Roles of a Merchandiser in Garment Industry

Roles of a Merchandiser in the Garment Industry:

An apparel merchandiser has to interact with so many departments during merchandising his product. The merchandiser’s role is to oversee the order right from the time the order is received from the buyer till calculating the account profitability and shipment. A garments merchandiser to complete the order coordinates with the buyer, various departments within the organization, suppliers, and job worker’s logistics outside the company.

Roles of a Merchandiser in Garment Industry

Roles of a Merchandiser in the Garment Industry

To put it in a few words the merchandiser analyses, plans acquire handles, and controls the entire order from start to finish.

Role of Merchandiser with Buyer and Sampling Department:

The merchandise in the initial stages of order receipt and confirmation coordinates with the buyer and sampling department for various approvals.

Role of Merchandiser with Buyer:

A garment merchandiser receives the tech pack from the buyer [inquiry]. He has to work with various departments and prepare a validity report and a feasible quote. The quote will be intimated to the buyer, price is negotiated and confirmed. The purchase order is then sent by the buyer along with the LC. At the various stages of samples, prints embroideries, and accessories are sent to the buyer for approval. Once the entire approval phase is over goods are produced and shipped.

Role of Merchandiser with Sampling department:

Here garments merchandiser arranges for approval of the first sample it may be in just one size, preproduction sample may be in jumping size or entire size set, embroidery, print approval, and placement approvals are also finalized in the sampling stage. The measurement chart is also checked and confirmed upon any increase in measurement will lead to an upcharge. The paper pattern is also completed with all revisions asked by the Buyer. The fabric [Knit downs, bit looms, and first taka] and accessories are approved at this stage.

Role of Merchandiser with Purchase Department:

The purchase department is divided into two departments such as fabric and accessories. Working procedure of both departments have discussed the below:

The working procedure with the fabric department:

A garment merchandiser receives the fabric requirement from the buyer. The parameters to keep in mind are the content, fabric count and construction, weight /G.S.M, design of the fabric, fabric quality, color, etc. The buyer will send an image of the fabric design to the garment merchandiser and it is replicated by the fabric manager along with the suppliers into actual. Garment merchandiser coordinated with the fabric manager for bit looms and knit downs, then it is sent to the buyer for approval. On receipt of approval, the first take of around 10-15 meters or 3kgs -5kgs of knit down is asked from the fabric supplier as the case may be. The pre-production size set is sent to the buyer with all actual print, embroidery, and accessories. Once the bit looms or knit downs are approved the price is negotiated and bulk order is placed. The optimum width/dia required is ascertained in co-ordination with the lectra and production department. In the case of dying of fabrics again the buyer’s standard should be kept in mind. In Germany, Azo dyes are forbidden. If the quantities are too small for manufacturing the stock lots can be offered. Sourcing, Pricing, Right and Timely deliveries are the main goal of the fabric manager and the garment merchandiser. Generally, an excess of 5% is ordered then the actual required quantity but this can vary from organization to organization and the size of the order.

The working procedure with accessories department:

Garment merchandiser receives details of trimmings and accessories required from the buyer. The parameters to keep in mind are content, dimension, color, size, logo, etc. e.g. some buyers want nickel-free metallic accessories. If the items as required by the buyer are not available in the market then options can be proposed to the buyer. Once the trimmings and accessories are approved the price is negotiated and bulk order is placed. Sourcing, Right and Timely deliveries are the main goal of the accessories manager and the garment merchandiser. Generally, an extra 3% is ordered then the actual required quantity but this can vary from organization to organization and the size of the order.

Role of garment merchandiser with store department:

A copy of the purchase order with all details for fabric, trimmings, and accessories are given to the stores. Once the goods are in-house, the store manager will send a sample to the garment merchandiser and the respective manager for approval, on receipt of approval of the same the goods will be in-warded. Here the store manager has totally the quantity ordered against the quantity received along with the price. Any deviation will have to be reported to the fabric or trimmings and accessories manager. Garment merchandiser sends the sample of the bulk fabric and accessories to the buyer for approval. With the help of the purchase order, the stores understand what quantities are to be dispatched. At the end of the order, all balance accessories should reach the stores.

Role of Merchandiser with Testing Department:

Testing is generally outsourced there are companies like Texanlab in India that are sometimes nominated by the buyer. Some huge companies conduct basic tests in house. Fabric, trimmings, and accessories are tested as per the parameters given by the buyer. The buyer lays down a tolerance range for acceptance of goods.

