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North South University

Introduction

Equitable Management System (EMS) OF KUTUMBITA

A platform that streamlines communication and increases employee engagement between different levels of a factory. This system will allow employees to interact with managers directly.

Background of Report

We are glad to work with Equitable Management System (EMS) OF KUTUMBITA. We choose Kutumbita – because it has unique system (Information System) to make people closer in a single platform. Specially this system will help woman to empower themselves by getting proper knowledge.

In our country, we are concern about the safely and security for low level employee in the apparel industry. They don’t even know their health and safety in the workplace. There also are some couple of major challenges to manage thousands of employee in a minute. We can not inform all people in the industry – we do take hard steps to inform their rights, training schedule, safety issues, working environment etc.

By this system we can help employee to get the proper information according to their needs. Also Employee can communicate to manager directly. This system allows us a fair communication among the people in the industry.

This is really a unique approach to empower entire workforce to interact, share and collaborate. On the other hand Kutumbita is a tech startup that focuses on empowering workers in the garments industry through an application designed to foster clear and equitable communication between employer and employee in firms which are too large for traditional communication channels. Among other reasons we got decided to work on that project to understand the entire operating system (EMS) of Kutumbita.

Objective of the Report

To ensure a fair communication system in the workplace where thousands of people working. Also to ensure woman in the workplace to be trained up for their safety and security while working. To prevent any occurrence, this system will share necessary and unnecessary information to all the employee. Also all people will get the alert or alarm form other people who have seen any security issue. We have some major objectives as below:

  1. Connect all workers with managers
  2. Re-engage workers in the workplace
  3. Empower workers for their safety and security by sharing knowledge

Methodology

We visited Kutubmita operation Office and took interview:

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Shahriar Rahman

Country Manager at Kutumbita

Kutumbita

Resource: http://ibtbd.net/shahriar-rahman-country-manager-kutumbita/

Also we collect photo from the factory as below:

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We involved our self with the Information System EMS and came to know how it helps the workers and how much efficient for any business.

For business perspective this system will allow an industry to make the people more productive in their workplace. People can peer communicate each to other among them.

Limitation of the Report

There are some challenges to visit factory which are far away from Dhaka. We could not visit real time in the industry which is located near to Mymensingh.

Company Overview

Company Profile

Ever since the Rana Plaza collapse, RMG manufacturers have grown increasingly cautious and the risk in the industry has reduced. Now, top compliant manufacturers are focusing on the well-being of their workforce by engaging with them in dialogues, training and even with session on their rights. This is where Kutumbita changes everything.

Kutumbita Private Limited, registered in 2016, is a technology company. Headquartered in Singapore, the Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company’s product includes Productivity and HR automation tools, Artificial Intelligence-based communication platform and Computing. It also works with external vendors to designs, manufactures, and sell devices, including tablets, smart phones, other intelligent devices, and related accessories, that integrate with its cloud-based o erings. It o ers an array of services, including cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, services, platforms, and content, and it provides solution support and consulting services. It also delivers online advertising to a range of audience. Currently, it has operations in Bangladesh where its wholly-owned subsidiary operates under name of Kutumbita Bangladesh Limited.

Mission & Vision of Kutumbita

To play a role in digitally empowering the workers, apparels manufacturers can now acquire better rating for their factories and yield more revenue in the long run while giving their workers access to a platform which is designed to boost productivity and job satisfaction. 

Departments Of Kutumbita

5 Major Departments are exists as below :

  1. HR Department
  2. IT Department
  3. Sales and Marketing Department
  4. Customer Support Department
  5. Accounts / Finance Department

Functional Strategy of Kutumbita

Kutumbita Facilitates Two-Way Communications between worker and the management which increases the trust and confidence of the workforce.

Benefits:

  1. helps workers spend less time managing their schedule and more time being productive
  2. It brings their schedule to life and makes it easy to see what’s ahead
  3. It makes your workers are well informed about their rights and responsibilities.

Service Portfolio of Kutumbita

Kutumbita’s product is an Android app, a channel which workers can use to voice their complaints and concerns to their employers, while a check-and-balance system ensures the employers act on the issues raised by their employees. This helps the management create the means for clear and equitable communication despite the size of the workforce and address the major issues in the garments sector in Bangladesh – from labor unrest to work-related grievances.

While reporting a problem, such as the common occurrence of a blocked fire exit, the workers can attach images to better identify the problem and provide photographic evidence. Kutumbita is working on allowing users to upload video and audio along with complaint reports in an upcoming version.

