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Craft Aid ( Mauritius ) Co. Ltd, a small textile industry owned by Mr. Gabriel Kamudu, is located at Sir Edgard Laurent Street, Rose-Hill and it is a non profit-making organisation which has been in existence since 1982. It is dedicated to the welfare of disabled people and its main objective is to provide paid employment to the disabled and rehabilitate them in the society. The organisation's workforce includes a significant number of mentally and physically handicapped as well as mute and deaf person whereby each and every one is given training based on their capabilities and are posted to the organisation's particular departments.
Today, Craft Aid proudly stands as a unique force of more than 200 employees amongst which more than 55 are disabled persons, regardless of their condition these people are working normally at the company because the organisation has given them the opportunity to integrate themselves in the society hereby rising the feeling in them of being unique and normal.
Craft Aid (Mtus) Co.Ltd is a member of the WFTO (WORLD FAIR TRADE ORGANISATION) since 2001 where WFTO is a global network of Fair Trade Organisations, with members in 59 countries, who all believe that trade should improve the lives of marginalized people without harming the planet (I.e who believe in Fair Trade), whereby Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers. Therefore, the WFTO's objective is to improve the livelihoods and well-being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organisations.
Craft Aid which is a fully export-oriented company is mainly engaged in the making of textile products such as, (gloves, socks, headbands, towels, t-shirts, trousers, skirts, nighties, hooded-jackets, baby wears, aprons) to meet the needs of different customers around the globe (Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and others). Sample garments are also made in-house. The organisation's flow of production starts from the cutting process of fabrics up to the completion of finished products. Furthermore, most of the company's garments are made of organic cotton which are FLO certified, that is, the organisation's cotton wears are issued ( Fair Trade Labelling Organisation).
Apart from operating the textile sector, the organisation also have two other sections namely the "Sugar Department" and the "Pressed Flower Department" which are situated at Mont-Roches. The activities at the sugar department consists of packaging of different types of refined sugars such, Standard Demerara, Dry Musscovado, Golden Caster and Special Raw Cane in a variety of retail packs of 500 grams and 1 kg and are in turn exported to the respectives countries. In order to monitor and control the packaging process at that department, the organisation has put in place an HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system which ensures that sugar are being packed with no harmful materials such as metals and so on. This paricular department is controlled by the Production Coordinator.
On the other hand, the Pressed Flower department is involved in the making of all types of greeting card, book marks, photo albums, calendars and pot pourri by using pressed natural flowers to make the cards and crafts unique. The ready-made hand-crafts are then exported to customers. It is to be noted that the sugar and pressed flower department involve mainly the disabled employees as the tasks carried out by these two departments are rather light and easy thus suiting the mentally and physically impaired people.
The key success of Craft Aid's business is its strong motivational workforce. And the company values its human resources by providing several motivational factors such as: Regular training facilities because Craft Aid believes that Training is a must for the organisation to succeed. Moreover, every year the best employee award is given based on performance, discipline and commitment to work. Additional benefits such as, free medical facilities, profit sharing and production bonuses are given to motive the employees towards achieving the organisational goals and objectives thus ensuring the business sustainability.
Craft Aid's Mission and Objectives
1. Craft Aid's mission is to produce and market a range of products to buyers whose needs are identified and are fulfilled by using the company's resources in the best possible way and by ensuring that its employees are suitably trained.
2. To make its products always meet high international quality standards that include organic cotton clothing and also to ensure that its delivery of goods are on time and that its prices are acceptable to its customers.
3. The organisation seeks to remain alert to market opportunities and threats and adapt its business accordingly, but at the same time adhering to the principles of fair and ethical trade.
4. Strive to continuously upgrade its operations and sustain its financial viability so that the company improve the living standards of its employees thereby supporting and rehabilitating the disabled, disadvantaged and needy communities in Mauritius.
