The World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Programme is designed to develop the competitiveness of individual firms through benchmarking and the implementation of foundational lean business practices.
Whilst training is critical to the development of firm level competitiveness, there is also the requirement to offer more action orientated learning opportunities to operational staff within member firms. These are offered in the form of Innovation Sessions hosted by member firms. These sessions are themed according to the development requirements identified in firm-level benchmarks or in response to an emergent issue.
Four times a year, the KZN CTC offers a brief training session to company executives. These sessions are themed according to the dominant strategic issues facing the industry. These sessions coincide with the KZN CTC Executive Committee meetings or the AGM.
Over the years, the KZN CTC has been at the forefront of new knowledge creation in the industry. As the industry is becomingly increasingly knowledge-based, it is critical that KZN clothing, textiles, footwear and leather firms are able to access information and learn faster than their competitors. The KZN CTC creates case studies to ensure learning and knowledge are codified and can be shared even more widely.
KZN CTC members receive an annual firm-level benchmark using a cutting edge benchmarking methodology. Each company receives a detailed report outlining its comparative performance in the areas of:
- Financial performance
- Cost control
- Value chain flexibility
- Value chain reliability
- Human resource development
- Innovation capacity
The benchmarking analysis combines hard quantitative data with the qualitative findings. These findings are scrutinised and cross-referenced with customer benchmark findings before presentation of the report to firms.
Along with the direct benefit that firms derive from benchmarking, aggregate benchmarking data informs the strategic direction of the KZN CTC, the industry at large and government policy in support of the industry.
All data collected from individual firms is managed in such a way as to maintain confidentiality.
Along with local datasets, member firm performance is also compared with international datasets that are frequently updated. Current comparative datasets are from the following countries: Lesotho; Madagascar; Mauritius; Swaziland; China; Vietnam; Cambodia and Turkey.