Freeset - News

New Production System Implemented at Freeset

Mar 27, 2014

Whiteboards cover the walls as we look to increase production capacity; Deb Morris explains

Khokon Mondal (Logistics), Mahendra Bhagat (Production Manager) and Deborah Morris (Systems Analyst) in front of the new Master Board

This month sees the rolling-out of a new production system at Freeset. The “Kanban” pull card is one aspect of a lean production system being implemented by Deborah Morris, our Canadian Production Systems Analyst, and has seen spare walls all around Freeset covered in enormous whiteboards.

“There are two ways to improve capacity,” Deb explains: “we can add more women and machines, or we can improve our systems”. Freeset has a continual stream of new recruits, as witnessed by the graduation of our latest batch of sewing trainees into production just last month. As the business grows, the challenges to, and potential of, greater efficiency need addressing.

“This is a feedback system”, Deb explains. “It will show us where we have bottlenecks in production, where capacity is challenged. It will show us these areas so that we can better resource the women to improve capacity.” This might mean additional training, or perhaps modifications to equipment.

“I estimate that it will take a year for the whole system to be working smoothly”, Deb says with a smile. It has been six years since she first made contact with Freeset co-founder Kerry Hilton at a US anti-trafficking conference, and a long journey to get to where she is now. A year is not long to wait in that context. She thinks that the wait will be worth it: “I hope that the new system will change the way people think in order to improve quality control, and will help the women to become more engaged in decision-making in the production process.”