SMART Myanmar’s large technical team has a factory network of over 200 garment and footwear factories in Myanmar who have sent managers to attend training workshops or who have enrolled for more robust on-site support via the project’s various training programs on HR management, energy efficiency, occupational safety and health, social dialogue and other topics.
Below are a selection of quotes from participants in SMART’s programs:
The SMART Social Compliance Academy™ is SMART Myanmar’s most intensive program and the interest from buyers and manufacturers has steadily increased during 2016 and 2017. SMART’s target is to work with over 200 factories on rigorous compliance improvements.
SMART Myanmar ran 2 Academies in 2016 and will run 3 Academies in 2017, with an expected 8 factories per batch. The project has been running this successful program since 2015 and has now trained 31 garment factories using the Academy program method. During 2016 the project helped companies implement over 600 various types of compliance improvements related with fire safety, child labour prevention, remuneration, workplace communications, and various other topics.
What is all about?
The SMART Social Compliance AcademyTM take a systems-based approach, with root cause analysis & a continuous improvement approach as core philosophies of the program. The Academy involves two and half days of classroom training. The contents of the training are based on BSCI 2.0 (Business Social Compliance Initiative), MGMA’s Code of Conduct and Myanmar’s law requirements.
Following the classroom training days SMART’s technical team conducts comprehensive on-site assessments. These assessments involve a full document check, detailed on-site inspection, and extensive worker interviews. Following the assessment, SMART’s team provides the factory with a 20-25 page “Corrective Action Plan” in either Myanmar language or English (depending on factory preference). Over the following 3 months the SMART team conducts a further 2-3 follow-up assessments to advise, check and support improvements.
Once the factories complete the full 6 moth program, companies are invited to share their achievements & improvements, including their experiences and challenges to all participants plus other stakeholders of the industry.
About our compliance team
SMART is pleased to have the largest social compliance team in Myanmar. With 8 technical experts and one senior technical expert, SMART’s social compliance team is able to cater to a wide variety of company situations, from working on safety issues to environmental management to advising on best practices in manager/worker cooperation, SMART is able to adapt.
To spread awareness of the achievements of the factories in the garment sector the Annual Award Dinner has become MGMA’s yearly tradition. In 2016 MGMA celebrated the 3rd annual award dinner at the Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon and was attended by over 230 participants and 61 factories. Sponsorships are from Korean Garment Association in Myanmar, A&E Ltd, Groz-Beckert, OV Logistics, Luther Law Firm, Ayeyawaddy Development (Pathein Industry), GSCS, Damco Logistics and SMART Myanmar (both technically and financially).
This event also serves as a networking opportunity for hundreds of investors and managers from garment factories, logistics companies, international brands & fashion retailers and other industry service providers.
To honor the achievements from the factories MGMA has categorized the awards with the technical help of SMART Myanmar as follows:
• AWARD for Social Compliance Excellence: two awards given to a foreign invested factory and a local invested factory
• Runner-up for the Social Compliance AWARD
• Most improved factory award: given to the most improved factory within the SMART Social Compliance Academy TM program in 2016 (two awards given to a foreign invested factory and a locally invested factory)
KTK Garments won both awards for Social Compliance Excellence and most improved factory award as part of SMART’s Social Compliance Academy TM program as a 100% local factory. KTK Garments has invested much effort in improving health & safety and human resources issues with the guidance of SMART Myanmar’s social compliance experts to achieve these awards.
Tah Hsin is a 100% Taiwanese-owned factory and won the award for Social Compliance Excellence as a foreign invested factory. Tah Hsin is a well-established factory that receives encouraging support from their different European buyers. Not only did they participate in the SMART Social Compliance AcademyTM program but also did a worker training program with SMART and FWF in 2015 to raise awareness on grievance procedures.
The runner-up factory for the social compliance award went to Prosperity Co. Ltd, a sweater factory producing high quality knitware for the European market.
MGMA appreciates the achievements of these factories as part of their activities to advocate their Code of Conduct. MGMA also looks forward to continuing the work on social compliance to raise standards within the industry.
In this video, several project stakeholders were interviewed including one European brand, MDs of three local manufacturers, a factory employee and representatives of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association. As well, several SMART Myanmar technical staff express their views about project activities.
This short film discusses some of the lessons learned, good practices which can be adopted by local SMEs and some of the remaining challenges.
In order to recognize improvements in social compliance and excellence in implementing responsible business practices, SMART Myanmar’s local partner – The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association – organizes an annual awards dinner. SMART provides technical support to evaluate those factories who apply for recognition.