Merchandising is a process of selling goods and services. The process of merchandising starts with identifying target customers, setting a price for a particular product, do the negotiation and finally deliver the product to the customer. I asked the question of what is merchandising to several people who are involved with the apparel industry just to hear from them how they actually define merchandising. Most of them said that all the activities to sell a product is merchandising. So, the scope of the job merchandising is not limited to how we define merchandising is rather than all activities are related to selling is merchandising.
As a process of merchandising in the apparel industry, wholesaler/manufacturer use merchandiser to communicate with the buyer of garments or to bring new customer, negotiate with them and make them induce to place an order. So, in this case merchandising is related to wholesale of merchandise (garments).
Example of Apparel Merchandising
Suppose H & M buy different types of garments from Epyllion and those people responsible for communicating, placing the order, bargaining, receiving an order, sampling, etc. are a merchandiser and all together these tasks are merchandising.
So, the process by which a merchandiser sells its products to the target customer is called merchandising. Merchandising is a commonly used term, mostly applicable in the apparel industry. Every year in apparel industry many merchandisers are recruited for the purpose of merchandising.
The demand for merchandising is increasing for-profit motive organization but the question is who will deal with merchandising for the organization. A person deals with the selling of products who is known as a merchandiser. Remember one thing that it is not necessary to involve merchandising for an export purpose it also can be used for local business.
Retail merchandising is mainly applicable to a retail store. The scope of retail merchandising is broad because we can use it for every type of products sold in the retail store.
On the other hand, visual merchandising is another form of retail merchandising where the main stimulating factor is visualizing the product and service to create attraction and interest and ultimately selling of products.
Recently Another two forms of Merchandising are visible from the functional characteristics of merchandising. These are:
Virtual Merchandising (Online Selling) or Digital Merchandising
Wholesale Selling (Merchandising on behalf of Wholesaler or manufacturer)
Garments merchandising is both applicable for wholesale and retail merchandising in the apparel industry, Where merchandisers work for manufacturer, wholesaler and retail store. It is also known as apparel merchandising. It is one of the popular forms of merchandising because of its extensive use in the apparel industry. Merchandising process make it easier to meet the buyer’s requirement through time to time follow up and ensuring on-time delivery of garments items.
Garments merchandiser is the person who is responsible for the merchandising of garments products and services. Merchandising is the core function of a merchandiser. A garments merchandiser need to have several qualifications to become a successful merchandising. Garments merchandiser basically contact with garments buyers, negotiate with them, take orders, manage samples and send it to the buyers, take the order and finally, ensure the delivery of the product to the buyers at the right time.
Difference Between Merchandising and Marketing
Many people become confused about whether marketing and merchandising are similar or different. There is a difference between merchandising and marketing. Marketing is a broad area of business where merchandising is a part of marketing activities, which deals with the selling of goods and services.
Finally, briefly, we can define merchandising as a set of activities we (Merchandisers) do to sell our product and services to the target customers for the purpose of generating revenue and satisfy our customer.
Merchandising is a set of activities for selling products, merchandise, service to the target customer with the help of merchandiser.
The sample represents bulk garments, for any type of quality check, the quality control manager chooses garments as a sample basis rather than checking of the whole amount. Sampling plays a very important role in the garments manufacturing. By approving sample, buyer approves to start bulk production of garments. Sample quality checking is mandatory functions required by the customer (buyer) for the apparel industry. Every factory has a sample section to make sample garments. Sample quality has to be the best product as much as possible because based on sample garments buyers will place an order. A checklist follows for checking sample quality of garments. For your better understanding, I made a Sample Quality Check List for Apparel Industry. Hope this will be helpful for you to do a quality check of your sample garments.
The demand for garments is increasing day by day with the increase in world population. Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam are contributing a huge amount to the production of garments which increase their market share to the apparel industry. Textile and garments always had challenges and now still has challenges and in future, more challenges will come. Those are involved with the apparel industry will need to carefully manage future challenges to stay in the line of success, otherwise, they will have to either bear monetary loss or decrease their business growth or decrease their market share. From my experiences right now, I can see there are 10 Future Challenges of Apparel Industry with which we have to deal with. If you are aware of these challenges, then hopefully you will be the gainer by planning for the future.
