The Way of Smart Apparel Merchandising

Last Updated on 17/12/2020

The Way of Smart Apparel Merchandising

Muhammad Nurul Alam
Secretary General
Apparel Merchandiser Club of Bangladesh Ltd (AMCB),
Senior Merchandiser | Asmara BD Pvt. Ltd. | Dhaka | Bangladesh
Cell: +8801930540035
E-mail :


Do you know what is the working hour for a merchandiser in Bangladesh. Believe or not merchandisers in Bangladesh are working more than 13-14 hours as regular job and some time much more. Always they are busy with hundreds of work schedule but nothing can be completed within office hour. So they have to stay in work place up-to late night. You can’t say this is only inefficiency of their profession because most of the time they are over loaded. The owners are having a cost minimizing tendency so they hire a garment merchandiser instead of two or more without considering the demand of work load. As a result a merchandiser always fail to enjoy their regular life and gets tired. They loss their innovative force and feel exhausted in older years. We often see merchandiser who aged beyond 45-50 either loss their job or stay in the organization as a good for nothing. Owners don’t want to pay higher salary for him though they already have taken valuable energy, time & work force in early age. This is really shocking that now they feel you are not to be used. Yes, right now we have to think how can take the best from our life period. Whatever the age we should have to keep energy and not to be exhausted. We can think for us from today and prepare a new deal for your career. To make easy and to be smarter apparel merchandiser in our way of working please let us do something different. Today we are going to discuss how you can manage your thousands of job in a limited period of hours and can keep maximum energy.

smart apparel merchandising
Fig: Smart apparel merchandising

1) Make a list of all your job:
This is very important what you are doing to keep it in your daily schedule. It would be better to make schedule 1st daily than weekly and finally monthly. Why this is important to do list? First of all we are human being. So this is not possible to keep everything in our mind and to do the thing in priority basis. Usually a Merchandiser has to work through lots of stress as well as difficulties. For which this is not surprising if you see he is forgetting to do some most important task that should have to perform in first priority. The second thing is – when we see thousands of task that we have to perform within a very short period of time our nerves gets week. We feel exhausted and fatigue. So by the making schedule we can easily prioritize your task and get the most important and urgent thing.

The below diagram will help everyone to do list in the work priority. This may take little time to make your habit with the method but believe me the method is really effective.

Not Urgent
1. Fabric booking
2. Yarn procurement
3. Price for new query
4. PP sample submission
1. Recape meeting with senior
2. Production up-date
3. Bulk Lot shade approval
4. Factory visit & get the production status
Not Important
1. File & Sample organizing
2. System Up-date
3. Price review
1. New product collection
2. Develop product knowledge
3. Knowing up-date product status of other customer

2) Don’t put task for tomorrow:
Just keep in mind that tomorrow never come. If you are thinking today is for relax and tomorrow will be your busy day that would be unrealistic . Actually it does not happen because tomorrow you will see new task has added to do & in this way task will be more. One day without doing your important task means you are going to burden yourself for tomorrow. So whatever you think that should have be done today from your task priority list, do it immediately. Never wait for tomorrow.

3) Check double/Triple which is mathematical:
Usually an apparel merchandiser works in a rush movement so sometimes it is not possible to do all the mathematical task in cool mind. Suppose you are going to book fabric or yarn. Here you have to calculate some figure to get the fabric amount that can be used for bulk. But for the all rush movement you made little mistake & proceeded for procurement. Your delivery time may be very short so without any revision of your booking hand over it to supplier & finally when the fabric in-housed it was identified what mistake you have done earlier during fabric booking. May be you mistake in color name or fabrication is wrong. Instead of 90/10 cotton/elastane you received fabric in 100% cotton. This is due to you worked in an old work order sheet where fabric was booked in 100% cotton & in the new sheet fabrication was not changed. The mistake is very little but outcome is devastating. To save time you did not give a cross check on the sheet & now all of your production schedule has gone to drain. This is really measurable when you will see your fabric is in-housed but cannot meet delivery date. Now again book the fabric newly & shipped the goods by air due to you missed delivery date. Actually this would not happen if you are careful & taking extra time give revision twice or triple. If you can take help from your colleague to see the booking as second party. This will help you to avoid extra hassle & to utilize your time properly. Here you can keep some key for cross check. cross check means the figure that should be off course changed in new booking.

For fabric booking check the below:

  • Fabric composition.
  • Fabric construction.
  • Fabric color.
  • Fabric width.
  • Finally fabric quality.

4) Don’t miss any mail:
A single mail can change total output. If you are not properly look into your mail & work through of it you may miss some important information. So read your every single mail & share the mail with all the relevant party. Don’t keep it in your box only. If you have some mail that you should give answer please keep it in red mark so that it will not go out of your track.

5) Don’t do a task twice:
This is actually relevant to point no 3. Take extra time to do anything but don’t think you will do it twice or 2nd time you will get the opportunity to do it again. Suppose you are in great rush hour to submit sample, giving mail repeatedly to factory to submit the sample in certain date along with lots of phone call. Finally received it but factory made mistake to follow earlier comments what buyer has given. That means the sample is rejected & is not ok to send buyer. Again the sample is made following the comments but it was late one week. So all your production plan got delayed because of not to submit the sample due date. Actually from beginning you could avoid all the delay & wrong thing. If you could take just extra 15 minutes to check the change that buyer want in the earlier comment or before stitching you could visit factory & check everything that sample is going in right way it would help you to save time & energy. Take extra minute to do anything.