5. Being a member of the WFTO, Craft Aid's mission is also to promote the Fair Trade Ethics which are as follows:
(i) To improve the livelihoods and well-being of producers by improving market access, strengthening producer organizations, paying better prices and providing continuity in trading relationships.
(ii) To promote development opportunities for disadvantaged producers especially women and indigenous people and to protect children from exploitation in the production process.
(iii) To raise awareness among consumers of negative effects on producers of international trade so that they raise exercise in their purchasing power positively.
(iv) To protect human rights by promoting social justice, sound environmental practices and economic security." (WFTO Code of Practice, March 1999)
Description of the different departments at Craft Aid (Textile) Company
Craft Aid textile section is divided into the following departments namely: Operation and Production departments, Finance department, the Marketing department, CAD (Computer Aided Design) department, Sample department, Cutting and Printing departments, the store and the Packing and Checking department where the different departments coordinate together to carry out the day-to-day activities in achieving production.
The operations department consists of the operation manager, Mr Maghoo and a planning officer whereby the aim of the operation department is the overall management and general administration of the core operations of the company. This department keeps a check on the personnel and regular operations of the company. Therefore the operations department deals with the management of production of garments and the monitor the status of production. As such, the operations department play a very important role in controlling the core activities of the business at the organisation.
The mentioned department is controlled by the production manager, Mr. Daya, whereby the department checks that production is being carried out effectively by the machine operators at all the different chains of production. The production department is involved with the planning, coordination and control of production process. The department ensures that goods are being produced efficiently at the right cost and at the right level of quality.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT
The existence of the human resource department is vital for the overall productivity and efficiency of the strong workforce in the organisation. The Human Resource department's main function is to manage people. It enriches the organisation through recruitment procedures and ensures that members of staff follow a general direction by frequently clarifying and reminding them of the organisation's goals. Besides this, the department also organises incentives or compensation packages and training to motivate employees which contribute towards organisational effectiveness.
This unit is operated by the financial manager, Mr. James, who looks after all the financial proceedings of the organisation. The department ensures that there are adequate funds available to acquire the resources needed to help the organisation achieve its objectives. In general, the department controls the cash flow of the organisation.
Accounting is important for allowing a business to understand its financial perspective. As such the accouting department is responsible to keep track of all receipt of money, paying bills, recording and tracking assets and inventory of the company. This particualar department is controlled by the Finance Manager.
Marketing is perhaps the most important activity in the business because it has a direct effect on profitability and sales. The department consists of two merchandisers whose role are to deal with the company's clients, identify their needs and wants which can be fulfilled in the best possible manner. The marketing department acts as a guide and leads the company's other departments in developing, producing, fulfilling, and servicing products for their customers where communication is vital.
Merchandising is of extreme importance for the organisation as it studies the market and the customers and works with the rest of the company to help determine the new product needs of the market and represent the company in a consistent voice thus ensuring the sustainability of the business by satisfying the needs of potential customers and retaining them.
CAD- COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN DEPARTMENT
This particular department consists of the CAD operator and a manually paper-pattern maker. The overall responsibility of this department is to design patterns either electronically using the "Accumark Explorer" software or they are created manually according to clients' specifications. The CAD department is under the control of the Operations Manager.
The sample room consists of around ten employees including the sample supervisor, Mr. Suraj. The duty of this department is to make sample garments as per clients needs and requirements using all the accessories proposed by clients.
The printing unit coordinates all the printing works by the use of manual printing machines where the preparation of screen such as engraving, gluing of mesh, preparation of color are all made in house. However, if the required printing designs or colors are not available in-house, the printing works are sent outside the organisation. The printing section is controlled by the printing coordinator, Mr. Alain
This particular department aim is to achieve the targetted cutting pieces of fabric so that the production chains can carry out the make-up process.The cutting department is the first department which takes the fabric after fabric inspection is done. The fabric which is to be stitched is brought to the cutting department where the fabric is cut according to the specifications and needs. From the cutting department the fabric is transferred to the stitching department. This particular department is controlled and lead by the cutting supervisor, Mr. Sanjeeve
It is a department which is well equipped with suitable machines such as the (lockstitch, chain stitch , over-lock stitch machines and so on), whereby the stitching process is carried out to convert the cut fabric material into finshed garment products. There are approximately 60 machine operators in each production line with some 5 non-machines who help to achieve the target required at the same time attaining the quality required. The objectives of the stitching department are to minimize wastage and make best use of time which are all controlled by the line checkers.
