In 2009 a major Bangladesh textile supplier was despatching an impressive 30m dollars of bed sheets, duvet and curtains.. As part of the Trading Office team based in Bangladesh Mark Astley and co-workers worked with the factory management and embarked on the following:
- Improve Customer Experienced Quality – reduced quality claims to below 0.2%
- Improve forecast planning and volume commitments achieving >99% shelf availability
- Reduce the delivery lead-time to 25 days for Europe
- Conduct price development activities – targeting a cost down of between 2-3 %
- Improve and install the latest printing and dyeing effluent treatment plant – increasing capacity, reducing water consumption and improving the local river environment.
- Improve their social/environmental performance in operator and machine management – securing time keeping, worker safety, age keeping records and sub contractor compliance.
- Conduct energy saving audits – then implement the recommendation – reducing boiler usage by much better maintenance and planning.
- Implement a secure product test management system – reducing Cost of Poor Quality by 1% and targeting a reduction in external lab testing fees of 25,000 usd.
The above headline actions created a Virtuous Circle for the Factory – The quality improvement and lead-time reductions increased the business volume, which provided capital for investment in factory and production facilities. These improved efficiency and social/environmental performance which reduced costs. These savings were then used to invest in further price reductions, which increased the volume quantities and so the Virtuous Circle continued until mid 2012 when the factory shipped over 100 million dollars to just one customer in one year.
Over the last two years this same factory has taken its eye off the ball; failing to improve or even maintain some of their previous work. This has led to costly quality problems and factory compliance issues. This has resulted in a business reduction and quality claims running into the millions!!
Until 2012 the business was very successful for the retailer and factory management, social and environmental performance was improved for the community, the customer enjoyed excellent products at great prices – it was Good Business Growth…