Difference between Productivity and Efficiency

Productivity and efficiency are the primary performance measures in garment production. We have earlier discussed about Productivity and Efficiency separately. In this post we will understand the difference between productivity and efficiency with an example.

First let me define these two terms.
Productivity is the ratio of output (products or services) and input (labour, machine, man-hours). Productivity can be measured as labour productivity, machine productivity, and value productivity for a production line or of a whole factory. Let’s consider you are measuring labour productivity of a production line. Labour productivity is defined as output (in pieces) per labour (direct +indirect) in a given time frame. Example of labour productivity of a Shirt line is 10 pieces per day per labour on 8 hour shift.

Efficiency is the ratio of total minutes produced and total minutes worked by an individual operator, or a line. Efficiency is expressed in percentage. For example, stitching line efficiency of a typical stitching line is 56%.

Formula use to calculate productivity and efficiency

Productivity formula:

Productivity = Output / Input
Labour productivity = (Total garments produced / Number of labours involved) in  given time frame
Machine productivity = (Total garments produced / total number of machine utilized)

Efficiency Formula:
Efficiency = (Total SAH produced / Total hours worked)*100

We can write the same formula as produced work in minutes

Efficiency = (Total Minute produced / (Total hours worked*60))*100

Where, Total minutes produced = (Number of pieces produced * Garment SAM) 
Total minutes worked = (Number of workers * shift hours * 60)

Efficiency is measured for individual operators, for each lines and overall factory efficiency.

In garment production labour productivity is presented as number of pieces produced per labour per shift.

Labour productivity of the same line with same number of labour for two different products (e.g. a T-shirt and a Polo shirt) may be different. But Line efficiency can be same in both products.

Productivity is product specific measure. When you compare your factory’s productivity with another factory’s productivity, you have to check if both factories are making same product. If different products are made by the factories, you can do productivity comparison by converting productivity of one product to equivalent SAM of the second product.

To calculate line efficiency you must have garment SAM (standard minutes) for your products. On the other hand you don’t need SAM to calculate labour productivity. Factories those don’t have industrial engineering department and don’t calculate garment SAM are not in position to measure accurate line efficiency. For them productivity measure is one that they can follow.

Both have importance understating factory’s performance. In case a factory have multiple stitching lines and all lines are producing same products/design without any variation in construction and all line has same number of manpower, in such case labour productivity measure is enough to compare performance between the two lines. But how will you compare if these two lines are making two different products? And have different number of manpower. With productivity data you couldn’t do that. In such situation line efficiency in the only measure to compare production performance of these two lines.

A case is shown in the following for calculating labour productivity and line efficiency.

A line of 35 operators and 5 helpers produced 400 pieces in day of 8 hours shift. Garment SAM is 25 minutes. Considering helpers SAM is included in garment SAM.

Total labour input (A) = 35+5 = 40 labours
Total production (B) = 400 pieces of garments
Total SAM produced (C) = 400 pieces * 25 minutes = 10000 minutes
Total Minutes attended (worked) by all workers (D) = 40 workers * 8 hours shift * 60 = (40 *8 *60) minutes
Labour productivity = B/A =400/40 = 10 pieces per labour per shift
Line Efficiency = (C/D)*100 = (10000 *100) / (40 * 8 * 60)
= (1000000 /19,200) % = 52.08%

Hence line efficiency is 59.52%. This is derived from (400*25*100)/ (35*8*60)

Also see: Difference between Production and Productivity

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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