PERSON OF THE WEEK: Meet Jalil Chowdhury, Supply Chain Manager

Jalil Ahamed Chowdhury is supply chain general manager for Bata Bangladesh. He joined the company as quality assurance manager in 2014, with the task of improving the quality of shoes and supervising the research and development department. In 2015, he was given the opportunity to lead the company's supply chain division, and the processes he has implemented have shown excellent results. Bata World News spoke to him to discover how he has achieved these goals.

To what do you attribute your great performance at Bata Bangladesh up to now?

I attribute my success to the entire supply chain team, the management team, my peers and my colleagues from other departments who have supported me to establish a strong quality culture in the organization. As well as this, I have strived to promote honesty and discipline toward work amongst people in my team, and to act as a mentor and coach to develop the team.

I have also worked to ensure that the organization’s culture and values are percolated across all levels, and to prepare and empower the team to keep pace with the ever-changing dynamic business environment of Bangladesh. Finally, I have used scientific tools to achieve sustainable and consistent results.

How were you able to turn around the performance of the supply chain department?

I established a supply-chain excellence road map for Bata Bangladesh, and explained the whole thing to my team. This included the following principles: involve potential resisters, avoid surprises, move slowly at first, start small and be flexible, create a positive environment, incorporate the change, respond quickly and positively, work with established leaders, treat people with dignity and respect and be constructive.

In the supply chain road map I put lean manufacturing methods such as 5S and 3M, TPM and kaizen. I established a performance management system, clarifying the goal and setting and agreeing SMART performance objectives. These steps have led to getting amazing improvement in the supply chain department.

How were you able to improve the quality of shoes?

The first building block in ensuring good quality of shoes was to build a strong team who would establish the quality culture in the organization. With the help of HR and the country manager, we built the team block by block so that we could lay a solid foundation.

The next building block was to identify issues and set target deadlines to identify and tackle three issues which were critical to quality and process, and which matched the voice of customers. We used various scientific, statistical and QC tools, such as SIPOC analysis, ANOVA, and seven QC statistical tools, to measure and analyze the real cause. The entire project was based on Six Sigma tools and techniques.

What steps did you take in order to increase productivity?

Eliminate non value-added activities and reduce change over time, spot kaizen activities, involve operators through quality circle with the help of HR, draw and implement proposed value stream mapping to eliminate waste. Hence the cycle time is reduced which leads to increased productivity. We also established discipline in the whole supply chain process to ensure on-time service with quality.

What do you remind your team every morning?

To be disciplined and honest, take lesson from failures, make short- and long-term action plans, make changes for improvement and practice lean tools.

What is the most important thing for you in your work at Bata?

Building the capability to make all types of comfortable and sexy shoes as per market demand, on time and with minimum cost.

What would you say has been your greatest Bata achievement so far?

Creating an environment where every team member strives to improve every process every day and sustain standards to achieve total quality management.

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