Challenges in managing production capacity by manufacturing cooperatives during growth stage

Sizwe Mkwanazi, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Enterprises, big or small, do experience challenges in managing growth in production. Growth in production requires expansion in production capacity and improvements in resource allocation such as labour and funds. This paper focuses on textile and clothing manufacturing cooperatives based in different townships of the Gauteng City Region of South Africa. These cooperatives produce clothing items. These are regarded as short-life cycle goods and these are also manufactured from short production cycles. Enterprises such as cooperatives move through stages from start-up and then move to the stage of growth. The failure to manage demand during the growth stage for small enterprises results poor quality products, loss of clients and challenges in production backlog recovery. It is against this background that this paper provides an analysis of activities that happen during growth stages of clothing manufacturing cooperatives and points out solutions to these challenges for cooperative directors and practioners involved in supporting manufacturing cooperatives in developing regions such as South Africa. This paper is based on data collected from n=100 sewing or clothing production cooperatives. Recommendations and directions for future research are provided on this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 27 Sept 201829 Sept 2018


  • Cooperatives
  • Growth
  • Production and challenges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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