Evaluation of resource usage and throughput processes in a clothing production system
This article focuses primarily on the South African clothing production industry, which has shown a considerable decline in the last decade. The investigation aimed to explore and describe the interactive contribution of human and physical resources and throughput processes regarding the operation of a selected South African clothing production company from the workers’ perspective. A systems theory approach was used to structure a discussion of the interactive contribution of the resources towards the operation of the clothing production system. A clothing production company in the Bronkhorstspruit area, Gauteng, was selected as a unit of analysis for the case study. The sample consisted of 103 workers, i.e. sewing machine and cutting room operators. They completed a structured questionnaire that was pre-tested before distribution. Although merely descriptive, findings provided ample useful evidence to confirm the interrelatedness of resources in the factory. The optimisation of every resource would significantly contribute to a more effective production output. Neglect of human resources was largely to blame for workers’ powerlessness and inability to make amends when problems occurred. The physical resources and quality control were also not on par with what is expected from a competitive company. Pertinent problems were discussed, with recommendations on how obstacles could be overcome.