It is the department whereby the ready-made production goods are pressed and packed accordingly using the packing list whereby the packed goods are then shipped to the clients. This department controlled by the packing supervisor, Mr. Dinesh
The store department consists of the stock controller, purchasing officer involved for the overall purchasing and controlling of stock of fabrics and other accessories. This unit ensures the proper flow of stocks from one department to another thus assuring the organisation's departments are being provided with the correct requirements of stocks for the production process to go on effectively.
Shipping is a crucial part of the supply chain as it is the only means to get payment of goods from clients. The shipping department consists of the shipping clerks who are responsible to work on the shipping procedures which is controlled by the Finance Manager. The shipping process involves a lot of documentation which needs to be prepared to ensure the shipmement delivery on time. The most commonly documents that are prepared and dealt with are:
The Bill of Export
Bill of Lading
Export Declaration Form
Certificate of Origin
Shipping or Airway Bill (depending on the mode of delivery)
QUALITY CONTROL DEPARTMENT
The quality of the product is controlled by the quality control department of the organisation. The quality control team is made of four quality controllers whose role are to ensure that garments produced are of good quality. By taking random measurements of garments at different production lines the quality controllers check whether the measurements conform to its specification.
Some of the Positions Held at Craft Aid Company:
1. Operations Manager
(i) Job Responsibilities
To improve the operational systems, processes and policies in support of organization's mission, to support better management and organizational planning.
To manage and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Support Services (HR, IT and Finance), through improvements to each function as well as coordination and communication between business functions
(ii) Job Descriptions
The operations manager runs the day-to-day operations of the business, his sole purpose is to find ways to make the company more productive by providing effective methods in its business operations.
One of the duties that the operation manager performs at the company is to provide a work environment that engenders positive energy, creativity and teamwork among employees. To ensure that this goal is achieved, the operations managers usually conducts meetings to each department.
In order for a department to run smoothly, the operations manager sets rules and procedures for employees to follow. This includes setting policies in the workplace to ensure effective implementation and adherence among each and every employee in the organization.
Handling issues is also a top priority for operations managers. Therefore the operations manager faces many issues that include risk management, shipment delays, clients' dissatisfaction and employee problems. And thus the operations manager has to make effective decisions that will not only help the company to run smoothly but also to prevent such situations.
The Operation manager is also responsible for hiring employees inside the organization, as well as supervising and evaluating employees and their job performance. In addition to being a recruiter, the operations manager also gives directions to employees on certain job tasks, resolve problems concerning employees, work performance, and create work schedules.
2. Production Manager
(i) Job Responsibilies
The main responsibilities of the Production Manager at Craft Aid is to establish expectations for production line supervisors that are to be achieved.
To lead and influence employees at production stage to obtain daily targetted output.
To recommend acquisition of production equipment (machineries) and provide justification for the purchase.
To schedule planning production capacity requirements.Â
To actively participate and contribute in daily production meetings and management meetings.
Conduct performance appraisals on departmental supervisors.
(ii) Job Descriptions
The production manager oversees the production process of garments at each production line and ensures the supply of raw materials and also monitors the quality of the products.
The production manager is also responsible for the effective management of human resources and raw materials at each production line.
The manager also ensures that there is collaboration between the various departments and that there is no communication gap among the teams. Moreover the production manager coordinates with the quality controllers to ensure that quality is being achieved at all stages of production.
