Garments Merchandising | Day to Day Job Responsibilities of A Buying House and A Factory Merchandiser

Posted by Firoz Kabir on Sunday, June 15, 2014 0

Apparel or Garments Merchandising: Merchandising is generally related to trading where buying and selling is done. Apparel merchandising is related to the entire task related with buyer, suppliers even with factory itself. Further it means the day to day correspondence with buyers for price negotiation, order confirmation, any other approval and updates as well, on the other hand correspondence with suppliers to place orders, follow up with them to get the timely delivery and also to make the payment. It is also related with production planning team, garments production team, washing team and commercial or C&F agents as well. Co-ordination with shipping and documentation department for forwarding the approved shipment and finally keeping track of style status and updating the same to top management and buyer representatives.



Apparel Merchandiser: The person who is responsible to, negotiating to, corresponding to and managing to buyer, suppliers as well as factory people to ship the garments smoothly is known as apparel merchandiser. This is the basic concept of merchandising but the activities and responsibilities of a merchandiser depend on his work place, buyer and vendor rules or regulations.

There are different types of merchandisers available in apparel manufacturing section where job responsibilities may of different.
  • Production Merchandiser
  • Factory Merchandiser
  • Buying Office Merchandiser (Trading and Liaison office)
  • Procurement Merchandiser
  • Fabric Merchandiser
Production Merchandising covers all the area of merchandising except buying or fashion house merchandising.


Key Responsibilities and Activities of a Production/Factory Merchandiser:

i.    An order starts through sample development where merchandiser is responsible to develop the product/garment according to BOM (Bill of Materials) and GSS (Garment Specification Sheet) along with measurement chart sent by buyer.

ii.    Buyer will make comment on development sample whereby they need to change at any section such as fabrication, styling or measurement or any trims where merchandiser will responsible to follow the same and implement them to next sampling.

iii.    Now buyer will ask for costing incorporating with fabric cost, trim cost, CM & wash cost, embroidery cost as well as print cost and the concern merchant will give the same.

iv.    After getting confirmation of an order, merchandiser will book all the raw materials and trims covering this style where fabric will be booked first.

v.    Making production Time and action calendar - based on the process flow of order merchants prepare time and action calendar and indicates who is responsible for the task. This helps merchant to execute an order whether it is on time or behind schedule. Merchants chase department who are running late.

vi.    Handover the Bill of material to sourcing department - Based on tech pack (technical sheet), merchant prepares material requirement sheet. In some cases, merchants develop and purchase few trim by themselves.

vii.    Execution of sourcing trims / accessories - merchants do follow up with supplier for the raw material.

viii.    Preparing production file - Prepares production file with details documents, approvals, samples and swatches and comments on sample from buyer.

ix.     Conduct PP meeting with quality team and production team - merchants conduct pre-production (PP) meeting with production team and quality team. In this meeting merchants discuss style construction details, production plan, PCD and handover production file to the production team. One copy of production file is also made for quality team.

x.    Giving approval of printing, embroidery production and other subcontracting work.

xi.    Execution of orders whether it is running on time.

xii.    Coordination with buyer or buying house if any clarification is required during production.

xiii.    Giving clarification to production and quality team if required related to style workmanship/trims etc.

xiv.    Coordinating with buying house QA or 3rd Party QA for initial/mid and final inspection of shipment.

xv.    Coordination with shipping and documentation department for forwarding the approved shipment.

xvi.    Keeping track of style status and updating the same to top management and buyer representatives.  



Day to Day Job Responsibilities of a Buying Office Merchandiser:

i.    Communicating with buyers by mail (mostly) for new queries as well as updates

ii.    Meeting with vendors and explaining new development requirement to vendor team

iii.    Planning for new season sampling and production orders 

iv.    Collecting of garment samples, trims and different types of swatches from the vendors 

v.    Submission of samples to buyer through courier 

vi.    Follow up with vendors for samples 

vii.    Follow up with buyers for approvals and feedback 
 
viii.    Giving approval on samples where buyer intervention is not required 

ix.    Updating latest comments on particular styles or order to vendor representative 

x.    Update the buyers with the order status at all stages 

xi.    Execution of running orders (production) 

xii.    Visit to vendor site 

xiii.    Sourcing of materials for new development 

xiv.    Preparation of material requirement 

xv.    Selection and finalizing of vendors for the upcoming orders based on vendor’s experience of making similar products 

xvi.    Preparing Purchase order 

xvii.    Costing and negotiation with trim & accessory suppliers 

xviii.    Handle quality issues for sampling as well as production 

xix.    Preparing inspection schedule for shipment and notifying to quality department in the buying house or third party QA. 

xx.    Maintaining files and Accounts 

xxi.    Updating Time and Action calendar


Sampling
The samples decide the ability of an exporter. The buyer will access the exporter and his organization only by the samples. If the samples are of good quality and with reasonable price naturally the buyers will be forced to place the order. So it is essential that the samples should be innovative and with optimum quality. The purpose of sampling is not only to get bulk orders and also give some additional benefits to the exporters. By doing sampling the exporter can estimate the yarn consumption for developing the fabric, a clear idea on costing more ever the manufacturing difficulties. Besides by doing sampling only the exporter can optimize the processing parameters for bulk production, which helps to avoid all kind of bottlenecks. All these works are carried out by the sampling department, which us led by a sampling in charge.

The Details Attached to the Garment Sample
After the confirmation of order, each sample sent t 0 the buyer has the following details attached to it, with the help of a tag. It contains the details pertaining to both, what the buyer has demanded and what supplement fabric/trim etc they have used (if applicable).
  • Date
  • Style No
  • Attention Person
  • Color
  • Fabric
  • Composition
  • Description
  • Quantity
  • Size
  • Store
There may be a separate sampling department in a company. But as the merchandiser is the person who is interacting with the buyers regarding samples and other requirements, this sampling department will work under the supervision of merchandising department. Also as the samples are to be made according to the buyers’ price ranges and quality levels, merchandiser has to advise sampling department suitably.

Work Flowchart of Sampling


The Common Types of Samples Used in Apparel Making are mentioned below-
  • Proto Sample
  • Development Sample
  • Salesmen samples or promotional samples
  • Fit samples
  • Size Set Samples
  • Counter samples or reference samples or approval samples
  • Wash test/Lab test samples
  • Fashion show samples
  • Shade Band Samples
  • Pre-production samples
  • Tag/Sealer Sample
  • Production samples
  • Shipment samples

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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