Introduction: The profession of merchandising is not an easy task because they have to play a vital role in any organizations. In fact, a merchandiser coordinates with the management or production section to develop, modify or increase sells of an item. This person needs strong communication and negotiation skills along with visual and analytic abilities. They need to be a creative and innovative thinker.
They have to pay full attention while working. There is no shortcut way or scope to skip from their assigned jobs. Single absent mind may create great panic. They have to work about 10 – 14 hours for maximum time. Most of the times, they are overloaded and have to stay in workstations up to late night. Usually, they are habituated to lead a robotic life. It is not happening of their inefficiency because manufacturers appoint a Merchandiser instead of two or more without thinking the demand of workload. As a result, merchandisers become overloaded; eventually, they miss to enjoy their daily life and turn into sick after the age of 50.
They cannot pay quality time to their family and cannot keep connection with their neighbor or relatives. So, merchandiser should think something new. There are bunches of issues that should have to take into consideration if someone is feeling fascinated to be a smarter merchandiser. Here we have tried to describe how to handle thousands of tasks by using their efficiency. Following tips may keep you more refresh and lengthen your working tenure.
1) Make a list of your entire job: Why do we urge you to make a list of your entire job because it is very important to prioritize your task what you have to do regularly on your desk. You had better make a plan what you have to do daily, weekly and monthly. A merchandiser has to pass a lot of pressure with several obstacles in their daily work habitually. So, if he fails to remember to finish some important job that should get priority, you shouldn’t be surprised.
Because all of us are human being and it is not possible to keep everything in our mind to get priority. Besides, when we have to accomplish several tasks within a limited time, our nerves became sick and may not quick respond what we desire. So if you make a list of your entire jobs for giving emphasize on your daily work on priority basis, it will help to remove your stress and workload. Please rewrite your to-do-list according to your job responsibility. Please make a notebook and write down your daily and weekly task by dividing into three columns or pin up your task at your workstation into three columns and tag your task according to importance.
A) Must: Write down or tag your task that you have to do first in next week.
B) May be: After finishing the must one task of next week that you have to proceed.
C) Sometime: You can manage these tasks somehow, but it’s not so urgent in coming week. You can precede these after finishing the current job.
And it’s easy to maintain. Please write down your task in a small pad and tag it into any column according to importance. Please remove which task already done end of the week. And remaining task what not yet done, please tag it any other column, that’s all.
2) Don’t put task for tomorrow: Never wait for tomorrow, whatever you are thinking now it should be done by today. Just remember tomorrow may not come as a sunny day. If you keep important task for tomorrow due to negligence, you are going to overload yourself for tomorrow. Just keep in mind that “time and tide never wait for none.” So what task is assign for you, try to accomplish it today by your level best effort. It will keep you ahead from others in service life.
3) Don’t miss any mail: Communication skill is too important for any merchandiser. A merchandiser who has an excellent ability to communicate with all parties may get success in their profession. But they have to separate important emails according to sequence because a single email can change the whole scenario. If you do not read every mail, you may miss some necessary data. So try to read all emails in your mail box every day and share mail information with all concern departments. Please try to reply every mail, if not possible to respond by your schedule time please mark it so that it could be traced out easily. Please don’t hide any mail information.
4) Try to learn something new: Though a merchandiser has little possibility to get free time in their busy life, whenever they get the opportunity, seek to learn something new by reading merchandising related fashion books or visit fashion show, textile exhibition to gather knowledge. Besides they should increase practical knowledge about garment productions like sewing process, embroidery, printing, washing first etc. and visit sourcing industries to watch their manufacturing process. It will help them to cope up with the modern fashion trend.
5) Make a good relation: Make a good relationship with all parties even a person who is working as a technician or Q.A. Never underestimate anyone. Respect all to get admiration from others because you cannot perform well without others extend hand. It is true that everyone is responsible for an individual task. The person might be a sample-in-charge. He has to do your task because organizer assigned him to do what merchandiser requires as job practice. But this is also true he has to keep the schedule in his every day to do list as per queue. You cannot urge him to get special priority during sample development. Suppose you are developing a critical style and facing a crucial technical problem. If you have good relation with sample in charge as well as technician, they will deeply try to find a solution to keep your desired sample delivery date.
6) Keep all approval in hand: Please keep all approval in hand that received from buyer, don’t show any negligence. Before step into bulk production, please collect all necessary approval from buyer that is sample, embroidery/heat seal/print design, fabric quality/color, trims, pattern or technical mock-up whatever require and index in proper way so that it do not lose. Please keep date wise update comments if you submit several times for a particular item. It will keep you safe from any hazard.
7) Do extra work just one day: Though a merchandiser always tries to accomplish their daily task on time but few tasks may not finish by their scheduled time. So what should they do? Fix only one day to finish pending task by working more in a week. Never think to do it every day by paying extra hours. You can fix end of the working day of a week so that the coming working day you can feel relax and pay attention your family. This technique may help you to reduce your workload.