Testing of Fabric:
Fabric tests are conducted at various stages as per the requirement of the buyer. Fabric is tested for strength, width, length, shrinkage, thickness, count, colorfastness, etc

Testing of Fibre:
Fiber is tested for strength, maturity, trash content elasticity, length, fineness

Testing of Yarn:
Yarn is tested for strength, count, twist, yarn hairiness, yarn crimps, rigidity

Testing of Accessories:
Accessories are tested for content, color fastness any other requirements by the buyer.

Role of garment merchandiser with EDP [Electronic Data Processing] department:

A garment merchandiser should be in synch will and all departments regarding the process of each order. The EDP department feeds this data so that at a click one gets information on the status of the order and the functioning of various departments. Also if the performance is within the time frame available. There are many software packages available e.g. SAP for this work.

Role of garment merchandiser with HR Department:

A garment merchandiser should inform the HR [Human Resource] in case of manpower, godowns, local transport requirement, local permits, manpower movements required.

Role of Merchandiser with Production Department:

The merchandiser on the receipt of the order will intimate the production department. Garments production department will plan whether to produce in-house or to outsource through other job workers. Production samples are submitted to the garments merchandiser for buyers’ approval in sizes mentioned in the LC. Garments merchandiser coordinates daily with the production department on the progress of the order and clarification of doubts if any. It is the duty of the garments merchandiser to follow-up on the patterns, fabric-approved samples for bulk production, and accessories, and all of those should reach the designated factory in time. After the order is completed, the garments merchandiser tallies as per inward, outward, and what was consumed and what is left is exactly as per plan. In case of shortages and excess utilization or rejects have to be justified in the validity report and balance goods are sent to the stores by the garments merchandiser and the garments production department. Generally, the buyer accepts 3% extra of the total good ordered while others do not accept extra quantities.

Quality Department:

A garment merchandiser should be aware of the company goals and quality standards along with the quality standards acceptable limit to each buyer. The Production Manager along with his production team and quality checkers maintains the quality standards. Based on the style and volume, the production manager will install check points to maintain quality levels.

Role of garment merchandiser with packing department:

A garment merchandiser co-ordinates with the packing department to pack the goods as per the style, ratio and carton quality and size, marking details received by the buyer .e.g. if the buyer wants goods packed in individual poly-bags or individually packed and then ratio packed in a master poly-bag, etc. The garment merchandiser needs to understand the importance of adhering to packing details received from the buyer. The storage and labor cost in foreign countries is very high. Where and how to store the goods is preplanned by the buyer to have effective space utilization. According to the order received packing details are given so that it becomes easy to remove the designated carton and dispatch where there is a requirement.

Role of garment merchandiser with the commercial department:

A garment merchandiser should provide a copy of all the purchase orders raised against a particular order to the accounts department to co-ordinate with all departments, garment merchandiser, supplier for excess, shortage or variance of price, etc. Bank transfers, L/C negotiation, allocation of funds are done by the accounts department. The accounts department negotiates with the bank for payment depending on the type of L/C. Once the order is completed the documents as required by the buyer are submitted to the bank and payments are received.

Role of garment merchandiser with shipping department:

A garment merchandiser co-ordinates with the shipping department for vessel booking, transport, etc, and completion of documents for shipping the order on completion of the order all documents are submitted to the accounts department for realizing of funds from the buyer.

Contract profitability:

At the end of the order, the clothing merchandiser will compare the actual and budgeted costs to ascertain contract profitability. It is on this basis that the performance of the merchandiser is assessed along with time and action planned and executed.

Speech from the writer:
If anybody follows this article carefully then he will be definitely able to answer the following questions in the interview:

  1. What is the role of a merchandiser in an organization?
  2. How does a merchandiser help in the growth of the organization?
  3. Explain the merchandiser role of anyone department?
  4. Why is it important for buyers to know buyer quality standards?
  5. Why is it essential to take approvals from the buyer at every stage?

Written By-Sangita Rawal

Sangita Rawal
Consultant and Merchandising Manager
Mumbai, India

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Mayedul Islam

Mayedul Islam is working as a Sr. Merchandiser in a reputed Buying House. He has great passion in writing different articles on textile and Garments specially on Merchandising and Garment Washing. Send


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