Report on Assurance Quality Fabric Merchandising Practices

Report on Assurance Quality Fabric Merchandising Practices
Shazzadul Islam
BRAC University


Executive Summary:
This reports describes 3 months long practical experience of my internship. It starts with company’s overview and company’s vision and mission. It also deals with the task accomplishment of mine in the company names ‘Assurance Quality Fabric’. In task accomplishment part, there are some key points are added which reflects the true observation based on my intern experience. Not only that, but also the critical assessment is added. In that part, I tried to give the maximum output of my own assessment. I also suggest some points for industry’s improvement as well as I learn a lot of things for myself from this fruitful completion of my intern. So, the report carries practical information of my internship experience on garments merchandising.

internship on garments merchandising

Chapter 1
About Organization

1.1 Overview of the company
Assurance Quality Fabric (AQF) is a professional garment sourcing & manufacturing company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, specialized in sourcing, designing, sampling and production. It has been serving international clients for 10 years in apparel sector. Their competency in product customization has helped the company gain reputation in the export market. Their objective is to provide total customer satisfaction by offering a range of quality garments at reasonable price.

To develop and promoting the readymade garment sector, Assurance Quality Fabric (AQF) is working with high efficiency. Not only that but also, AQF always meet the customer’s demand through manufacturing and maintaining quality. AQF offer the most competitive price to their customer. They are highly qualified for sourcing, merchandising, quality control, and product design.

1.2 Introduction and history
Assurance Quality Fabric was established in 2009. A pioneer of Textile industry Md. Robi Un Nabi Khan Lodi started it after a long planning. Since the motto is “Assure the quality” he named it Assurance Quality Fabric. At first only four people started it. Now there are total of twelve employee. Through the 10 years long journey, it has become the most popular and prestigious buying house of Bangladesh. Because of this company’s trustworthiness and exclusive quality, the first buyer from Europe still sticks with this buying house. In total the company now has six buyers from different countries.

1.3 Vision & Mission
To ensure the highest quality and continuous development day by day. That is why, it is working on to make an exclusive design team, highly experienced quality control team and wise & strategic merchandising team.

1.4 Goals & Objectives
Assurance Quality Fabric focuses on quality rather than quantity. It is committed to produce at the highest level and never compromised with quality. A strict quality control measures is maintain where each product has to go through a series of methodical scrutiny.

It is manufactured all kinds of sweater, jumper, pullover & vest for infants, kids, men and women according to buyer’s choice. AQF is always ensured the right product at right qualities and on right time delivery.

The manufacturing units of the company maintain the local labor laws, rules and regulations for payment of wages as well as they provide other facilities. Buyer’s compliances such as the following are also maintained.

  1. Adequate working areas.
  2. Proper ventilation and lighting.
  3. Provision of hygienic toilet facilities.
  4. Adequate supply of filtered drinking water.
  5. Medical and first aid facilities.
  6. Adequate fire safety equipment is provided in working areas.

1.5 Organizational Structure
Branches & departments: There are four departments in this buying house. These are-

  1. Merchandising & Marketing department
  2. Quality control department
  3. Designing department
  4. Accounting & Commercial department

1.6 Products/services produced by the industry
The main product of the house is sweater. Different types of Gents’, Ladies’, Children’s and Kids’ sweaters are made under the supervision of this house. Assurance Quality Fabric is specialized in making the following fancy and basic items: pull over, cardigan, basic sweater, sweater vest, crew neck, polo neck, turtle neck, mock neck, cashmere, cable knit, raglan sweater, and roll neck sweater, cotton sweater, sheep wool sweater, ribbed sweater and so on.

Chapter 2
Description about Task Accomplishment
My role at Assurance Quality Fabric was to monitor and understand very closely the merchandising departmental work. I worked directly with merchandising team, Designing team, Quality team and sample development team. At the time of working, I have seen different types of problem in production and other department and then I also notice very carefully, how to solve a technical problem what normally created on factory.

Recently, a problem is found on sweater production, some kind of crease mark as well as puckering problem is seen on a style. Then the technical team has called an immediate meeting, and then they tried to find out the problem and they finally found that, because of varying lot number in yarn, the fiber length is short, as a result puckering problem is seen visibly in the article.

Task Completed:

  1. Completed a shipment successfully.
  2. Completed successfully one buyers meeting.
  3. Presented all the sample in front of buyer.

Key Work Experience:

  1. Working with real buyer.
  2. Understand technical term and problem created in production department.
  3. Creating and linking academic and professional knowledge together.
  4. Working with CAD (Computer Aided Design).
  5. To understand the core merchandising.

