Feb 10, 2011

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Quality Management for Clothing Factories:

In the apparel industry, professionals always talk about product quality, defects, and quality systems. To the buyers – the end product what they are receiving from factory, quality should be as per the requirement. No more, no less. Earlier buyers don’t bother how a factory makes quality? How much extra pieces they have processed to achieve all good pieces to handover the buyer?

On the other side factories don’t think how much money they are losing through repair work and garment rejection. It has been assessed unlike last decade now-a-days manufacturer become quality conscious and looking for solutions of quality related problems and many of them demand that they have good quality system in place and they ship quality garment to the buyer. Even during vendor selection buyers look for factories quality management systems, quality performance history. But question is do factory measure the quality performance?

It not just what you feel about your product quality is, there must be certain performance measuring criteria. 
We suggest factories to track their performance on the following KPIs and on that KPI they improve their quality performance continuous basis.

• Customer complaint: When buyers received something wrong against the contract with suppliers in terms of product quality they claim for the damages. It is huge money to pay back to the buyer. Even factory may lose business relationship with those buyers due to poor product quality. So customer complaint is considered as most important KPI.

• AQL levels: It means when garments are inspected what AQL level is being followed as pass or fail criteria. Though it may vary product to product but it gives clear idea about factory’s quality performance. Lower the AQL you follow better is the quality performance.

• Percentage Defective level: This term is also known as Defect %. It is measure of total defective garments founds and total garments inspected in percentage. It can be calculated batch wise or on the basis of complete order. Generally factory measure Defect percentage on daily and hourly basis of batch. Lesser the defect% better is the quality performance.

• Defects per Hundred Units (DHU): Factories measure Defect% but don’t track total number of defects found in inspected pieces. Tracking of DHU is important because your rework time and work force required for repairing defect directly linked with DHU number. Lesser the DHU better is the quality performance.

• Rework Cost: Each rework is a cost to the company. The rework costs vary according to the process and types of rework. It consumes extra time and increase factory overhead. Process wise and product wise rework cost can be tracked to measure it. Lower the Rework cost better is quality performance. 

• Right First Time (RFT): For garment manufacturer RFT quality is an ideal situation. It means whatever activities you do to make the garment, quality of the garment should be correct at the first time. Data can be captured for RFT at each process and it is expressed in percentage.

Also Read: KPIs for Garment Manufacturers