Multi-pronged growth strategies, adherence to standards and compliance, structural changes for building a team, innovations through product development, and adoption of technological advancements to improve production efficiency are the factors that helped Wear Well India Pvt. Ltd. to become a US $ 25 million turnover company in the last one decade. Being a Delhi-NCR-based garment export house, it has a clear vision to keep moving with a planned 50,000 square feet factory in Noida and a target growth of 30 per cent this year to reach a land mark figure of US $ 100 million in the next four years. Team StitchWorld covers the viewpoint of Wear Well on how are they planning to move forward in the market…
Technology: An essential contrivance for long-term growth
Since technology and productivity are complimentary to each other, one cannot ignore the fact that no matter how efficient the manpower is, they cannot replace the level of productivity and competency that can be achieved through automation in any garment export house. Knowing the significance of this fact, Wear Well has always been inclined towards working with the collaboration of technology and labourers in its factories. “Having installed all the essential automation tools in our factories, we consider having an edge over other manufacturers. Working with a mix of technology and workers helps us in providing QQT (Quality, Quantity and Timely Delivery) as per our schedule and standards,” explains Bharat Sahni, Director, Wear Well.
The production areas in Wear Well factories are adopting small yet effective sustainable practices such as using LED lights on shopfloor for power saving and recycled water in washrooms.
The company is equipped with an in-house testing lab, 1,500 UBT machines from Juki, Fast React software for production planning, SMARTmark software for automatic marker making and GSD software for SAM calculation. Additionally, the company is applying shopfloor monitoring software ‘ProCon’ in one of its lines which has 45 sewing machines. “This is our pilot test. If it works well for us, we will use it for our entire production unit with the guidance of the top management,” shares Kiran Kumar, GM – Industrial Engineering, Wear Well.
Simply put, all operations right from pre-production and post-production to dispatch would be operated through automation by the end of this year. Adding to this, Bharat states, “Just like using SMARTmark, the company is saving 5 per cent of fabric cost per marker as the software maximizes the placement of markers and utilizes every possible piece of fabric. Similarly, we are looking for some new installations in other areas such as production and finishing also to enhance our productivity with cost saving.”
Wear Well is further planning to invest more in the future technological processes which include the installation of CAM, as well as new technology for tights manufacturing being on the cards.
Growth through product development and lean is the key
Bharat emphasizes on the point that design and development of garments are the strengths of India that Bangladesh and Vietnam cannot match despite being better cost effective manufacturing hubs as compared to India. “We do lot of research and development before offering the designs to our clients as our whole team right from designers to pattern masters, quality people and production people discuss the risk assessment at the initial level of the project,” quotes Bharat. He further exclaims that arranging a meeting with all technical persons at the starting of a project helps making the processes flawless which ultimately results in no rejection of shipments.
“With the above planning module, we have 98 per cent cut to pack ratio which shows our strength in handling the production processes effectively,” shares Philip Josef, Production Head, Wear Well.
The design team of Wear Well is working continuously on new designs and a delegation will be visiting Korea to learn about latest trends. “They will take inspiration from that country and use that inspiration to create more innovative products to add them in our fresh collections. We will then move on to the European and US markets to promote them to grab more business this year,” avers Bharat.
Inspired by big manufacturing giants in Sri Lanka, like Next Manufacturing, Wear Well has adopted lean tools which are helping it reduce cost of production and finishing. “Our team observed in Sri Lanka how Lean Management Tool works and we are determined to implement the same process in our factory,” adding, “Now we are having production and finishing operations on the same floor so that final products can be finished and packed at the same time resulting in cost saving,” explains Bharat.
Sustainability: The way forward for Wear Well
All three facilities of Wear Well in Delhi and Noida are compliant with ethical and technical international standards for the US and the European markets. The company is listed on SEDEX and all of its factories are equipped with the latest types of machinery which are SMETA (UK) certified. The production areas in factories are adopting small yet effective sustainable practices such as using LED lights on shopfloor for power saving and recycled water in washrooms.
Rising above challenges…
Global economic crash, the Government’s labour-friendly policies, the conflict between piece rate and salaried operators, and bankruptcy of major clients are some of the major challenges which tried to derail Wear Well from its way towards success in recent times. “Despite having faced some tough challenges over the years such as Rupees’ stronger position than Pound and Dollar resulting in lots of pressure on our margins, the company has emerged strongly because of continuous efforts towards providing the market with what it wants in terms of price and design,” states proud Bharat.
Last year, Wear Well found it pretty difficult to sustain when one of its top customers, BHS filed for Chapter 11 and since then, Bharat is determined to do business only with the clients who have got insurance from EPCG (Export Promotion Capital Goods) scheme. He underlines, “Being in the business, we just cannot afford to work for the clients who are not progressive. One wrong pick may shut down our whole company. EPCG is a great way of finding out about the bottom lines of the companies.”
To grapple with the growing labour wages, Wear Well is working on a ‘Combination Policy’. The company is trying hard to create an equal balance between contractual workers and its own hired workers to cope up with the lean phase of work. “We are exercising on the fact that having our own workers is a very good idea because contractual workers keep shuffling. Moreover, when we feel wages are increasing, margins are less, the lean phase of work is in its flow and we just cannot afford too many workers in this situation, we can however get rid of contractual workers,” shares Bharat.
Bharat, however, is in support of hiring trained and experienced workers as his company is one of the most prominent manufacturers with clients’ like Next, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Zara, Mango, and hence does not compromise on quality. The main focus of the production team remains on achieving final products ‘Right in First Time’. Bharat comments, “We only hire experienced labourers who undergo a test to perform some critical operations on sewing line. If they pass it, then only we hire them.”
Recently, Wear Well has collaborated with Axeda Analytics, New Delhi which will hire employees for Wear Well from HMP Vocational Training Institute, Ankleshwar, Gujarat in May this year. All the employees will be girls and hail from the BPL category and Tribal belt of Gujarat. Raj Kapur, Vice President – HR, Wear Well, concludes, “We are continuously adopting the Government initiatives and this hiring of tribal girls is also in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Women Empowerment. Wear Well has plans to hire approximately 500 such freshers through this collaboration in the next few months, depending upon the availability of trained operators.”