Case study – Chathuranga Abeysinghe, ACMA, CGMA
Background: Chathuranga Abeysinghe, ACMA, CGMA, is the lead data evangelist for MAS Holdings in Sri Lanka, an organization that provides apparel solutions from design to delivery. His role is to help people understand their problems through data and to make better use of digital solutions for informed decision-making.
Problem: Moving beyond a small manufacturing operation
MAS Holdings started its operations in 1987 with a 20-machine factory. We were mostly a contract manufacturer. We got orders from our main customers and we delivered what they needed. In early 2000, we realized we needed to deliver to the market faster through both forward and backward integration.
Solution: Lean manufacturing and cloud-based digital solutions
We decided we needed to be digitally driven or we would lose out in the market.
Why it works
Our approach was successful for several reasons:
Today, we not only provide manufacturing for our customers, but we also offer design and development. We are an early adopter of 3D prototyping and a virtual design approvals process, so that we work hand in hand with the customers who are all pure-play digital or who are moving to digital. We have infrastructure facilities and technological platforms that will facilitate online sales. We can deliver anywhere in the world after one day of manufacturing.
One of the main turning points for MAS was the transformation in lean manufacturing. We adopted lean manufacturing in 2004 when we wanted a more process-driven, standardized organization. To build trust for customers, we needed to provide the right quality at the right time and the right cost. We were one of the first to get into SAP as a manufacturing platform and move to all digital manufacturing processes. As we made process improvements, we ensured our end-manufacturing processes were all running on a digital platform.
In 2011, we were the first organization in this region to move to a cloud-based human capital management system. We had a growing, 56,000-member global workforce, so we needed a platform that would enable us to manage them. We made two fundamental changes. The first was implementing a platform that connects 52 manufacturing factories across the globe and the second is a people management solution that applies to all the employees in the organization. Now we operate from 17 countries and we have 100,000 associates delivering high-end garments for consumers across the globe.
Visit www.aicpa.org/digitalforward for additional resources.