In short, Kutumbita tackles the challenge of logging grievances from a large non-desk worker population.

News Feed

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Keep your employees updated with everything happening inside your company. Send alerts, notifications in matter of minutes.

Diary

Diary makes the future a little less uncertain by updating its calendar with both training events and holidays as well as PC meetings.

Advice

Advice acts as an easily accessible handbook of workers rights and responsibilities, fire and safety regulations, health and hygiene practices.

Voice

Voice enables users to have their opinions heard by weighing in on corporate polls, posting grievances and raising civic issues to the management.

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Work

Work refines routine tasks by simplifying the leave application process and other HR processes. The management can use this portal to communicate information to users at an instant.

Opinion

Get heard. Obtain feedback from the shop floor- get to know their like and dislikes. Conduct polls and surveys with out disrupting the production

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Analytics

Keep a pulse on what’s happening on the factory floor – using insights and analysis.

Admin Panel

One place to rule them all. Admin panel is the heart of Kutumbita’s operation. Get real-time updates on the status of every user and get a full 360-degree view of what’s happening.

Employee On boarding

Managing your employees and getting them on-board the system has never been this easy.

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Functional Departments and Their Responsibilities

Most of the workers in the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector of Bangladesh are non-desk employees. Thus, it is not always easy to bring this workforce on the same platform under the same communication network. In this regard, SQ Group has developed a Bangla mobile application for their workers named Kutumbita.

Figure 1: Workers are connected and getting benefits of tehnology.

Figure 1: Workers are connected and getting benefits of technology.

Kutumbita is a mobile tele-phonic internal communication platform, which is all about the workers and employees engagement and communications. It aims to empower an entire workforce to interact, share and collaborate no matter where they are and what they do. The branding of the application is centred on its name ‘Kutumbita’, ‘Connection’, ‘Kin’ or ‘Kinship’ in Bangla.

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To start with, this factory immensely felt that the basic knowledge of using this mobile application is needed because if workers are not aware of how to use it then the purpose will not be served. Thus, they were looking for the professional support. Since this is an application targeting the shop floor worker, the primary challenge was the availability of the smart phone among the target group because most of our associates were bar phone user.

Considering this fact we conducted a survey to find out their average monthly mobile bill. Based on the findings we started exploring a telecom partner who can come up with a bundle pack (android handset + Talk time + Data) equivalent to the average monthly mobile spending of our associates.  Finally, Robi came up with the most competitive bundle offer within the average monthly mobile expenditure of our associates.

Since most of the shop floor workers are technologically challenged, initially it was a bit difficult for us to share the technical knowledge of the mobile devices and the kutumbita application with all of our associates and it was also difficult for them to adopt smart phone and use the application. However, our all-out effort with weekly training programs and engagement activities help them to adopt this positive change with a short span of time.

Equitable Management System (EMS) of Kutumbita

Information system of Kutumbita

It’s an HR tool to restore the autonomy of textile and apparel industry workers through an app. It’s aim to promote transparent and fair communication between employees and employers in companies which have become too large to be able to trade in a conventional way.

Different Types of IS

Compliance

This system was development to ensure social compliance for the workforce. The platform is compliant with Higg Index, development by Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Paperless Operation

By ensuring a significant portion of the HR process via automation, this system can make most of the day-to-day HR processes paperless. This can drive down operations cost up to 4%.

Efficient Workforce

Efficient Workforce: IS ensures your workforce is heard. And this creates a positive synergy throughout the organization resulting in a forward push in productivity up to 8%. In addition to
that, your workforce will spend less
time on menial administrative task,
more on work that matters.

EMS of Kutumbita


Its an Android app, a channel which workers can use to voice their complaints and concerns to their employers, while a check-and-balance system ensures the employers act on the issues raised by their employees. This helps the management create the means for clear and equitable communication despite the size of the workforce and address the major issues in the garments sector in Bangladesh – from labor unrest to work-related grievances. While reporting a problem, such as the common occurrence of a blocked fire exit, the workers can attach images to better identify the problem and provide photographic evidence.

Diagram of EMS (how it works)

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Problems of the EMS

In The Apparel Industry, Communication Is
A Challenge

• Workers are disconnected from management

• Lack of knowledge on workplace rights & safety

• Smartphone is not available for all workers



In our country we are in the middle unstructured workplace in the industry. And the workers are much afraid about their voice, safety, security and so on. Workers are not ready to talk.

