Proper documentation is one of the most important tasks for merchandiser. A perfect documentation system can help garment merchandiser to finish the whole process properly without any problem. Because, merchandiser has to deal with foreign buyers is expected to know the procedure of exporting garments to the buyer. The knowledge on export procedures will only help the merchandiser to negotiate and manage the foreign buyers properly. It is imperative to understand the procedure of exporting and various allied documents used for it as he is the one point contact for the buyers and should be proficient in answering the questions of the buyers related to export of materials.
Garment merchandiser has to maintain different types of files and documents. In a garment industry, merchandising document is filed in a computer or in a steel cabinet. Merchandising department handling most of the official documents. There are two types of documents maintained by garment merchandiser. There are
- Visual document
- Physical document
The visual document is such as PO, Pro forma Invoice (PI), Letter of Credit (L/C), Back to back (BTB), Fabric booking list, Critical path, costing, consumption, etc.
This physical document is such as trim card, sward card, lap dip approval, Fabric approval, Inventory reports, Minutes of negotiations meeting etc. which are punched with punching machine for filing.
A garment merchandiser has to maintain below files and documents:
- Production File
- Production Order (PO)
- Bill of Materials (BOM)
- Specification Sheet/Tech Pack
- Letter of Credit (L/C)
- Order Status Report
- Check list
- Packing List
- Inventory reports
- Proforma invoice
- Commercial invoice
- Cost breakdown
- Master LC
- PI, BTB LC
- PSI certificate
- Sample comments sheets (sample approval and comments received from buyer)
- Fabric color/shade approval (Labdip / fabric swatches / mail).
- Approved trim card (approved sample of trims such as main label, care label, hang tag, zipper, button, lace, sewing thread, etc.)
- Printed copy of important mails received from and sent to buyer
- Minutes of the pre-production meeting
- Printed copy of Time and Action plan prepared by production planning department
- Copy of fabric, yarn and accessories work order
- Approved embroidery/print strike off (if any) etc.
Important documents to be maintained by garment merchandiser are described below:
Production file is a document which includes all the details of a particular style. This document is prepared by the merchandiser. Production file is forwarded to PPC (production planning and control) once the PP sample is approved, along with the file, merchandiser will forward the approved PP sample also. Some of the details in the production file include the following items:
- Export order sheet
- Colour details
- Style description
- Packing type
- Print/embroidery instructions, material requirement sheet category, item, position, color, size, consumption, unit in kilograms, quantity, total quantity
- Job details for computer aided patter making (lectra) and fabric order
- Marker plan
- TNA order sheet
- 2D style diagram and trims
- Packing information
Production Order (PO):
A production order comprises all the information needed by the PPC department to generate a line loading plan and it should be available for each style of every buyer. The production order consists of the description of style and style number, sizes, order quantity, quantity for each size, fabric consumption, specifications of interlining and trims, packing instructions, label specifications, etc.
Bill of Materials (BOM):
From the PO, the requisite quantity of fabric and trims could be determined for a single product which is then multiplied by the number of shirts being produced. The required quantities are given as a bill of materials for various trims such as sewing threads, buttons, zippers and cuff links. The BOM is issued to the store to get the required amount of trims.
Specification Sheet/Tech Pack:
This form is vital for the execution of any order. It consists of all the technical information regarding the specific garment style such as fabric, tolerances, interlining details etc. for the style processing. It provides necessary information required for various departments. For example, for the cutting department documents such as marker planning, marker consumption etc. and for the sewing department, details such as construction details, measurements etc. are provided by the tech pack. The specification sheet along with the PO form is issued to all the sections in the industry while the style is moving from one department to another.
Letter of Credit (L/C:
Letter of Credit is widely used in garment export business. L/C plays an important role both buyer and seller. All terms and conditions are mentioned in the L/C.
Order Status Report:
In this order status report, all the styles and their diverse activities are updated in an Excel work sheet and is retained by the senior merchandisers. Therefore, he or she could easily track the current progress of a particular style.
- Apparel Merchandising by R. Rathinamoorthy and R. Surjit
- Apparel Manufacturing Technology By T. Karthik, P. Ganesan and D. Gopalakrishnan
- Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
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Editor of Fashion2Apparel. She is a fashion designer and ex-lecturer in Fashion Designing. She wants to spread fashion knowledge throughout the world.