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Workshop on productivity improvement held

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The fourth network meeting of the NIPOSH (Network to Integrate Productivity and Occupational Safety and Health) was held at a city hotel, on 14 June. The NIPOSH was initiated to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the RMG industry integrating LEAN manufacturing and OSH. The project intends to develop a network of professionals in the RMG industry and create a culture of collective consciousness alongside building strong connectivity amongst the factories.

The project is funded by the Embassy of Denmark, Bangladesh. With the collaboration of University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA); jointly implemented By the Centre of Efficiency, innovation and OSH (BGMEA) and Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST).

The objective of the development cooperation is to develop and document a network model for integrated improvement of OSH and productivity (LEAN), and to secure a sustainable model where BGMEA in affiliation with universities is qualified to lead such future processes. A total of 25 factories were onboarded in this project and the first phase factory visit has been done. At the first factory visit, NIPOSH team has collected some basic data from the factories.

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In his address at the event, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, “Every year our cost of production is increasing, the minimum wage has also been revised several times but we have somehow not been able to enhance our productivity which is one of the major impediments for the sustenance of the industry.”

“Against this backdrop, BGMEA has initiated a “Centre on Efficiency innovation and OHS in its Uttara premises that works on productivity improvements, Industrial Engineering, product development, industry 4.0, sustainability, lean manufacturing and Occupational Health & Safety. The NIPOSH initiative is the 1st stepping stone toward our centre of innovation and efficiency,” he added.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Fazli Ilahi, Vice-chancellor of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) said, “Network meetings are an integral part of this noble initiative to have enhanced productivity with improved occupational health and safety in the garments industries of Bangladesh. We hope together we will be able to reap the benefit outlined in the project objective. I appreciate this industry and academia collaboration, which will help the curriculum revision and development.”

Søren Albertsen, Sector Counsellor, Danish Embassy in Bangladesh, said “There are so many obvious win-wins in this project and the key to real on the ground success is ownership by the top management in each factory. The fact that BGMEA uses the opportunity to its educate own staff from the new innovation centre in order to be able to maintain the project, is a way to secure national ownership and sustainability. A development project should not forever be dependent on externals and thanks to the unique involvement of BGMEA and AUST, long term success is likely for this project.”

Abdulla Hil Rakib, Director, BGMEA said “Without a solid knowledge base amalgamated with experience and training we cannot keep ourselves competitive in the global supply chain and therefore BGMEA making continuous strive to enhance the capacity of the mid-level management of its member factories. We will continue and scale up this project intervention even in a bigger spectrum in the days to come.”

Dr. Mohammad Sarwar Morshed, Project Leader, NIPOSH, and a professor at AUST said, “Sustainable improvement for OHS and productivity in RMG sectors of Bangladesh is a precondition to cope with current and upcoming challenges. Industry and academia relationship is also important for capacity building for the future university graduates, product development and diversification, course curriculum update and scientific contribution.”

Dr. Abu Hamja, Project Coordinator and Research Fellow, NIPOSH, and Engineer Azim Mohammad, Phd Fellow, NIPOSH, spoke at the event. A total of 39 representatives from 13 woven garment factories took part in the daylong session.

The network meeting was sponsored by Team Group.