Training suppliers

Human Resources Management Systems training

After years auditing in factories, the adidas Group recognised there was a lack of fundamental HR systems in Asia Pacific region factories. The introduction of more sophisticated production set-ups such as Lean manufacturing required more sophisticated HR practices.

Collaborating to create the training programme

The Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) approach was initiated in 2006 on a collaborative basis by adidas, Reebok, Nike, Puma, New Balance and Columbia Sportswear. Consultant TÜV Rheinland developed human resources management training materials with the brands and their suppliers. Core elements of the HRMS address job descriptions, recruitment policies, compensation and benefit systems, training and job development systems, target setting and performance evaluations. At launch, the HRMS process included one year's practical training sessions, milestone setting, presentations and sharing sessions, peer educator development and feedback sessions.

The HRMS was launched in China in 2006 by adidas, Reebok, Nike and Puma working with TÜV Rheinland. That year, four training groups comprising 27 factories participated. During 2008-2009, two additional groups of 33 factories went through the training. The HRMS was launched in Vietnam in 2008 by adidas, New Balance, Columbia and Puma. In the last two years, 15 suppliers have completed the training programmes. The government agency Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) contributed financial support for language translations of the training materials.

Making a difference

Suppliers in both target countries commented on the effectiveness of the interactive training approach. The HRMS training has encouraged the development of HR manager networks which share good practices and collaborate on continuous improvement. Many participating suppliers saw increased operational efficiencies once the HRMS was implemented. And the SEA team's key performance indicators reflect significant improvements where suppliers implemented HRMS.

Latest developments

To promote stronger executive management commitment at the factory level, the programme was re-designed in 2008 to include one-day workshops for executive management. That made a notable difference in 2009 and 2010 activities, especially in Vietnam.

In 2011, the HRMS China project will focus on self-training as well as customised training in self-governance practice. In Vietnam, the plan is to gradually turn the project over to the joint IFC-ILO Better Work initiative which is developing a service platform for the apparel industry.

In addition, in 2011, we will ensure the fundamental elements of the HRMS are benchmarked within the Sustainable Compliance Initiative's (SCI) monitoring tool.

Reading this report

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