As we visited factory – we have seen no workers are allowed to talk with managers for their needs or their problems they are facing in the workplace. Mainly woman(s) feel shy to ask any help from others even from their managers.

As per managers thought, Manager can not communicate thousands of workers in the workplace. Mangers have lots of stuff and they even have to maintain some schedule. So that managers are failed to locate worker’s activity and their steps.

Alternative Solutions

A solution for that as well. With the tablet version of IS, your workforce can access to the essential service without any hassle.

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This is a tablet desk – where worker can login to their own profile and see their salary, leave, training schedule, alert messaging, report to manager and much more.

On the other this IS system can help workers to communicate with managers bypassing the supervisor if they feel anything wrong. Workers information will be hidden to managers, specially the name of reporter.

Success measure

It is easy to use in the native language of Bangladesh, which supports to serve the purpose of getting the benefits, such as engaged and satisfied workforce as well as efficient management.

After Implementing the EMS in the apparel industry – Kutumbita got awards as below:

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Findings and Recommendation

Findings

Empowering the Factory workforce. Easy to manage data and facilities among the employees. It helps the people for their working schedule, managing time, leave facilities, inform to seniors to update anything promptly. Also it’s a centralize system to manage all people and their activities using a real-time admin dashboard.

Our key findings are to Manage all employees from a single platform. The IS system is accessible from anywhere without any hassle. This system will allow all to interact themselves effectively for their work. Non-desk employees can get the awareness about their work, responsibilities, feedback, health, event/training schedule and much more.

Key features of the mobile application interface of IS:

The Voice interface of the application enables users to have their opinions heard by weighing in corporate polls, posting grievances and raising civic issues to the management. Such as all workers of SQ Group can get access to a digital grievance management tool through which they can raise any kind of grievances without having any fear or hesitation. The grievance notification directly goes to the Head of Human Resources admin. The application can handle the grievance quickly and effectively. The grievances that have been received including unnecessary hawkers causing road blockade in front of the factory gate during lunch break, air pollution at the factory, and inappropriate aisle marking at the production floor etc.

Works (leave, salary and alerts):

The Works interface of the application refines routine tasks by simplifying the leave application process. In many cases it has been evident that, if a worker gets sick and not being able to come to the office on that day, it is considered as an absent day, since he/she is unable to inform about the sickness at the right time. However, by using this application, if someone gets sick or needs a leave for emergency basis, he/she can apply the leave without coming to the office on that very day. The worker just needs to submit a leave application through the device. The Works interface also plans to include a payroll management and tracking process for individual’s salaries and bank statements in the future.

Hypothesis

EMS (Equitable Management System) is more than a tool for communication among the organization. It can be used to send out emergency alerts from the management to every level of employees, informal workers of their rights, answer access details about their benefits, check schedules, work hours as well as time off and more.

Putting the well-being of the workers at the forefront and establishing effective channels of communication have yielded results for SQ GROUP, which is signed nearly 13,000 employees as the very first client of Kutumbita.  

Recommendation

IS system helps workers spend less time managing their schedule and more time being productive in the workplace. It brings their schedule to life and makes it easy to see what’s needed.

Our Recommendation to EMS of Kutumbita

We have 3 major(s) things to do for Human Resources

Attracting

First of all, we need to attract workers to be familiar with the information system in the industry. Our vision and mission is to re-engage workers in the workplace for better production. For business perspective, we can ensure workers for their benefits, safety, security and so on. We need proper engagement –which is crucial part in our information system.

Developing

After implementing the IS in the industry we need to develop workers to make the system very ease to all. It should be authenticated and secured for their job and life. We would recommend to Kutumbita to train people by sharing their rights and knowledge of the workplace.

Maintaining

This is very important to maintain this IS and its proper use in the apparel industry – where thousands of workers are involved. If anything occurs on this system or violating any rights or ethics for any worker, then this system will fall in the industry. So we would recommend to Kutumbita for maintaining all IS system properly. Which will be fair to all human.

Conclusion

The role that EMS plays in enriching the lives of garments workers in Bangladesh is invaluable. It’s certainly trying to ensure that the future of Bangladesh is banked on an industry that no longer exploits its workers, rather gives them the necessary tools to change their lives for the better future.

Throughout the implementation it has been evident that with proper approach we can change workers’ mind-sets towards new technological inclusion at any level of an apparel manufacturing organisation, which actually help the factory management to ensure an engaged workforce and allows the shop-floor associates to become more empowered.

Selim Reza