Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Passing the quality test

Productivity, labour, production costs, efficiency, quality, logistics, environment norms, are areas that are being addressed by the industry to gain a competitive edge. This is being done by getting certifications such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, SA 8000, OHSAS, etc, and also by implementing certain TQM solutions, ERP solutions, etc. It is an established fact that such tools if implemented in the right spirit result in huge savings, and enable companies to meet their targets.

The Indian textile and clothing industry is realising the benefits of using such tools, and demand especially for the various certifications is going up each year. And it is not just the big and well established units that are extensively making use of these, but awareness has percolated down to the smaller units too.

For instance, Siyaram Silk Mills, a long established textile company, has got one of its five units ISO certified. Preparations to get the remaining four certified is on. Similarly, Donear Mills, another very flexible unit, conducted all the internal audits and put in place all the necessary systems and processes required for ISO certification, but did not go in for the certification, it is learnt. This is because implementing and following the system itself will start to bring in the results, point out experts.

Speaking to Express Textile, Dr A N Desai, director, Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA), said, "This is a very encouraging trend, smaller companies are also going in for certifications and audits. From the time BTRA started this service, we have helped 40 units in getting ISO-9001 certification. This year, as many as 12 companies approached us for this service, double that of last year. And many of these are in the decentralised sector."

According to him, while demand for ISO-9001 certification is good, response to ISO-14001 has not been the same. "Siyaram Silk Mills is showing interest in this certification. But generally this and SA 8000 are buyer-driven."

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