Quality of Construction Processes of Government Supplied Uniforms in the West Akyem Municipality of Ghana
The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies
Introduction In the garment industry, quality control is practiced right from the initial stage of sourcing raw materials, to the stage of final finished garment to assure consumers of product quality (Danquah, 2010). Quality is sometimes defined in terms of a particular quality certification, and international quality programmes like International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 9000 series lay down the broad quality parameters based on which companies maintain export quality in the
... quality in the garment and apparel industry. However, quality attributes vary from individual to individual. Ampong (2004) citing Mehta and Bhardwaj indicates that quality means different things to diffident people. Also, Stamper, Sharp and Donnel (2005) assert that there is no mechanical device that can measure in very precise terms the quality of garments. However, response of what quality is depends on peoples' perception of the value of a product or service under consideration, and their expectation of performance, durability, and reliability of that product or service. In this respect, Chowdhary and Poynor (2006) indicated that perceived apparel quality is a function of intrinsic and extrinsic cues. Intrinsic cues are an inherent part of the apparel product, and represent fit and style, sizing, the type of fashion and support fabrics, and the sewing process used to produce a quality garment for the intended purpose. In contrast, extrinsic cues to quality and performance include prices, brand names, retailers' reputation, visual display of the apparel product, and promotional strategies used to introduce and merchandise the product. It has been noted that the achievement of quality construction in garments, and for that matter apparel products, depends on several factors. Some of which includes constructional process, equipment for manufacturing, Expertise of manufacturers and the Views of consumers or customers. To produce quality sewn uniforms, the constructional processes are key. To Doshi (2006), quality related problems in garment manufacturing like sewing defects such as open seams, wrong stitching techniques used, miss out of stitches in between, creasing of the garment and erroneous thread tension should not be overlooked. The expertise or experience of the manufacturers is another factor. An inexperienced manufacturer is likely to produce garments which may show defects. In the same way, where the machines are not good, the seams, stitches and other constructions will show defects. Well-made clothing not only looks better when worn, but also lasts longer, thus giving the buyer much more value for money. The question is how can one evaluate the quality of a garment? Quality is determined by every detail in a garment, from its fabric to the final finishing details. In Ghana, school uniforms are used at all levels except in the tertiary institutions. This study therefore sought to evaluate the quality of construction processes of the Free School Uniforms (FSUs) supplied by the government of Ghana. Research Questions To what extent do specific constructional processes present in the FSUs meet international quality standards? What are the quality related problems in garment manufacturing in the FSUs? Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of construction processes of government supplied uniforms in the west akyem municipality of Ghana. The study was a descriptive survey carried out at the west akyem municipal assembly. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were utilized to select respondents. The manufacturers were those recruited to sew the uniforms in the municipality. Two (2) quality control personnel were contacted to assess the constructional details of the free school uniforms sewed. Data was quantitatively collected using observation guide and questionnaire. Data collected was tabulated, interpreted and discussed using descriptive statistics. This involved the use of frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. Though the manufacturers rated themselves as excellent, the assessors rated the uniforms unsatisfactory. Most of the constructional processes in the fsus did not meet international quality standards. Based on the findings, the study recommends that before a project of such kind starts, a brief course should be organised by stakeholders for manufacturers involved.