The Production manager also decides about the purchase of the equipments (mainly stitching machines) if they are need to be replaced. The production manager is also involved in all the stages of production, be it in the pre-planning stage or the stage of production control and evaluation of the plans.
3. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER
(i) Job Responsibilies
To maintain and develop HR policies, ensuring compliance and to contribute to the development of corporate HR policies.
To ensure the provision of a professional HR service to the organization. He also manages the staff and is responsible for mentoring, guiding and developing them as a team so that the employees contribute to the overall effectiveness of the business performance.
To ensure timely recruitment of required level to meet business needs and focusing on employee retention and key employee identification initiatives.
Prepare information and input for the salary budgets and also coordinates increments and promotions of all staff based on their performance.
Provide counsel and assistance to employees at all levels in accordance with the
company's policies and procedures
(ii) Job Description
The HR manager's main duty at the firm is to administer compensation, benefits and design performance management systems, and also arrange for safety and recreational programs.
The HR manager identifies staff vacancies and recruit, interview and select applicants to meet the business strategic objectives.
He provides current and prospective employees with information about policies, job duties, working conditions, wages, opportunities for promotion and employee benefits.
The manager deals with staffing problems, refereeing disputes, firing employees, and administering disciplinary procedures
The manager also identifies training needs to design employee development thus making the employees skillful and more effective in their work.
3. FINANCE MANAGER
(i) Job Responsibilities
To oversee the flow of money for the business. The finance manager normally has to prepares financial reports such as, (balance sheets and income or profit statements) that can be analyzed and used to make financial forecasts.
The manager has to also take care of the organization's budget and making sure that the organization is meeting its financial goals. He is also in charge of investments and managing cash and capital-raising projects of the organisation.
The finance manager has to establish the organization's credit rating and monitor collections of accounts due to the firm also to handle the receipt and disbursement of cash.
To oversees risks that are required to minimize the risks and losses that can occur due to certain financial transactions and business moves
(ii) Job Description
The finance manager's job is to monitor the cash flows and using the same to predict future financial trends of the business
Formulates strategies to be used in the long-term financial plans for the business entity
Develops management mechanism in the department for purposes of minimizing the financial risks
Manages the accounting and monitoring systems for the company's finances
Develops good working relationships with professionals such as bankers, brokers and auditors for the benefit of the firm
The Overall Business Operations at Craft Aid
The business operations at Craft Aid to obtain the final product are as follows:
1. Yarns of the required composition for e.g (40/1, 30/1) are imported from different spinning mills in India.
2. The imported cones of yarns are then sent to Richfield Tang Knits (RT Knits) industry located at Beau-Bassin where the yarns are weaved into fabrics using the latest technology equipments.
3. Once weaved, the fabrics goes to the quality laboratory of RT Knits where the fabrics go through the processes of (dyeing, stentering, re-calendering etc) in order to have the required fabric to produce the required goods.
4. Once completed the fabrics are brought to Craft Aid company where fabric inspection are carried out by quality controllers.
5. The inspected fabrics are sent to the cutting department for the cutting process.
6. After the cutting process the cut pieces are brought to the sample department for sample make-up of garments, from where they are sent to the printing department if there is any printing work to be done.
7. Once the samples get approved by clients, production of garments are started at the production lines where the planning, operations & production departments work as a bridge between the marketing team and the processing people to achieve the output and deliver the goods on time.
8. After production, packing of the products are done and also the shipping department prepares the required documents for the shipment of the goods so that they reach at their right destination on the right time in order to get payment.
The Intially Stated Objectives And The Extent of Achievement
1. To get an understanding of the real working industry and have an enriching working experience during the internship period.
This aim of this goal was to understand how an organisation functions and how its different departments contribute towards achieving the business objectives. Being in the organisation for 6 months has indeed helped me a great deal to understand the business concepts and strategies.
2. To be integrated fully in the organisation and thus to understand how the organisation function to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in its business.
