When the QC manager opened the factory doors, we were amazed by the enormity of the building and the thousands of workers. The place was spotless and perfectly organized.

On May 23, 2017, my Hinrich Foundation colleagues and I had an opportunity to visit the factory of one of the Foundation’s talent development partners based in Cambodia. The tour was part of the exciting lineup of activities for our annual team training held in Phnom Penh.

Observing a 5,800-strong factory that makes footwear for global brands was truly enriching for a new export consultant like me who works closely with small and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia.

Before the tour started, our team was led to a briefing area to learn about the factory’s early years, its basic operations and dramatic growth year after year. We also learned that with women comprising the majority of its workforce, the factory is committed to giving back more to its close-knit community in ways such as organizing school donations drives and setting up water systems during drought season. It also offers university scholarships for deserving children of its employees.

Three insights from touring a major factory in Cambodia 1The entire Hinrich Foundation team listens to the tour briefing and introduction.

During the tour, we witnessed how clean and organized the manufacturing area was, and the discipline of workers in executing their production assignments with utmost precision. Each area had daily targets for speed and output to achieve or even surpass. Another interesting point was the redesign of the footwear assembly lines from straight to U-shaped ones (mini lines), which yielded more output in less time.

These observations on maintaining quality, safety and efficiency in production facilities can help export consultants like me in sharing best practices with our SME beneficiaries in the region as part of our role in export trade assistance.

Three insights from touring a major factory in Cambodia 2Hinrich Foundation export consultants Pragya Bhatnagar from India and Rico Dwi Nugrahatama from Indonesia had a fruitful discussion with one of the factory managers.

Partnership with the Foundation

The company is currently partnering with the Foundation for the talent and skills development of one of our Cambodian scholars, Bopha Eung. Taking up MSc in Global Production Engineering and Management in Vietnamese-German University, she will graduate in November 2017 and will join the factory to start her trade career.

This is a great opportunity for Bopha’s career growth as the factory quickly expands and needs more qualified Cambodian leaders.

About the author – Rico Dwi Nugrahatama

Rico Dwi Nugrahatama

Rico Dwi Nugrahatama is a Hinrich Global Trade Scholar taking up his master’s degree in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is currently in the work-integrated learning program serving as an export consultant for the Export Assistance Program in Indonesia. Before joining the Foundation, he worked for the US development organization Mercy Corps as a Consultant, and completed project-based work for Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Learning Forum in Semarang, Indonesia.