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Productivity

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Submitted By vanessgowey
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Chapter 1 introduction

1.1 Introduction

The demand for Police Uniforms has increased in recent times as evidenced by the number of new Police Training Centres established across the nation. However this growth has not been matched by the growth of the Police Clothing Company, which has failed to adapt to the increased demand of uniforms and is experiencing huge back logs as a result.

For manufacturing companies the centre of everything is the production function, thus proper management of this function is of paramount importance. There are two ways of increasing the amount of uniforms produced; either employ more people or increase productivity to meet the increased demand. The later will be the focus of this study, whereby more uniforms will be produced as much as possible with a given set of resources. This is basically what productivity is about.

Productivity can be measured against several factors. These factors spread through out the company’s inputs and other resources. Examples can here be given as labour, material resource input, capital and space. There are other implicit factors from which productivity can be derived which are sufficiently indicative of the company with regards to resource utilisation.

The interest in the increase in productivity stems from the fact that is associated with various benefits. World wide increases in productivity have far reaching results, and as a result everyone is seeking to attain high productivity levels. A highly productive economy has a bearing on the standard of living achieved in a country. The greater the amount of goods and services produced in any community, the higher its average standard of living will be.

1.2 Statement of the problem. Clothing company output is failing to meet demand, as evidenced by the general lack of stocks at Police Ordinance Suppliers (A Police Department responsible for the issuing of uniforms to police officers). As a result officers are failing to get uniforms in time, as seen by such officers wearing patched up uniforms.

1.3 Background of the problem. Clothing Company was established in 2001, as a means of reducing costs and or expenditure. The factory was established with the mandate to produce all uniforms for the Organisation. This would reduce the cut make and trim costs paid to private companies sub-contracted to augment manufacture of police kit. Whilst the Provincial Tailors Shops do alterations and repairs of police kits as well as fitting of badges of rank to all police uniforms. However, since its inception, the company has failed to meet its expected output. The situation has been further compounded by some clothing companies which are subcontracted to supply uniforms facing viability problems, such as Seybrook, which has since stopped operating.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the causes of low productivity of Clothing Company. The Company is under the administration of Police General Head Quarters, Technical services and operates as a service division and not as a profit making entity.

The company is supposed to produce all the clothing requirements of the police force, with the exception of hats. These are then distributed to Provincial Police Tailors, who are alter and repair old uniforms and are not manufactures. (See Distribution Map below) Therefore it has a large product mix, and optimisation is a major challenge. The company produces a total of 14 Dress codes, which are different uniform combinations meant for different occasions.

[pic]

Figure 1: Uniform Distribution Map

The following are production figures for the month of October 2013

|Uniform Description |Number Produced |
|Winter Jacket |174 |
|Riot Cycle Trousers |127 |
|Slack Trousers (female officers) |15 |
|Grey Shirts |13 |
|Fawn Trousers |5 |
|Patrol Jacket |6 |
|Fawn Suit Jacket |1 |
|Patrol Trousers |4 |
|STU Cap |708 |
|Riot Jacket |20 |
|Riot Trousers |69 |
|Blue Shirts |8 |
|Patrol Suit |1 |
|Drab Shirt |2 |
|Ladies Winter Suits |25 |

The company has been finding it difficult to meet demand due to a number of factors chief of which is the general growth of the Police Force in recent times, which has seen 23000 new recruits in the past five years, an average of 4500 new recruits per year.

The company is expected to match the growth of the Police Force by producing more with the same machines and human resources. This has created problems for the Clothing Company in that they are failing to meet demand, have lengthy lead times and production is failing to adapt to demand. An effort to increase capacity by sub-contracting has not been successful, with most clothing companies facing viability problems (Zimtrade).

1.4 Justification. The capacity and productivity levels of a company have a critical impact on the firm’s lead times, cost structure; its inventory policies and its human resources needs. (Jain and Aggarwal) Inadequate capacity leads to slow service, lengthy lead times and bottle necks, impacting negatively on production. Low productivity levels mean producing at a higher cost and therefore less efficiently. In short, higher productivity means that more is produced with the same expenditure of resources, that is at the same cost in terms of land, materials, machine time or labor; or alternatively that the same amount is produced at less cost in terms of land, materials, machine time or labor used up, thus releasing some of these resources for the production of other things.

Preliminary studies have shown that, on average

5 shirts are produced per person per 8 hour shift

2 skirts are produced per person per 8 hour shift

2 jackets are produced per person per 8 hour shift

2 trousers are produced per person per 8 hour shift.

On average there are 30 people in a line per day, producing a total of

150 shirts,

60 skirts;

60 jackets

And 60 trousers per day.

From the above different productivity indices can be derived for the different products.

PRODCUTIVITY OF MEN

If a tailor produces 5 shirts per shift, (productivity is output over input) it means the productivity index for shirts is 5/ 8

PRODCUTIVITY OF TROUSERS.

If the firm produces 60 trousers per day, (taking a day to be an 8 hr shift) the productivity is 7.5

In order for the company to reduce the supply-demand gap, and improve on output there is need to implement productivity improvement techniques. However there are costs involved in capacity and productivity improvements exercises. Plant capacity in the long term may be improved by acquiring modern equipment. There is also need to device ways to work smarter, for example reducing set up times and down times as well as idle times. There are costs involved in these exercises too, such as training of employees, method and work study exercises, restructuring of key departments, research and development exercises emphasizing on product and process improvements, and so on. Nevertheless the costs involved pale in significance when compared to the benefits to be realized and gains from the initial exercises can be used to fund the more capital intensive projects.

1.5 Delimitations

The study will be premised at the Police Clothing factory, and will pay particular attention to the shop floor personnel, their working environment and the machines in use. The study will also focus on the factors affecting worker and machine productivity and the role of management and departmental roles of the various departments.

1.6 Limitations

The researcher is likely to face challenges, chief of which is time. The research is on industrial attachment at the time of the study, and therefore the time she is supposed to be researching she is learning. However the researcher will commit most of her weekends and evening time to the research.

The location of the clothing factory in that it is located, in an institution of state security, made it difficult to get data and take pictures. The process of acquiring data is untidy and time consuming, as there are a lot of procedures to be followed to get clearance to do so, as clearance has to be sought from the Police General’s Office.

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