Garments mean apparels or clothing what we need to wear every day for casual or formal fashion. The word came from the Merchandise, and it means buying and selling something to someone. The person who is dealing with the merchandise is called Merchandiser. If the individual engaged with apparel product, then the person is called Apparel Merchandiser. An apparel merchandiser, also known as a fashion merchandiser, actually she/he has to perform much more than traditional merchandising. She/he has to keep her educated and realize on the most recent fashion fads and styles around the world and make sure that store is the first to carry cutting-edge clothing and accessories. The merchandiser coordinates with the management or production section to increase sell of a product.
This person needs strong communication and negotiation skills, visual and analytic abilities. He or she also needs to be a creative and innovative thinker.
If we would look into the duty of daily merchandising process, mainly it involves coordination with buyers, sample development, and approvals, sourcing raw material, vendor selection, prepare time and action plan, production execution, reporting to superiors etc.
Merchandisers make sure that goods are available in the right stores, at the right time and the right price. They have to work closely with buyers to forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor how well goods are selling. Buyers select the product ranges while merchandisers aim to maximize profits by deciding which line will sell, how much to spend on stock, how much to buy and at what price to sell? The Merchandiser must be able to rigorously plan and control the functions involved in developing product sourcing it and getting it to the customers in time.
If someone desires to build Apparel Merchandising career she/he should accomplish at least two years diploma degree from a well-reputed institute after graduation. Besides this, if someone wishes to be a professional merchandiser she/he should admit four years merchandising course in a well-reputed university after A Level / Higher school certification. A reputed university always emphasizes their students to study in apparel and textile design and development as well as the sourcing/production, product evaluation, and quality assessment, market analysis and retailing of consumer goods. The program encompasses the global study of the cultural/historical, economic and scientific aspects of the textile and apparel industry while fostering understanding of consumer behavior and socially responsible business practices.
If someone does not get a chance to take a professional merchandising degree, she/he could be a merchandiser after his graduation course by getting long tenure practical working experience from a reputed garment’s industry.
Careers in Apparel Design and Production
A qualified Apparel Merchandiser has an excellent opportunity to perform below arena with lucrative remuneration.
* Product development specialist
* Sourcing and production manager
* Apparel/Textile Designer
* Computer-aided design specialist
* Product testing specialist
* Fashion illustrator/graphic designer
* Quality control supervisor
* Fashion forecaster/trend analyst
There are some basic qualifications which should have a merchandiser:
1. Good command of English and adequate knowledge of technical terms for accurate and efficient communication.
2. Good knowledge of fiber, yarn, fabric constructions, dying, printing, finishing, washing, costing, colorfastness and garments production etc.
3. Good understanding of natural raw materials and apparel inspection system.
4. Should have clear conception of the usual potential quality problem in apparel merchandising.
5. Knowledge of the buyer compliance and various standards.
6. Knowledge of the quota system, customs terms, shipping and banking documentations.
When buyer placed an export order to vendor, a merchandiser has to schedule the following functions on urgent basis:
1. Compute fabric requirement based on consumption.
2. Calculate accessories requirement based on sample physical checking i.e. need a quantity of Zipper, Thread, Snap, interlining, sticker, label, zip puller, poly bag and carton box etc.
3. Sourcing of fabric and accessories.
4. Product Cost Analysis
5. Prepare final consumption sheet and double check that file to erase any missing item.
6. Order placement to the supplier and make sure goods ETD and tentative arrival date of fabric and accessories in garment factory.
7. Have to prepare accurate time and action plan, keep an eye on it closely.
8. Product analysis, production planning, and follow-up.
9. Urge supplier for on time goods delivery and collect shipping documents.
10. Monitor shipping status and keep an eye on dispatched goods.
11. Inform import team and urge them to expedite the goods arrival.
12. Urge quality department for material inspection and collect necessary lab test report. If found any quality problem, negotiation with the supplier to resolve the issue.
13. Examine swatch card and deliver to the production floor and quality concern people.
14. Meeting arranges for all concern parties to feed on the product into the production line.
15. Regular visit the production floor and keep an eye on product quality.
16. Monitor day to day production situation and make sure to keep requested shipment date.
17. Monitor finishing and commercial functions; guide them to dispatch the goods.
18. Makes regular contact with the buyer during the whole period from securing order up to the delivery of the consignment.
As, I narrate all the main functions above but the most important thing is that acquirement of fabric and accessories cause there are many technical parameters involved, especially in this area, in the most cases procurement of quality full essential fabric for the garments is a major problem. For fabric procurement, we should explicitly specify the technical specification of those fabrics while placing an order to fabric supply. Beside this, we should notice accessories suppliers keep the right quality of their items. And a merchandiser should be more concern about T&A chart (time and action plan) every time and try to remove the entire barrier to reach the goal.