Quality control improvement in global apparel sourcing
Author(s)Heath, Michael Lindsey
Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Maria Yang and Charles Fine.
MetadataShow full item record
This project addressed challenges within the quality management process of one of the operating groups of Li & Fung. The primary goals were improved product quality and reduced quality control costs. The operating group works with thousands of factories across the world, producing a large variety of apparel and textile products. The industry trend of fast fashion, with small order sizes and shorter lead times, has placed considerable burden on the limited quality control resources. Understanding the current state of the quality management process was the first project step, and this was accomplished through factory visits and interviewing workers. The current inspection process was designed for large orders and performs sub-optimally with smaller orders. Second, the project took a broad view of the supplier base, performing statistical analysis of inspection and factory data. This revealed problems with the process that lead to high inspection costs and inaccurate inspection results. Next, the project identified technological solutions and process improvements to address the root causes of these issues and to increase the accuracy and efficiency of inspectors. Three specific technology solutions were developed: measurement digitization, label scanners, and improved management metrics. Each solution was prototyped and the critical functionality was tested to demonstrate the value of implementation. Business analysis of the solutions revealed time savings of 60,000 inspector hours/year and cost savings of more than $1 million. At the conclusion of the project, integration of the solutions within the current inspection mobile app was ongoing and expected to be rolled out across the quality organization in the first half of 2016. Finally, recommendations beyond the scope of the technology solutions are provided for further improvement of the quality management process.
Thesis: M.B.A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 2016. In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MIT.Thesis: S.M. in Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2016. In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MIT.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-50).
DepartmentSloan School of Management.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.; Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management., Mechanical Engineering., Leaders for Global Operations Program.