The fashion brands are changing their traditional way of marketing and manufacturing. Agile orders which are less in quantities have become the new trend. The reason being millennials and gen Z coming into the picture and changing consumption patterns. They are demanding more sustainable products while focusing on individuality via customization.
To accommodate the demands of fashion brands apparel manufacturers are going through drastic changes in their manufacturing models. They are to have more adaptable systems to suit multiple business models simultaneously. During this transformation they need to streamline their processes to avoid the chaos. That is where Business Process Optimization will come into place.
What is Business Process Optimization?
With the rapid changes in the industry manufacturers have less time for production and smaller profit margins. As such companies need to be very streamlined in order to run at optimum efficiency while ensuring that there are little to no errors which could affect production. Most companies focus on process modelling and workflow management while ignoring process improvement. Business Process Optimization analyses your current processes from start to finish to figure out where the kinks lie, which are then dealt with in its entirety.
Business Process Optimization has three primary goals;
- Save time
- Reduce costs
- Most efficient use of resources with minimum wastage
How can Business Process Optimization help?
In an apparel manufacturing facility, time savings are really important. Most of the factories measure their operation’s cost per minute as a KPI. Trying to keep this KPI low is not an easy task. Take a mechanic’s response time as an example. If a sewing operator is having a problem with a machine, how long does a mechanic take to come and adjust the machine? If you really observe, you will be able to realize that just by improving the communication time from the sewing line to the mechanic you will save a lot of time. Collectively this will result in significant amount of savings. Similarly there are many processes in a factory where a slight improvement will result in effective time savings.
Many factories incur unnecessary costs due to rework. The key to eliminating such costs lie in implementing concepts such as TQM. TQM make sure at each point in the process the quality is ensured before passing the product to the next step. Taking a sewing line for example, if a skipped stitch is identified at the end of production, there could be multiple processes that has to be repeated in order to correct the mistake. Through Business Process Optimization you will be able to eliminate such rework by implementing a process to identify mistakes early.
Efficient use of resources
The main task of Business Process Optimization is to map the current process of a certain workflow in order to identify its flows. Having a clear process map, these processes can be standardized to eliminate dependency on resources. Having such a procedure will help the organization to evaluate the capabilities of the resources. Which results in allocating resources in an effective manner avoiding over capacity/under capacity issues.
Business Process Optimization is a combination of concepts and techniques applied together to optimize business processes in order to achieve a particular goal. BPO is not necessarily a rule or a concept nevertheless a customized solution to your bottlenecks. What is implemented will differ from business to business. Business Process Optimization is not an easy journey to embark on without the correct team in place. Many companies have failed their journey due to lack of experience in change management or implementing it at a wrong time. A 3rd party BPO consulting will see your current process from a different perspective and might let you see your own process from a different angle. It is always recommended to have an external party to manage Business Process Optimization project as it will make sure the project will be given priority and change management will be handled carefully.