Sri Lanka’s apparel and textile manufacturing industry is the most significant and dynamic contributor to the economy. A key success factor of the industry is the high level of quality in the final production which delivers to the customer. This depends on many internal procedures within the organization. The final pre-production (PP) is one of those significant stages in the internal manufacturing process, which impacts the quality and completion time of the bulk production. Repetitive delays in the final pre-production (PP) completions which holds the entire bulk production was observed as an empirical problem in one of a leading apparel manufacturing company in Sri Lanka. Hence the primary objective of the study is to investigate reasons for the delays in final PP completion. Research methodology follows an interpretivism philosophy with an inductive approach. The strategies of data collection were based on a case study method which includes deep observations of 240 hours on the production floor and interviews as primary data collection sources and historical data of the organization as the secondary data. Study used Plan-Do- Check-Act (PDCA) cycle with an eight-step problem solving method to analyze the data. Findings of the study are; delays in pre-production sample approval, issues with material quality assurance, materials and trimming sources, development center, factory authorized auditor, machines unavailability. This study contributes to the existing literature and apparel sector by providing fine-grained recommendations to the field such as enhancing the collaborations on cross functional team tasks, sharing responsibilities of the feedback mechanisms in the production process and to increase the plant technical team involvement on each stage of the process.
Keywords: Pre-Production (PP), Bulk production, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)