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Challenge in Production Planning and Control in Apparel Industry

In the contest of RMG sector, it’s tough to keep the production plan and goods delivery date simultaneously. You may not keep your production plan always due to various reasons. Thus, you can apply your level best effort to control and implement the designated production plan, but you cannot predict what obstacles are awaiting for you at the end of the sessions.

Why will it happen? Because production planning and control in garment sector is always a challenging format and you have to ready to overcome several barriers during your working tenure.
If somehow shipment delays or got the order cancellation as a merchandiser, you could not escape your responsibility. When management investigates the cause of this issue, they will not forgive you. So, you have to aware to overcome all of these obstacles.
Production Planning and Control
When agreement signed between buyer and manufacturer, sea shipment always got priority as it is the cheapest form of transportation and buyer have to liable to bear the cost. But if somehow goods can be sent by sea on time then it has to ship by air at the manufacturer cost. Airship mode is always very expensive, and it will cut companies profit margin roughly. But they have no other way to hit the shipment schedule. Besides frequent delivery failure will make a bad impact on company’s goodwill as well as increase the risk of order cancellation. As garment production is a chain process, so any problem may arise in designated plan that will create a horrible moment for you. Hence, production planning and control has an intimate function in apparel manufacturing.
Now we will alert the main reasons during execution any order that mostly faced in the apparel industry.
1. Delay in raw material collection and approval
2. Late approval of samples
3. Delay of production process
4. Human error and miss communication
5. Got trouble in final QA inspection and subject to rechecking
1. Delay in raw material collection and approval:
Raw material collection always got priority to execute any order. All fabric and accessories have to be arrived at factory timely before insert into production. You should make a time and action calendar (TNA) to secure your order. Even you will get rough distribution of start and finish date of each process. You should keep some room for material testing, inspection, and lab dip according to buyer guide line. You have to consider the worse situation if the materials got to fail in testing or buyer is not satisfied with materials quality. In that case, you should keep some buffer time to replace the material without making trouble in order execution.
2. Late approval of samples:
Sample approval holds an important role before step into bulk production. Buyer never allows you to start production if the product does not satisfy them. Usually, production people will take the initiative once sample approved by buyer and got final tag as gold seal sample.
Even garment production may fall in trouble if the sample approval becomes delay. Importance of sample approval is inevitable in a garment factory. Thus, every factory is willing to set up an individual sample section to deliver the finest quality of sample for buyer approval. Pattern maker, technician, skilled operator, buyer quality, and merchandiser are directly involved to precede sample making. Merchandiser has to guide and follows up every step for timely approval of sample.
3. Delay of production process:
There are so many reasons that will hamper production process. Basically, all efforts might be gone in vain if raw material in-house got delay. Let’s find the reasons that may create great panic.
1. Labor conflict/ Strike
2. Imbalance machine Breakdown, shortage of machine or machine disorder
3. Productivity might be affected by vital operation
4. Labor turnover
5. Lace of skilled manpower
6. Absenteeism
7. Natural disaster like earthquake, flood, heavy snowfall, cyclone, heavy rainfall, tsunami etc.
8. Human-made disaster like fire, building collapse due to weak structure, rumor, strike of transportation, shortage of electricity, oil or gas etc.
9. Production might be hampered due to quality fault
10. Political violence, religious conflict or clan riot
Planning department has to keep some room to face any hassle. If the reason is very tough to manage, planner should revise the plan and take quick action to keep the requested delivery date.
4. Human error and miss communication in recording:
Proper planning can erase a problem swiftly. There is a proverb “A stitch in time saves nine.” If a simple problem is not being solved at the initial stage, it will make great suffering at the end of the day. Even miss communication or a simple error in data recording can make a big trouble later. Factory should practice sound data recording system to erase human error or miss understanding. Thus, nowadays factory are willing to set up a manual or computerized data recording system that are very fruitful for effective planning.
5. Got trouble in final QA inspection and subject to rechecking:
Finish goods have to be inspected by buyer QA before departure. It’s a mandatory process in garment sector. Usually, buyer insisted on following particular AQL standards to accomplish inspection task. If buyer QA found quality problem in final review and refers for rechecking, it’s a horrible situation for factory. Factory has to rearrange inspection after rectifying quality faults and internal QA inspection. Arrangement of re-scrutiny is always clumsy.

Maximum time all pieces of garments have to check carefully by unpacking and rectify defective items for re-scrutiny. Double work in manufacturing process means wastage of time, money and energy. It’s one of the top reasons to delay the shipment and create a high risk to make air delivery.

Challenges make life interesting and overcoming them gives it meaning. Dare your dreams. A planner needs to have a cut-off time of 3-7 days to insert the production floor if the production order (PO) has got all necessary pre- production approvals and the raw material is in-house.A process can be devised where the merchandiser has to give the PO production certificate verifying all the necessary approvals and material requirement to the planner so that he can schedule the production. Production Planner should have a good network of fabricators so that some orders can be outsourced to maintain the sanity of the production plan. Be alert before occurring any incident because an ugly moment can destroy your dreams.

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