The aim of being integrated into the organisation was to facilitate the learning process of the intership. Thus the friendly and coorperative atmosphere at Craft Aid have helped me to integrate easily into the organisation and also by working with different staff members at the company has broaden my knowledge about the different business styles applied at the company to achiveness effectivess and effiency.
3. To understand how the different level in management hierarchy interacts and works with each other to ensure proper functioning of the organization and also to know what management styles the organisation applied.
It is has been taught in theory from the very beginning of the course that the concept of management is divided into hierarchies in order for a business to be effective and efficient. As such I tried to understand how the different management hierarchies at Craft Aid contribute to achieve the business goals. Having the opportunity to meet and work with all the different level of staffs (for e.g, merchandisers, operation and production managers, Managing Director) at the company I have been able to understand their strategy of working and the different management styles opted by managers to lead the business.
4. To gain maximum knowledge, skills and experience by accepting all the assignments, tasks given by the organization so that at the end of the internship period I find myself benefitting from the training and thus be liable to accept the working industry in the future.
In order to gain knowledge and skills practical work should be done therefore I think that by working on all the tasks being provided by the organisation the internship program has been beneficial. Even though some difficulties were encountered in the beginning in doing the tasks they became gradually easy and understandable with practice. Therefore the different tasks assigned by the different departments have contributed greatly towards increasing my skills and also served to evaluate my strengths, weaknesses, personal and professional standards.
Learning Acquired during the Internship period
The 6-months field experience at Craft Aid has indeed helped me a lot to enhance my professional development and increase understanding and appreciation of the profession by providing lots of learning opportunities. Due to the rotation in different departments, i've got the opportunities to increase my skills and knowledge. Below are the description of the tasks done in different departments.
Some of the tasks done in the marketing department.
1. Worked on Production Specification Sheets
The production specification sheet contains all particular details about a specific style of garment that needs to be produced. Details such as; (factory reference, garment style, client name, quantity of garments ordered and its different colors) should be worked out correctly for the mentioned sheet. This sheet is prepared for each single style of garment then dispatch to all other departments. This task was assigned by the merchandisers.
2. Worked on Bulk Fabric Consumption Sheet
The bulk fabric consumption is worked out to know the quantity of fabric to be order per style. The required information is obtained from the pattern-maker. For each new order received, the consumption of fabric is calculated to account for the quantity of fabric needed in different colors and in different fabric composition for production. The sheet is then sent to the Finance Manager where the latter checks whether the cost of ordering fabric is within the financial limit hence gives his approval for the ordering of fabric. Task assigned by Merchandiser, Mrs. Shoba.
3. Worked on Accessories Purchase Sheet
This sheet accounts for the purchasing of accessories that are needed for the making-up of garments. The accessories constitute mainly of : (Matching thread, Snap buttons, Zippers, Labels) that are used to be attached to the garments. The above mentioned sheet contains the unit price, quantity of the accessories and thus the total cost of the accessories to be purchased. Once the accessories purchase sheet is ready it is sent to the purchasing officer, who then deals with suppliers for the purchasing of these accessories.
Some of the tasks perfomed in CAD department
1. Digitizing paper-patterns
Digitizing is the process of converting manually created patterns into a computerized system. The software used at Craft Aid to do this process is "Accumark Explorer" software which was completely new to me and nevertheless I got the opportunities to learn about the software's specialities and features thus enhacing my skills with the help of the pattern-maker, Mrs Ashna.
2. Filling quality control sheets
Quality control sheets contain full size set measurement of a specific style of garment. After a garment's sizes are worked out by the pattern-maker, QC sheets need to be filled with its the respective measurements that are later dispatched to clients with the samples.
Tasks performed with the help of the planning officer
1. Worked on Packing List
A packing list accounts for the number of garment pieces that can be put per box after production of garments is made. A correct estimate of garments to be put in boxes is important to be calculated so as to avoid overweight/ underweight of boxes which are to be dispatched via sea or air freight. The packing list is then sent to the shipping department to carry out the shipping procedures.
