Sri Lankan ceramics industry improving at the factory level
On August 30, 2005, The Competitiveness Program managed by Nathan Associates and JE Austin Associates signed an agreement with the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council to assist with the council’s Factory Improvement Program on a cost-share basis.
Sri Lankan ceramics manufacturers are under steady pressure from the low-cost products of international manufacturers. In response, they are developing a strategy of competitive advantages based on flexibility and technical capability. They are also aiming to raise their standing from the customer’s perspective by differentiating their products, improving product quality, cutting costs, and improving service. Boosting productivity at the factory level will be key to this strategy.
To improve factory productivity, the program will focus on continuous improvement, innovation and upgrading, best practices and global trends, strategic and business planning, marketing, and competitive benchmarking. By keeping a business focused on its goals and priorities the practice of continuous improvement creates steady growth and improvement. It also produces quantum leaps in performance when many small improvements give rise to effects greater than the sum of all improvements.
The pilot program, which will be run by 3rd. Wave Consulting (Pvt.) Ltd., will focus on the tableware, floor tile, and wall tile subsectors. To benefit the entire industry, lessons from the pilot will be disseminated through workshops and manuals on best practices and productivity. The effectiveness of the program will be measured on the basis of increased productivity, sales, and employment.