially in most cases found something different in practical experience. The efficiency in different levels is not much even the senior operators unable to operate different sewing processes or machines. The reasons identified why do the RMG workers fail to gain the desired level of efficiency are as below.

RMG workers are coming out from villages without having related experience and trying to get job in low-grade factories. Their experience and knowledge of garment sewing has been introduced by such factories where no efficiency evaluation is measured. Later when they are hired by the big apparel industry then actually they come to know something about skill and efficiency.

Frequent migration of the workers sometimes leads them not to be skillful and efficient in the workplace. As they just leave the factory without notice where they were taken to provide training in a certain level and their engagement in the new factory before completing the training process makes them not as efficient as was expected.

How do RMG owners can improve worker’s efficiency?

This is a vital question asked and discussed in many of the seminars, symposiums, or the news media. Experts are putting their opinions for sustainable business growth with many-fold success and efficiency. However, there might be a long gap between the talk and practical initiative for developing workers’ efficiency. The guidelines and policies set by the different stakeholders for improving efficiency are as below.

  1. a) Setting up a training center on a big scale 

As the RMG industries are grown in Bangladesh by the private sector in the same way all the skill development programme and enhancing efficiency still run by private sector. The initiative taken by the RMG entrepreneurs of  Bangladesh is quite appreciating but the efforts are not enough for the broader scale. The government should have to come forward for training and skill development programmes to improve efficiency in the workplace.

b)Recruiting operators who have some education or little education 

Education is the key quality that helps to understand the working process and training materials. So the more learned workers will come in the sector the more the apparel industry could gain success. The minimum education might be defined based on the availability of the workers and operations.

RMG wage hike: BD apparel sector can tackle challenges by 3 ways

It has been seen a big sum of the operators are not able to read the machine’s manual or the instructions that are given by the machine manufacturer. Even some operators do not know how to take needle guards or safety precautions. The minimum education will help to enhance efficiency in the sector and to uplift country’s image.

c)Developing effective collaboration

Apparel workers are not really involved for striking the right balance between independence and teamwork that can make huge improvements in both job satisfaction and workplace efficiency.

The effective collaboration among the workers will develop range of abilities, such as listening skills, good communication, emotional intelligence, being comfortable with new ideas and accountability.

d)Developing routine in the work place 

A predictable activity or regular program that typically occurs at a specific time of day can help to enhance efficiency.

Developing daily routine reduces the number of errors and opportunity to grow more in the work place . It gives structure as to what tasks will be completed and when, like planned time takes for guesswork.

2)Developing cost-effective process

Cost efficiency is important because it ensures business as profitable, successful, and sustainable. If the industry is not cost-efficient, then they will end up spending more money than generate and that is the fast track to business failure. The below initiative can be taken for a cost-effective process.

a)Reuse of energy and content

Reusing energy and materials often involves processes like recycling and energy recovery. Recycling materials can save cost and energy in compared to producing new ones. Energy recovery from the production process can also be a sustainable practice for profitability and sustainability. It is essential to adopt such strategies to minimize operational cost and environmental impact and promote overall efficiency.

b)Implement technological advancement 

Being up-to-date with technology allows the Industry to stay ahead of or keep pace with the competition. A strategic approach to adopting new technology will enhance productivity with cost-effectiveness. Because technological advancement has transformed human skill into mechanical processes with zero defects and enabled real-time production without the numerous process losses that are sometimes made by humans.

The only potential problem for the adoption of automation is an initial investment, needs time to implement the tools and train the staff but in the end it will be a reliable setup for profitability and to reduce operational costs.

c)Improving speed, quality, and effectiveness 

To reduce production costs apparel industry must develop some processes and qualities that will help to improve productivity and speed. The Apparel Industry being cost efficient not only aids higher revenue and profits but also helps them make better decisions regarding the betterment of the process.

Innovation in the production process to speed up productivity helps to reduce the production costs, giving the industry enough funds to ensure their customers a better experience.

d)Auditing and proper inventory 

Developing process of cross-checking for financial records with physical inventory is most important to get cost-effective production in the apparel industry. Inventory management helps RMG industry to identify which and how much stock to order at what time.

When an apparel industry deals with a wide range of products, and materials, and work with transactions, it becomes essential to clarify that the recorded quantities are aligned with the actual physical count. This verification process helps to minimize the risk of inventory shortages, and identify potential areas for improvement in inventory management.

3)Reducing consumption and wastage 

Consumption is one of the bigger concepts in the RMG industry and is extremely important because it helps to determine the product cost and get profitability. Because excess consumerism is widely thought to be a negative for the organization and particularly it has bad impact on the garment manufacturing unit. The below initiative can help to improve the situation.

a)Optimizing current use of resources 

Man, machines and materials are the key factors in the RMG business to be profitable. By proper utilization of the above factors apparel industry can overcome the new challenges.

To optimize the materials there should be no defects or shortages. The machine should be no breakdowns, defects or unplanned stoppages and man must be with good work habits, develop necessary skills, practice punctuality and there will be no unscheduled absenteeism.

b)Eliminate waste to maximize profit.

The production waste that produced during textiles and apparel manufacturing which includes fibre, yarn, fabric, and apparel can be subject of profit if the cautious initiative possible to manage. As we know the RMG sector depends on the import of raw materials so the more reduction of waste means more profitability. This is actually most common topic that has been discussed for decades to work on sustainability. Waste reduction is part of sustainable process and a concept of earning more from a single investment.

c)Zero defects in the process 

Zero defects is a way of thinking and doing that defects are not acceptable. Everyone who involved in the manufacturing unit must strive to “Do it right, the first time.” When process strive for zero defects it can improve the quality of apparel product or service, and reduce costs associated with waste.

Zero defects helps to change the whole attitude of the industry and influence everyone to look in a more positive direction and to eliminate all mistakes from their work place.

d)Production time and profitability 

Effective planning and prioritization in the industrial process allows to meet deadlines, deliver high-quality work and exceed buyer’s expectations. Moreover, by optimizing priority work apparel industry can allocate time throughout the day, week and month that can help to  accomplish more tasks in less time.

By tracking and analysing of time that spent on different activities within the industrial process can provide valuable insights into where resources may need to be utilized and make profit.

In conclusion it can be said to survive in the RMG business there might need a collaboration among the entrepreneurs, workers, association and Bangladesh government. As the sector is the only source of export earning for the country and a place to provide job for the millions of people so all the stakeholders might come forward and work together.

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