2. Worked on Completion of Order Sheet
The mentioned sheet keeps accounts for all the garments made-up for production, it also accounts for the number of reject garments and quantity of fabric used and remained in stock. This task is very important as it is used for auditing purposes and therefore is used as a good control for fabric in use and in stock. The mentioned sheet is prepared for each different client once production is done. And the completion of Order sheet is prepared with the help of the Planning Officer, Mrs. Shoma.
Tasks / Responsibilities assigned by operations manager
1. Taking Minutes
Taking minutes for every production meeting carried out by the operations manager is necessary as it accounts for all the matters discussed. Thus by attending production meetings I could understand how planning and problems were tackled at management level.
2. Taking down regular working status for sample, cutting, printing department
By providing the necessary information of these above departments, the manager could do planning of work or even find solutions to problems which usually were: ( lack of materials, shortage of labor to particualar department, lack of time). By doing this task I had opportunities to meet the employees of the different departments which enhance my interpersonnel skills.
By working with the operations manager I have been able to understand the concept of planning which is the backbone of management and how planning should be done and implemented to achieve the output. I even got the chance of devising a production plan with the help of the manager.
I also got the opportunity to work with the marketing assistant, Mrs. Prema from whom I learnt interesting things such as:
1. Textile Costing
The textile costing accounts for all the costs incurred to produce a particular style of garment. Therefore costing is calculated for each and every garment style and this task is considered as the toughest task of all. Calculating the cost of a garment involves a number of steps and requires lots of information. Documents such as the target, technical sheets, the fabric consumption, accessories sheets are needed to work out the textile cost of a particular style of garment.
The textile costing in brief involves of the fabric cost, textile overheads costs and labor cost, including the factory's profit which consequently make-up the garment cost per style. Working on the textile costing involved lots of calculations and needs a critical mind which I found really interesting. Therefore this task really helped to develop new skills and knowledge.
2. Product Catalog
I was assigned the responsibility to work in collaboration with the marketing assistant in the making of a product catalog for the company which will be used during marketing trips and client visits. The catalog in brief would consists of all the different products produced by the company. Thus for the making of the product catalog the "photoshop" software had to be used which again was new to me and therefore I seize the opportunity to learn and discover about the new software and also I have been able to contribute my ideas in the making of the product catalog. This responsibility was assigned by the Managing Director.
3. Worked on Proforma
A proforma is like an invoice that is prepared and sent to clients once an order is received. A proforma accounts all for the different styles of garments that have been produced by the factory upon the clients requirements; it contains the unit price of each style; the quantity pieces in each style and thus the total cost of the different styles of garments. Once the proforma (invoice) is worked out it is sent to the shipping department whereby the proforma is checked by the Financial Manager. Therefore by working on proformas, i've been able to understand a few of the shipping procedures at the company.
The above mentioned assignments and tasks provided by the different departments of the organisation have really been beneficial both for the academic course and for future career. Being in the organisation for 6-months have helped me to understand the functioning of an organisation in general, the importance of having different departments and their contribution towards the organisational success. Moreover, I had the opportunity to see how the concepts of management and the modules covered in the course are applicable in the organisation, the theory part covered in modules such as (Operations Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Organisational Behavior and others) are implemented at the organisation and this really gives an appreciation of the academic course.
The field experience has indeed been a rich and interesting one as I got the opportunities to make a variety of observations and hands-on work experiences in different departments which increased an understanding and appreciation of the profession. The work experiences have help in my self-evaluation with respect to strengths, weaknesses, and personal standards and also enhanced the professional and personal development.
I can conclude that Craft Aid is indeed a rich learning organisation as there are lots of interesting things to discover and learn. Even though Craft Aid is a small textile industry, its organisational structure and culture can make anyone skillful and gives an motivational inspiration for the future career.