Socially Responsible Manufacturing Brings Success.

Project Success Story | January 10, 2019

At a Moldovan shoe manufacturing plant, investments in modern production equipment lead to reduced waste and shorter production times, and increased salaries for some of the country’s most vulnerable workers.

At OldCom, one of Moldova’s most famous shoe manufacturers, production has transitioned from low-value technical and work footwear, to fashionable, modern shoes, but the people and processes in the factory struggled to keep up with demand. Until recently, all of OldCom’s products were conceptualized and sketched by a single designer, and materials were cut by hand, resulting in a long manufacturing cycle of about 80 days, wasted materials, and low salaries for workers, the vast majority of whom were female. The Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP), funded by USAID and Sweden, provided OldCom with a grant to install computer assisted design software and incentivized the company to invest in an automatic cutting machine. The newly digitized design process combined with machine cutting allowed OldCom to reduce its manufacturing cycle four times, from 80 days to just 20 days, and cut waste to just 15%. The increased efficiency resulting from the technology upgrades at OldCom means that their machinists can reach an average of $460 USD a month, an increase of more than 50%.