During my internship, I have seen a lot of things in merchandising, and I am going to describe them one by one below:

2.1 Communication
This is the first and most important thing to be a good merchandiser. Actually, a merchandiser is a bridge between a buyer and a supplier. He has to communicate properly with a proper manner. So, how to make an effective communication, from this place, I have learned it practically.

2.2 Co-ordination
It is the second most important thing for a merchandiser. To fulfill the buyer’s requirement at a time and then make it accomplished within lead time. I always co-ordinate every single task very properly and carefully.

2.3 Sample follow-up
When I get the inquiry or Tech Pack, then as per buyer recommendation and instruction, I have to follow up the sample. At first, I need to find out the yarn/fabric and then I need to check the pantone number for dyeing and the other things like embroidery/printing etc. This is just the beginning and then I have to place it on factory then I always do monitoring on it.

2.4 Sample Execution
At any cost, I have to execute the buyer’s order with maintaining highest quality and other perspectives. Sometimes, it is very common that, the order is very much urgent, and I have to send it on right times, and then the pressure will be so extreme on that time.

2.5 Production Plan
After getting the order or inquiry from a buyer, I start to make a production plan. As a buying house merchandiser, I have to find out the best factory for it, which is highly capable for processing the order; and then I need to see the factory profile as well as factory certification (BSCI, SEDEX, Accord, and Alliance etc). Then I need to make a production plan, how and when I get the best from it. And of course, I need to be time bound on that time.

2.6 Production Execution
After completion the production plan, I have to always follow up the production to ensure that the plan is properly executed.

2.7 Costing & Pricing
As a garment merchandiser, this is the most important things for a merchandiser. After having the Tech Pack, I calculate the best costing as well as pricing. On that time, I have to make myself very updated about current market situation. Not only that but also, sometimes I need to forecast the price of raw materials. Because it is a very common scenario that the price of raw material is always fluctuating, as a result, any issue or problem may happen even a factory may fall an opportunity to get collapsed after getting a wrong order that seems to be a lose project. That is why, costing and pricing is a very important thing and this thing I really learned from my internship organization.

2.8 Cost Analysis
Cost analysis is also very important like costing and pricing. Because I already mentioned it, how a company may fall down just because of wrong pricing. So, as a merchandiser, I always need to analysis the market like what is going on in the current market and then I need to give a best price for that.

2.9 Quality Follow-Up
To fulfill the exact quality of buyer’s requirement, that is also the important task to always follow it up. If any problem is found on quality, then immediately I take action against it and then as soon as possible I try to resolve the problem. And I facilitate the way of production as it goes very smoothly.

2.10 Procurement for Fabric & Accessories
In right time, I procure the fabric, yarn and other accessories. Without those thing, a production cannot run. So, I have to maintain and procure all the things at right time and of course at the best price.

2.11 Co-ordinate with production & QC Team
As a role of merchandising intern, I always have to coordinate the production and Quality Control Team. Without proper coordination between production and quality control team, a best output never be seen or gotten. That is why, I learned here that how to properly coordinate with two of those.

2.12 Resolve any conflict situation about Production
Sometimes, it is a very common scenario that, may a conflict situation is been risen, on that time, a merchandiser is the best equalizer to solve it quickly and facilitate the production smoothly. Resolving any problem and make everyone’s stress free who are stake holder with that article is the main job of a merchandiser.

2.13 Follow-up with Shipping Line
After completing all the steps, I also follow up the shipping line. I have to maintain very carefully every shipment related issues and LC document.

2.14 Bank related issues
Even the bank related issues like LC (Letter of Credit) and other bank documentation sometimes followed by a merchandiser. Bank forwarding letter against bank to bank LC and other issues is partially followed by a merchandiser.

2.15 Development Product as per Market Demand
A merchandiser obviously develop product as per market demand. He analyses the market and then find out the fashion trend as well as market strategic plan and then he tries to develop the best product for his buyer.

A merchandiser is a post where he is always trying to facilitate every task that is directly or indirectly related to him. Not only that but also, he is working as a bridge among the buyer, manufacturer and supplier. This task is really very much important for a company.

Chapter 3
Critical Assessment of Internship Work
Based on my experience as an intern at the Assurance Quality I am trying to assess my internship artwork from my point of view.

3.1 Application of generic and industry specific courses during internship
During the internship, I could find direct link between lessons learnt in the generic & industry specific courses and my tasks in the following particular aspects.