You may also like: Step by Step Knit Garments Merchandising: A Beginner’s Guide

5) Do extra work just one day:
In your ‘to do list’ you got some task that has to be done by this week but you are engaged so much in some important meeting so could not able to work on weekly schedule. Now what can you do? Use only one day to work extra hour in the week. Never think to do it every day. You can work extra hour at the last working day of a week so that the next day you can do relax & enjoy family. So a day for a week can be your extra hour to finish pending task. This will help you to minimize your work load.

6) Make a good relation with everyone to get job done early:
This is said that everyone is king in his own work place. May be the person is a lab in charge. As job routine he is bound to do what are all your requirement because owner assigned him to do job what merchandiser demand in related to lab issue. But this is also true he keeps schedule in his every day to do list as per queue. So you cannot ask for lab dip just in a day where as he has hundreds of lab making in the schedule. Here if you have good relation with the person it will be easy to get lab dip though you are not in the queue. So make a good relation to all the department even a person who is in a worker level. Never underestimate any one. Respect all to get respect from every one.

7) Utilize down time:
Usually success comes from the time which is not usually counted by the commners. Because to do extra work there are no alternative way except utilizing down time. Down time means – the time what you are just doing nothing or doing one more job simultaneously. Suppose you are just stucked in the traffic jam which is very common in our city life. It is often seen people are just seating in the jam and trying to blame the system. But if you want to use your down time, this can be an opportunity for you. Take journal or book & start reading. That means all of your time can be used properly. On the other hand you can use down time in different way. May be you are having lunch. This may take 15 minutes to finish. During your lunch time you can listen radio news in your mobile. This will help you to get up-date information about what is happening around you. Your busy life will not stop you to be up-dated in a new day.

8) Keep proper tracking whatever your are doing:
We are human being. So sometime this is not possible to keep everything in our memory. In the merchandising no one can you say everything is in tracking unless he follows some basic rules. The basic rules of keeping track is ‘put down notes’ in your excel sheet or note book. Make a excel sheet & put all your information whatever you receive every day. Put the date on the stuff what you receive from buyer and what you send to buyer. Keep same information on the submitted items to avoid any kinds of confusion between you & buyer. Keep your sample / swatch in a place where anything may not be lost. Make sure to keep separately all your important items to be understood by everyone or to get it in your absence.

You can follow below rules to keep tracking:

  • Put date on everything.
  • Up-date & review your excel sheet every day.
  • Keep hard copy of all your important mail. Because some time you may not be in net service when the information is required.
  • Put your excel saved in your draft mail to find the data available incase computer is got effected by the harmful virus.
  • Don’t forget to send a mail to any consignee whenever you are sending sample /swatch.

9) Keep all approval in hand:
Don’t miss any of your approval that received from buyer. Suppose fabric quality, sample or trims whatever comments on submission please keep in proper way so that it will not loss. If you have several submission on particular item that sent to buyer make sure to keep date & comment for each submission. This will help you not to be haphazard among the all submission.

10) Don’t miss to put anything on mailing correspondence:
Some time you may feel unnecessary to put things in the mail whatever discussion you did in phone or verbal communication with someone. In reality this is very important & never delay to put the content you discussed in a written document /mail to prove the conversation. Suppose a trim supplier confirmed you in a particular date to deliver the item over the phone. As you feel the commitment is definitely will be met so did not put the conversation in mail. But in the due date you get the supplier denied to deliver the item & ignored his commitment. So if you could keep the commitment in a written document it would be easier to hold him. Believe me this is most effective to make easy your job, keeping things in mail .

11) Keep clean your desk:
A merchandiser has to do hundreds of job in a day so this is quite natural if his desk gets occupied by lots of stuff like paper, swatch, trims etc. Every day new items come to you & your surrounding is seeming a little store of fabric, sample & with others thing. You feel over loaded as your desk is overloaded by working stuff. How can you clean your desk to make free from all kinds dizzy materials? This is really challenging for you rather than your daily job. Some time we feel keeping things on desk is not a problem & this is actually to get the things in hand. Believe me if your boss or others want to see anything in your obscene from the desk they might be puzzled & confused what to take & what to not take. So use only 30 minutes to keep clean your desk & put all the stuff in particular folder so that anyone can find any important item. This will make your job easy. Remember ‘The true competition lies is not what we do, but how we do it’.

12) Take suggestion if you are in trouble:
The universal truth is – two head is better than one head. That means if you are trying to do something counsel with other so that you can work more efficiently with less error. Never think you are the perfect one & no need to take suggestion from others. In other way this is called – cheer leader. Cheer leader is your boss, co-worker, friend so If you want to be in track & to do the correctly must discuss with fellow people. Definitely this will ease your job.

13) Filing and updating:
A merchandiser means lots of file and documents, so maintaining file for the each order and keeping the necessary stuff is very important. Actually this is little similar to the point ‘Keep clean your desk’. However this is specifically to put the thing in file properly. How your file will look? Where to keep it? What name can be given to each file? There are lots of issue that should have to take in consideration if are really interested to be a smarter merchandiser. To do your task in smart way you need to think about your file. Suppose where to keep it? Always try to keep your important file close to your hand so that you might not be haphazardly looking for your file when you need.

Here some suggestion how to keep file for smart apparel merchandising:

  • Put a name for your file in bold letter.
  • Put all the information on top of the file, example – style name, PO no, Qty, and a garment sketch.
  • Your file should be clean & need to keep all the paper in a chronological way.
  • For easy understanding you can use divider to keep separate the subject matter.
  • Use folder to keep different submission, off course don’t forget to write date.
  • Use metal cliff so that the file can be use for long time.
  • If you receive revised PO please make sure to keep it in file and keep a cross mark on old PO.
  • Never remove any paper from your file, if Pos are revised keep date on old file & write on top of it why this is changed.

Article published by same author: 7 Deadly Wastages in Garment Manufacturing

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