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One-Piece Flow – A Lean Strategy Applied to Clothing Making

Sewing, Clothing Making

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Pdpics

Janska, a women’s clothing company that strives to keep all of its manufacturing in the U.S., recently found a way to increase sewing productivity and revenue by using a lean strategy commonly used in industrial manufacturing workplaces: one-piece flow.

This method has each person on an assembly line—in this case, each sewer—perform one step of the process and then pass the item off to another person who performs the next step. Each piece isn’t passed to the next person, though, until that worker is ready for it. At the end of the group of sewers, one whole garment is complete. This method is beneficial because workers don’t need to spend time putting down tools and they can catch errors more quickly, the New York Times reports

According to the The New York Times article: 

“The owners of Janska say one-piece flow has allowed them to produce more than 300 garments a day at times — and to increase wages for the entire sewing operation.” 

You can read the article in its entirety and see an interview with Janska’s founder here.

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