  1. Calculating dyeing order;
  2. Calculating fabric GSM (gram per square meter);
  3. Controlling Production department;
  4. Communicating with colleagues;
  5. Diversified work experience;
  6. Receiving Tech Pack from buyer;
  7. Placing the order in factory;
  8. Calculating SMV (Standard Minute Value) in production;
  9. Quality check;
  10. Calculating the costing of given article by buyer.

That was an amazing experience during my internship time. I really tried to apply all of my academic and industrial knowledge on this time. My Industrial supervisor as well as other department seniors really help me to make me understand the theory and practical work as well.

The best part of my internship is to communicate with foreign buyer and then collect actual information what they provide. Not only that but also to communicate with local supplier, then as per buyer recommendation, I have to make sample in different factory. On that time, I have seen lot of things that will really help me to take any decision further when I will face any technical problem in factory.

Everything has two sides, one part is good and another part is not so good. So, am I. That is why, sometimes I felt some problem like some people do not maintain their time to make the sample at right time. Just for this reason, I felt awkward situation like on that time, I did not have much time to complete it from another factory. On this time, I really could work too hard to manage that people or other factory’s people to make the sample at any cost within very short time. Sometimes that was very unusual to manage or request them, but I had to do that thing. So, this kind of thing, I had faced.

If I want to rate my internship on a scale of 1 to 10, then I must say, I will give it 8.5 out of 10. Because, the environment what I get from there is extremely good. And the work experience on that company is also good. And the behavior as well as leadership capability what the taught is so good. So, overall that was a nice experience of mine.

3.2 Suggestion for Industry Improvement (Based on Internship)
Where I completed my internship, is obviously a very well decorated company. But I think if it applies some more things for its development, then that will be far better than this position. Some related suggestions are provided below.

  • More chain of command is needed.
  • Proper organogram is needed.
  • Need to create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
  • Then strictly maintain that SOP.
  • Every employee’s JD (Job Description) needs to be created.
  • Need to maintain the job time schedule.
  • Award & Punishment system needs to be developed.
  • Need to maintain a standard salary increment and other benefit propaganda.

3.3 Learning for self-improvement
From this internship period, I really learned a lot of things which will really be workable in my future life. Now I know the emotion and anger management. Not only that but also, I have learned, how to be time bound. Besides, TnA means Time and Action plan, what I learnt from this time. Actually I believe that, if anyone wants to learn anything for his/her self-improvement, then he/she can acquire learning from every corner of the world. And that is a complete institution to teach me a lot of things for my self-improvement, So, I believe that, it always be a golden learning time of my life.

Through this internship on garments merchandising, I have learnt the following specific skills:

  1. How to communicate with buyer with a proper manner.
  2. How to study Tech Pack in a technical way.
  3. How to place an order in a factory.
  4. How to check quality of a fabric.
  5. How to prepare a production plan.
  6. How to build a bridge between a buyer and a supplier.
  7. How to check dyeing order.
  8. How to check commercial invoice as well as LC.
  9. How to calculate the accessories item.
  10. How to make accessories dyeing.

Last but not the least for that portion is to the knowledge what I learnt from this 3 months long internship are-

  • Control my unusual emotion to be a leader.
  • Manage the sub-ordinates in a proper manner.
  • Coordinate production and quality department.
  • Learn the actual propaganda of merchandising.
  • How to behave with the boss and other senior persons in a corporate mannered way.
  • Merchandising technical skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Organization and managing skills.

So, after all this thing, my opinion is very specific, that I really like to work with that kind of friendly environment. My senior bosses’ attitudes and their behavior really attracts me to work with that sector. Those skills and mental courage what I mentioned in this report before will really help me to reach on my destination.

Chapter 4
Internship is the most important thing for a learner specially in garments merchandising. As an internship student, I tried my level best to learn from my industry as much as I can. Here’s technical knowledge, relationship ability, communication task, email correspondence, production problem solution, quality check, in a nutshell, everything will be my useful knowledge. And in next time, obviously I will highly recommend my juniors who belong to the next intake of mine to do internship over here. Because, that is the place, where an intern can learn a lot of practical knowledge and leadership capability. The working environment is also very friendly. That is why, I definitely suggest my juniors to do internship here.

I have seen here, the actual production and production related problem as well, then I have also seen and learned it, how to control it or how to give a best solution for it. Not only that but also, I was trying to utilize my academic learning to apply here and then I saw the actual impact. So, obviously, it always be the best learning at all. And Technical knowledge as well as academic knowledge really linked and merged together here in the best way.



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