8) Clean your desk: A merchandiser has to accomplish so many tasks at a time, so it is natural if his desk found scattered. Frequently they have to keep lots of material like samples, fabric swatches, mock-ups, trims etc. and their surrounding area may over loaded by several kinds of stuff. How can you overcome this odd scenario? Even sometimes it’s tough to control this dizzy stuff. So just pay 30 minutes to keep clean your desk and put all the stuff in particular folder or cabinet and properly mark or write down in your notebook so that anyone can find it later.
9) Take suggestion: As a merchandiser, you have to face many challenges every day. You may not tackle all of these; sometimes problems may create much panic. So please seek suggestion from your senior if you are in trouble. Never think you are a genius and no need to seek suggestion from others. It is a universal truth that “two head is better that one head.” That means if you are going to start a new task or fall into the serious technical problem that you have little experience. Please counsel with others so that you can tackle it more professionally with fewer mistakes. You should remember prevention is better than cure, so be serious before taking curtail decision.
10) Check twice which is mathematical: Usually, a merchandiser has to do mathematical task more than other professionals. Always, they have to work in excel file to prepare consumption sheet and submit purchase order once get bulk order, but it is not possible to do the complete mathematical task with a fresh brain. If any single error happens during consumption making and proceed procurement without checking, it will create much panic when the material in-house from the supplier. Perhaps you made a mistake in item name, color name or fabrication during order placement but the result will become very shocking. Now all of your effort goes to in vain, and production schedule may hamper due to wrong or shortage of material. Furthermore, you may not keep delivery deadline though all other materials are in housed.
You have to book material again and urge supplier to ship the goods by air. If you pay extra time while making material sheet and give double revision with full concentration, this kind of hassle may not happen. You can cross check the material sheet by your colleague of a subordinate; it will ensure you to avoid extra hassle. During making of consumption sheet or purchase order, please carefully input item name, color, quantity, fabrication, fabric width, unit etc.
11) Don’t do a task twice: It is related to point #10. Take an extra minute to do anything and pay full attention so that it could not do again. Please try to involve physically during sample development and production etc. to gather in-depth knowledge then you can easily realize the obstacles in garments merchandising. When you become a manager, you can trace juniors motive, capability etc. Thus you can tackle those barriers more efficiently.
12) Utilize downtime: Downtime means when you have no way to do anything or doing one more job simultaneously. Suppose you are just held in the traffic jam which is very common in metro life and no option to escape from hazard without blaming the government. But if you be smart, you will try to use this downtime. Please read newspaper, journal, and books or reset working plan or watch movies through a portable device. Besides, you can listen to favorite song or radio news during your lunch break. That means all of your time can be used properly. It will help you to gather more information about what is happening around your home and abroad.
13) Try to share all information during mail communication: Communication skill is the key weapon for any merchandiser. A merchandiser can manage vital situation through proper communication power. As a job routine, whenever you will discuss with someone through phone or verbal way but never forget to put the content what you talked in a written document/mail to prove the conversation if it requires later. In fact, it will save you from several unpredictable situations. Suppose current shipping mark of carton box has changed by buyer, you should forward the information to the supplier through mail though first, you should let him the changing information verbally. So if you could keep the commitment in a written document, it would be easier to hold the supplier if any occurrence did by their end.
14) Filing & updating: A merchandiser has to deal with lots of people and has to keep bunch of mail conversation, files, documents, swatch, mock-up as well as sample etc. If you wish to work smartly, you need to think about all of your stuff. Please always try to keep necessary file close to your surrounding area so that you can pick it easily. Please locate your appropriate file in a plastic folder or metal cliff by name, season, PO no, style name etc. so that anyone can trace it in your absence. Your desk should be clean and store all the stuff by putting the date in a sequential way. Never remove any paper from your file but, if any change occurred, please make sure to keep it in a file and give a cross mark on old information.
15) Pay attention whatever you are doing: It is not possible to keep everything in our grip as we are human being. In professional life, no one can say everything will be in their grip so always write down notes in an excel file or notebook. Put the date on the stuff what you send and what you receive. Keep important documents, swatches and samples in the secured cabinet so that you can find it later. However, following tricks may refer to you.
* Put date on everything
* Send important mail and file to your personal mailbox to be secure if hard disk crushed by a harmful virus.
* Create backup folder for your important file at your computer. Besides you can keep necessary file in cloud storage so that it can be used anywhere.
* Update your folder according to your job responsibility.
* Keep print copy of your essential mail or document. Because net service may not available in your workstation or your computer may be stolen/ destroyed by fire.
16) Increase your range: He/she would be a smart merchandiser who has strong capability to procure materials with minimal cost and time. They have to collect all materials from best sourcing firms with competitive price, before insert into the production line. It would be better if merchandiser knows two or more foreign languages besides their mother tongue; it will help them to make easier their task.
17) Get relaxation: Don’t do work at workstation all day long. Sometimes take 5/10 minutes break for breakfast or prayer. You got to pray or meditation to get rid of workload or tiredness end of the day.
Conclusion: A merchandiser has to move faster than any other professional because they are working for upcoming days. They have to be innovative and visionary so that they can realize or predict future passion and fashion trend.