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In times when automation is the call of the trade, The IdeaSmith has made Skill Development a critical part of its blueprint of achieving operational excellence at Penguin Apparels. “Automation is a cheap trick in a low volume business,” asserts Nimish Dave, Founder, The IdeaSmith. Thus the focus was on building a rich skill pool.

When the business engagement commenced, only 29% of the workforce was highly skilled, while low-skilled and medium skilled operators comprised the workforce in a proportion of 27% and 44% respectively. All the operators were put through the training room for a 2-3 weeks training program, under which they acquired new skills. The training of the workers is done batch wise. At one  time 8-10 operators can undergo training under the guidance of the Trainer. Throughout, a point was made to ensure, that the operators worked to reach a target number of pieces – to ensure that they pace themselves well and no training inertia is built. At the end of the training program, the operators were also put through a test which tested them on efficiency, and quality. These results were linked with a step up by associating the new performance skill with pay scale – giving the operators ample incentive to diversify their skill sets.

Today, Penguin Apparels, a Madurai, India-based apparel manufacturer, stands at a critical juncture in its journey of evolution. Being in the business for two decades, Ralph Lauren – one of its key buyers – is now looking at doubling its sourcing from Penguin Apparels in the months to come. Realizing the need to come of the age, Penguin Apparels liaised with The IdeaSmith.

 

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