Key Responsibility Areas of a Production Supervisor in Garment Factories

In a shop floor, each staff including line supervisors have a set of job responsibilities. When supervisors' performance needs to be measured or assessed, there must be a defined key responsibility area (KRAs) for them.

What are the common KRAs of line supervisors?

KRAs of the production supervisor

KRAs of production supervisors widely vary depending on organization structure. Small and unorganized garment manufacturers still don’t have industrial engineering (IE) department that assists production supervisor in production preparations, like garment analysis, making line layout, manpower requirement and target calculation etc.

Factories those have established industrial engineering department production preparation is done by industrial engineers. And Supervisor’s responsibilities are reduced many times.

In this article, I have listed down the most common job responsibilities of line supervisors. This list is made considering that there is no presence of the Industrial Engineering department in the factory.

Key responsible areas of a line supervisor in a typical factory are as following

1. Discipline in Shop Floor: Discipline in the sewing floor is very important to create a good work culture in the company. Like starting line on time in the morning, switch off sewing machine when there is no work or operator is not in the machine. Operators may not be aware of how to behave on the factory floor. A supervisor is responsible to train such things to their operators and helpers. For example, operators should keep the floor clean, keeps accessories on defined place, and should not talk unnecessarily with other operators during working hours.

2. Style Analysis: It is an essential task for a supervisor to collect a sample of the style that is going to be loaded in his/her line and analyze garment construction and operation details. A supervisor should completely understand what to be done. In case any confusion s/he should contact to merchandiser and get clarification. The quality requirement can be discussed with the quality team or merchandiser. Though these things are discussed and clarified in PP meeting, some times everything may not be covered in that meeting. Check what all trims he/she needs to bring from the store prior to line start.

3. Line Setting: In line setting, supervisor does sequencing of machine, select most suitable operators from available operators for each operation. Supervisor stands aside of the operator and instruct to her/him how to make the operation on first pieces.

4. Machine Selection: What sewing machines and equipment should be used for the style and how many machines should be allocated to a particular operation is decided by line supervisors. Unlike industrial engineers, the supervisor is not able to plan machine requirement in advance but they do it based on the actual requirement to meet the daily production target.

5. Line Balancing and WIP Control: Leveling of workload throughout the line is very important to improve capacity (resource) utilization. No line should have excess work in process as inventory.

6. Operator Training: Though companies set up a training center for sewing operator training or hire only experienced operators, supervisors need to train unskilled operators on the job. While a trainee operator is allocated for an operation and the trainee operator is not confident how to do that job or hesitating to follow an operation method, supervisor's responsibility is to guide and instruct them the correct method of doing that operation.

7. Meeting Target Production: Line supervisors are given daily production target based on resources available in a line (machine and manpower). Supervisor is responsible to produce target quantity at the end of the day. To meet the target, supervisor need to monitor operators working pace, loading of works, lost time etc. There might be many reasons for low production. Still supervisor need to find a way to hit the daily production target.

8. Stitching Quality: Stitching quality of the garment comes from the operators. Though factories involve quality checkers in the sewing line to control stitching quality, line supervisor is responsible for producing right quality garments. Supervisors need to maintain low percentage defective or DHU rate of his/her line.

What are the job responsibilities (KRAs) of your supervisors?  Do you measure KRAs for your supervisors? If you do, please share with us.

Related post: Key KPI is the management information system

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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