The textile and garment industry is booming in India, especially after elimination of the global quota system. Presently India is exporting garments to more than 100 countries including US, EU, Latin America, and Middle East. Last year, garment export was nearly $5000 million and about 1200 million pieces. The main competitors of India are countries like China, Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Sri-Lanka.
The Indian garment industry is gaining ground in the world market at breakneck speed, but still not flourished at its fullest extent. Although the resources are available plentiful with a powerful foundation of fabric and spinning sector to support. The key factors behind this are low technological development, lower output, cut throat competition, high raw material cost, inadequate infrastructure, traditional productivity, unfavorable regulatory policies, and globalization impact. However, there is a fair list of the producers, suppliers, and exporters that are fully acknowledged with regulatory policies and formalities, international marketing policies and procedures. The only concern is in executing their productivity initiatives, and meeting with order deadlines.
Now days, major companies are adopting merchandising concepts, which comply with all procedures to execute and dispatch the shipment on time, considering quality, cost and time. Merchandisers are serious in the success of any garment retail business. They provide the right products at the right time, enabling a company to match with latest market trends and meet the market demand. In the merchandising concept, time management is a gig to manage one's time properly, so he can focus on value adding actions.
Today's garment merchandisers have to move with frequent changes in demand and the developing technologies utilized in manufacturing and production. To find out customer requirements, they regularly visit retail outlets, and come up with latest updates from frontline staff. In order to keep an eye on developments in sourcing, site visits are made every week to mainland factories to meet suppliers and study production.
In garment merchandising, there is no specific rule, so it's important to be able to think on one's feet.
The main procedures of merchandisers are as followed:
Understanding Sample Order
Merchandiser has to understand the buyer's requirements after receiving specification in the sample order. In many cases, there are modifications pertaining to the specifications in the order to dispatch on time and the right quality.
He has to talk with the in-house veterans on the execution problems of sample orders, as the right information is required in decision making.
Managing order route card and production timetable
Merchandiser has to manage every single production schedule and order route card that helps to follow-up the execution in the planned way. It is expected to be acknowledged of the various descriptions like: design, no. of modules, no. of operators, how many processes, date of dispatch, quantity, output capacity, and deadlines in the schedules.
The sub-ordinates are normally assigned to follow-up with execution of the plan. Merchandiser plans the activities depending on the essentials or non-essentials, and top priority are given to the most essential tasks. This is customary that the essential activities are handled personally or with the support of junior merchandisers/sub-ordinates.
In a "daily schedule", merchandiser has to carry-out and categorize which is the most significant and urgent task. The activity that has to be focused with full attention to sweep-off non-essential activities and have to be to be corrected by prioritizing to meet the deadlines.
To get updated on the current status on the order, the route cards should be utilized. The latest status can be fed into the computers. In case, the buyer ask for the goods prior to the deadline, then merchandiser has to reorganize the schedules to accomplish tasks, output capacity, no. of pieces to be produced daily, substitute arrangements, time availability, supply time, scheduling critical ratio, etc.
Submitting pre-production samples
The pre-production samples should be provided on time to the concerned buyers. Quality of the sample must be verified. If required, revised samples should be made available to the buyers. Merchandiser should adjust to the required changes demanded by the buyer. The execution of bulk orders should be made only after samples are approved by the buyer.
In-process inspection denote between any tasks in order-execution. In case of non- conformation, it is better to focus on the concerns of quality. Merchandisers that works on complete orders have to check deviation to the production teams so that any amendments can be done to avoid the non-conformities.
Solving shortage problem
The merchandiser should know about the dearth of any commodity such as fabric, yarn, etc... from the beginning. Actions should be taken immediately to arrange required materials, after discovering the shortage. It is expected that the merchandisers should verify quality of the goods prior to execution of the order. If the material is found unavailable, the superior should be informed about the concern.
Communicating with associated people and buyer
It is essential to communicate with the buyers regarding the order. It is expected to give some time to the buyer to read the sent messages. Merchandiser should to go through the messages received from the buyer and reply on time. In many cases, merchandisers have to provide order status to the buyers. Also, merchandiser has to communicate with the people that are in-house, venders, contractors and job-workers. Only through the right communication can one meet deadline for the concerned orders.
Apart from the above mention procedures, merchandiser has to assign subordinates to help him in the order execution, and direct the procedures. He has to revise his knowledge from time-to-time to know current market trends. To record preferences for all the planned activities, use daily or time log systems.
The Merchandiser should find out exact reasons for time consumption. It is necessary to keep record of time value and keeping it safe, as it is going to be shared with concerned parties/buyers. It is certain that merchandising jobs need huge time planning.
Last but not least, KEEP YOUR EYES & EARS OPEN.