Network Clothing Company Pvt. Ltd (NCC) is unique in the world of garment manufacturing. Their high quality knit products are the result of a progressive company attitude that strives to empower employees and reduce their operation’s impact on the environment. “Our initiatives start at the top level of the company with Managing Director and Founder Dr. M. Ravi” said Akhilesh Anand, Apparel Division CEO. “His philosophy as ‘father’ of the company is that the company name must remain dignified. Maintaining our company’s dignity is every employee’s goal, from the operators to myself.”
NCC is a 17 year-old vertical manufacturing company located in Tirupur, which is the knit capitol of India’s apparel industry. In order to instill a sense of pride in its employees, NCC has instituted a unique method of handling production programs. Each program is called a “project” and is named after an NCC merchandiser, engineer, group of employees, or product. Each project has a budget and a completion target date, and when an individual project is completed on time, within established quality standards and under budget, the project team shares in the under budget profits. The profit-share system includes everyone involved in the project from the merchandiser and engineer to the box packers and bundle movers.
In addition to the unique revenue-sharing program, employees within individual project groups are empowered to handle any issues that arise and develop solutions to achieve the group’s goal. “The only time I get involved is if there a machinery issue or a large purchase is required,” sad Akhilesh. “Otherwise, I rarely hear about a project unless it is beginning or finished.”
Though there are many common employment issues that plague garment manufacturers in Tirupur, these problems typically bypass NCC. The company’s satisfied employees are quick to recommend open positions to friends and family. “When we need to increase headcount, we tell our staff about openings, and the next day there is a line out front waiting to interview,” said Akhilesh. “People love working here, and they want their family, friends and neighbors to work here too.” In place of unions, NCC employees have formed their own committee to handle any personnel issues that may arise. A worker with a problem or grievance meets with the committee and the committee is authorized to work out the issues with all involved. Employees are welcome to bring any concerns to managers, but according to Akhilesh, that rarely happens. “I get an update from the HR Department regardingcommittee meetings and activities just to be sure there are no labor law violations and to ensure that the dignity of the company, workers and committee remains intact. Generally, the committee seems to resolve the issues to everyone’s satisfaction.”
NCC produces 1.2 million knit garments monthly for leading garment companies in the United States and Europe, with exports split about 60/40 Europe/ USA . “About 60 percent of all our production we design in house for our customers with the balance done off of customer tech packs,” said Akhilesh. In order to increase the efficiency of their garment production, NCC recently replaced their cad systems with Tukatech’s TUKAcad pattern making, grading and marking systems. This change allowed NCC to completely digitize their production. ” With the old systems we were still making patterns manually, then digitizing them into the systems,” said Akhilesh. “With TUKAcad, we make the first pattern off of established graded blocks in system, which eliminates digitizing and grading!” Since all pattern makers began producing patterns electronically, productivity has skyrocketed and the amount of styles designed and developed has increased dramatically, allowing NCC to exercise more control over the quality of their product mix and development cycle time.
The installation of TUKATECH’s SMARTmark automatic marker making software has further eliminated manual marker making and is saving NCC money on fabric costs. “Our payback for entire system is less than two months just from money saved in fabric utilization,” said Akhilesh.
NCC is saving a lot more than just money; the company’s progressive attitude extends to their green energy initiative. NCC has built a wind power turbine that takes advantage of the winds blowing through the Tirupur area, and the company is generating 1.0 MG of its own electricity. The power is more than enough to run their factory and laundry, and they even have enough to sell some back to the India power grid. Because of their uninterrupted power supply, NCC eliminated the need for backup generators, saving fuel and improving air quality.
NCC’s carbon footprint is also reduced through progressive and aggressive recycling programs. Fabric fallout from the cutting tables is super compressed into insulation boards used in diesel car manufacturing, and these compressed fabric boards reduce the noise of the diesel engines from reaching the passenger compartment. NCC invested in Research and Development with the local University to utilize the waste water from their laundry facility. The university is currently developing a process to reclaim the rinse water and make bricks for construction from the salts and residue left over. Even the company’s trash goes to compost for local farmers and all other items, including thread cones, plastics, paper, and more go to recycling programs.
Tying into their Green Initiative, Akhilesh explained that NCC is “in the process of taking the next step by adding installing Tukatech’s TUKA3D software. Once utilized companywide, we will be able to create all fit, design and development samples virtually.” He said that the software will eliminate the need to cut and sew physical samples for proto development, initial garments for pattern test of fit and to increase quantities of customer virtual “what if” sample variations and color ways that are currently done in design development. “Our fully virtual samples will not only save development costs and increase our value added partnership with customers, but it will also reduce NCC’s carbon footprint!”
NCC is committed to continuing their green initiatives. Upcoming plans include and expansion of their energy generation through solar panels, division wide water reclamation, and eventually the yarn and knitting sustainability. “We will apply for our Green Certificate later this year”, says Akhilesh, “Being green is not as costly as we expected, and in fact we are saving money! The technology is out there whether apparel development solutions like TUKATECH, or self-electrical power generation and reclaiming waste and turning it into new products. Most importantly, we are keeping the NCC name dignified and being good corporate citizens and neighbors”
About Network Clothing Company
NCC is a company which stands for its values. NCC is one of the leading manufacturers of knitted garments in Tirupur, the Knit City of South India. NCC is committed to the delivery of quality products meeting required standards and specifications backed by the state-of-the-art infrastructure and skilled workforce. NCC is able to create the success story.
Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides pattern making, grading and marker making software, 3D apparel prototyping systems and manufacturing equipment. It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 9,000 systems installed, and thousands of competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world. Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine as the #1 Apparel software company in the world.