Since its arrival in the 1980s, Six Sigma has revolutionized the way manufacturers think about their business. While clothing manufacturers in the USA have yet to capitalize on all that Six Sigma fully has to offer, that appears to be changing. With the added emphasis on all aspects of manufacturing, marketing, quality control, and customer support, applying Six Sigma’s rigorous scientific approach to the apparel industry seems like a natural fit. Here are a few reasons why this fascinating management strategy is so perfectly suited to the garment business.
A Scientific Approach
Six Sigma is founded in the belief that every aspect of a business can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled. This process — known as the DMAIC approach — provides the foundation of organizational thinking under Six Sigma. Experts in this revolutionary discipline will use qualitative and quantitative techniques to improve an organizations process of doing business fundamentally. In order for a company to evolve in this manner, the management environment must support and encourage such initiatives as a whole new business strategy.
A Business Improvement Methodology
Six Sigma is specifically designed to help companies thrive in today’s competitive environment by focusing on a few key aspects of their operations. By emphasizing understanding what customers require from a company, Six Sigma is perfectly suited to the apparel industry. Anything a clothing manufacturer can do to limit the number of defects can dramatically impact the bottom line. By aligning key processes to satisfy customer requirements, this business method assists companies in their goal of limiting defects while also rapidly driving sustainable improvements across all levels within the organization. Six Sigma’s innovative use of data analysis allows companies to make decisions based on empirical data instead of hunches. From a product’s design to its development and rollout, apparel companies are empowered to study and qualify every step of the process.
Applying Six Sigma to the Apparel Industry
There are a few ways in which Six Sigma is ideally suited for the apparel industry. It can be instrumental in reducing rejections in shipments, for example. This streamlines the process by which a company can get approval for the first samples from potential buyers. Similarly, the supplier evaluation process is improved, as is the merchandiser performance. One of the most important benefits of Six Sigma is how it impacts processes early in each process at the source. By improving the reliability of fabric purchases and inspection, as well as stitching, embroidery, and all stages of packaging and shipping, rejections are not only reduced in the early stages but later stages as well.
Applying to business management the same kind of scientific process that goes into manufacturing, Six Sigma is uniquely qualified to streamline all aspects of the apparel industry. If you want to see how Six Sigma can modernize your own company, contact the experts at Apparel Production Incorporated. They’re an American clothing factory dedicated to quality and customer service that can make a dramatic difference in improving your company’s performance. If you’re ready to take your apparel company to the next level, give them a call today!