Time is the most valuable resource. And when we look at our garment industry across the globe, we see that all manufacturers and consultants have woken up to the fact that time is practically money. So, they are furiously trying to discover different methods to save this precious time. The idea always is to find a fair time for each job to ensure a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. In order to save time and hence money, it is extremely important to first measure it.
Measure your time – SAM & SMV
When measuring time in garment manufacturing, there are many measures that different factories use. For instance, Standard Allowed Minute or SAM, Standard Minute Value or SMV, SAH, etc.
Pretty often, the terms SAM and SMV are used interchangeably. But there is a minute difference between the two, conceptually.
What does Standard Minute Value or SMV mean?
Standard Minute Value also known as standard time is the time that is allocated to an operation based on the motion study of the operation. It is the time a qualified operator takes for the operation, when following the standard or the best procedure, at the standard performance.
How to calculate SMV:
• Select synthetic data to be used. For instance, motion data as defined in General Sewing Data (GSD) or Predetermined Time Standard (PTS) codes etc., after thorough research.
• Select the operation to be studied.
• Observe the operation as a series of movements
• Refer to the synthetic data for determining the Time Measurement Unit (TMU) values for all of the observed movements.
• Convert TMU value to minutes.
Say the TMU for an operation studied is 450 TMU.
Convert this into minutes (1 TMU = 0.0006 min).
The SMV for the operation = 0.27 min (450 TMU x 0.0006 min)
Alternatively, time study can also be used for calculating SMV, where the cycle time of the operation is captured by studying an experienced operator. It also requires a rating scale to be applied which is again dependent on the expertise of the observer. For more accurate and fair time measurement, use of synthetic data is preferred. The focus on motion also ensures improvement in time and process.
What does Standard Allowed Minute mean?
Standard allowed minute, as the name suggests, tells us how much time is allowed for a certain job to get done. SAM gives the operation’s allowed time, after adding inallowances like bundle allowance, machine allowance and personal allowance to the SMV value obtained for the operation. This SAM is at 100% efficiency and it needs to be further corrected with expected efficiency for target setting.
How to calculate SAM:
• SAM = SMV + Allowance %
In the previous example, the SMV of the operation was 0.27 minutes.
Let the bundle allowance = 10%, which is=10% of 0.27= 0.027 min
Machine and personal allowance = 20%, which is= 20% of 0.27= 0.054 min
Adding the allowances to basic time we get, SAM = 0.27 + 0.027 + 0.054 =0.351 min
This is the most basic understanding of the frequently used terms- SAM and SMV. What you need right now is to measure your time accurately and fairly, as your complete garment costing and all of your productivity efforts are going to depend on it. There are various other measures of time calculation in the garment industry which needs to be understood well in order to maintain and improve it further. Because James Harrington has rightly said, “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement”.
If you have alternate thoughts that you’d like to add related to these concepts, please let me know in the comments below.