Ethical Apparel Africa is a sourcing company that provides international apparel brands with ethical, cost competitive and quality manufacturing solutions in West Africa. Our vision is to demonstrate that ethical manufacturing can and should be done at scale, not just associated with luxury or expensive product. Based in Ghana and Benin, EAA has a dynamic team bringing decades of experience from around the world in product development, quality assurance, account management, social impact, operations and finance. We work with West African factories to build technical and ethical standards to international standards. Our clients are international brands mostly from Europe and the USA interested in growing a manufacturing base in Africa with a positive social and environmental impact.
We have a great opportunity for an experienced Technician with passion and desire to make a difference in clothing manufacturing to join us as a Technical Manager. This is the perfect role for someone willing to broaden and challenge their expertise by developing the industry in West Africa and showing the path for the next frontier.
The Technical Manager will be based in Accra, Ghana with occasional trips throughout West Africa. This person will report initially to the CEO and then to the new Technical Director based in Ghana while working closely with the rest of EAA and factory teams.
They will have the following responsibilities:
- Represent EAA for all technical meetings with brands to review tech packs and brand manuals to ensure all required information has been received.
- Work alongside the Product Development Manager to ensure patterns provided can be made into samples or new patterns are created
- Train and support the factories to deliver accurate, on time CMT costings based on efficiency, line balancing and production flow.
- Work alongside the technical development manager to accurately estimate fabric and trim consumptions to ensure right first time costings
- Interface with Accounts manager who sources the raw materials to advise any technical information or testing required in order to properly source fabric and trims. Review fabric and trims sampling received before samples are made.
- Review base and bulk testing results and advise actions required according to internal/brand requirements.
- Conduct pre-sample meetings and provide hands-on support and training to factories during sampling.
- Quality check all samples leaving the factories and communicate to brands any differences/substitutions versus the tech packs.
- Attend via Skype/phone any client fit meetings and work with the accounts team and factory on any revised samples needed.
- Keep EAA systems up to date with technical details required such as operations list, fabric and trim consumption, fit comments, measurement charts and sample notes
- Work with the factories on product engineering to ensure the manufacturing processes are best fit for garment and for brand with the right machines in place while meeting the manufacturing cost targets.
- Conduct pre-production meetings and provide hands-on support during bulk production to ensure that the quality requirements are met correctly first time.
- Conduct AQL’s on completed orders and release them for shipment according to EAA requirements.
- Lead post production meetings with the EAA team and factories to identify success and learnings
- Update the EAA system with all production reports, AQL reporting and post production reviews.
Factory Training and Development
- For each factory work with them on a continuous improvement technical action plan to sustainably reach international standards of excellence. This includes training them on each element and helping them understand the need for standard operating procedures and safety standards.
- Provide hands-on support to both local and expat factory management during pilot and implementation of technical improvement initiatives and systems development based on Lean principles amongst others.
- Assist in creating and sustaining Standard operating procedures (SOP’s), quality manuals and training materials for internal EAA team and factories adopting a sustainable and participatory approach
- Work alongside the factory managers to identifying skills gaps and training opportunities for both individuals and the factory as a whole.
Proven experience as a garment technician working directly on the ground with factories and liaising with brand/retail head offices (minimum 5 years’ experience)
Experience working on the production floor of factories and ability to identify and solve problems alongside the factory team.
Experience dealing with Western brands in the US / Europe
Excellent communication and negotiation skills
Experience in and passion for creating and delivering training programs to build factory skills and capacity from operators to managers.
Experience in working with factories to take a product from concept to finished production
Preferred experience in adult pattern drafting and grading but not essential
Passion for solving problems and proactive risk mitigation
Ability to think critically and identify areas of improvement
Ability to work effectively across cultures, experience of working with factories in Africa a plus
Evidence of the following characteristics: humble, inspiring, self aware, resilient, adaptable, proactive, persistent, resourceful, able to work under pressure and respect deadlines, strong at building relationships and resolving problems, poised, active listener, fun to work with, and full of integrity