10 Future Challenges of Apparel Industry
The increase of Utility Cost
Special Skilled Manpower
Higher Demand for Specialized Garments Items
Adaptation of Automation
An increase of Labor Cost
Extreme Competitive Pressure
Extra Pressure from Environmental Regulatory Authority
Obtain Low-Cost Leadership
Challenges of Apparel Industry
The Increase of Utility Cost
Utility cost will likely to increase by a significant amount within the next few years. In a textile and garments factory, four types of utilities are commonly used; Electricity, Water, Steam, Compressed Air. Among these, electricity is the main part of the utility because electricity can be used to get the other three. Normally there are two types of a generator is used to generate electricity in the garments factory in Bangladesh or any other country. One is Gas Fuel and other is Furnish Oil/Diesel Generator. The cost of Electricity generated by Gas Generator is lower. But if you use diesel generator then the cost of electricity production will increase by two to three times. Here in Bangladesh, we have a very limited source of natural gas. Soon or later our natural gas will be finish then we will not get natural gas for industrial electricity generation purpose, so we have to rely on the diesel or any other renewable energy source. If we can not get a solution for lower cost electricity generation then this will increase our overall garments production cost.
The solution to this problem is the government can provide electricity to the industry with the power distribution authority. To do this first of all government need to ensure high capacity power plant across the country. The Bangladeshi government is already taken initiative for the nuclear power plant, although it has a high risk for the environment if an accident takes place.
Special Skilled Manpower
To make some innovation it is required to get some skilled manpower. Through special skills, special and specific tasks can be done effectively and efficiently. Special skills like; handling CNC machine, Design PLC, use of CAD, etc. For the garments sector, most of the garments works are not well educated, it is not easy to get and manage especially skilled manpower. So, this will be a big challenge for apparel industry owners.
The solution to this problem is, adapt more skill development program, like SEIP- Skilled Employment Investment Program taken by the Bangladesh Government under Finance Ministry. This program is designed in such a way that people will get training then development and also ensure related job placement. This development is a role model that can be followed by other countries that are in the development stage of the apparel industry.
One of the main problems for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs is political instability. A democratic government is required where the will be political stability which is a pre-requisite for the positive growth of the industry. The country which experiences frequent strike on the transport system will face the problem of a delay in shipment. And a delay of shipment can be the reason for canceling the shipment, or monetary loss or losing the valuable customer. So, for positive garments business require a positive political condition. Near future, Bangladesh is at high risk of political instability. It is the time of thinking by the owner of the garment’s how they will deal with this challenge.
The easiest solution can be taken by the ruling government to ensure a stable political condition for their country.
Higher Demand for Specialized Garments Items
The main target market for apparel export is for USA, Europe. As their living standard is higher and becoming more higher, they were concerned about fashion and will more concerned about a special fashionable dress. So, it is a huge challenge to industrially make fashionable garments at low cost. To deal with this future challenge of the apparel industry, garments owners have to think about it and invest in research and development of fashionable clothing.
To minimize the risk of a demand for diversified fashionable garments, lots of creative fashion designer and industrial engineer will be required to make specialized garments item.
Adaptation of Automation
Advanced technology helping us with the adaptation of automation in every industry. Lots of innovation already has been done by which many garments already increased their productivity, where fewer men power is used. Men power is replaced by advanced technology; this means the machine is replacing the human being. Although automation is not possible for every section of the textile and garments industry some of the section of garments can be automated which will not only increase the effectivity of the resources but also increase the effectiveness of overall operations. As an industrialist, you will face this challenge if you do not have enough knowledge of technology and how and from where you can adapt automation for your industry.
To deal with this challenge you must invest in developing skilled mechanical and industrial engineer who will be responsible for bringing automation to your factory. They will design and make a customized machine for the different section of your factory.
An Increase of Labor Cost
We have found that worldwide labor cost is increasing year after year. China and India are facing these challenges much compared with other countries. As the garments industry is more labor-intensive industry, this industry requires more men power. So, this challenge is unavoidable challenges. This is the reason why Chinese companies are shifting around the world, they are choosing Africa, Bangladesh for their suitable investment region.
To deal with this increased labor cost challenge, garments industry should work with increasing the productivity of the workers which will reduce the per unit manpower cost. Another thing is, proper training and development plan must be adapted so that you can ensure disruption-free production.
Extreme Competitive Pressure
You know, competition is always there for you, it does not matter where you do your business. The apparel industry is a very lucrative investment opportunity for business personnel because it brings a huge profit for them. But it is not easy to gain a huge amount from this competitive industry, the first condition is you need to offer a competitive price for their product.
To deal with this challenge, all you need to do, first analyze the market, analyze the sourcing of materials and your export market and then target accordingly. If you conduct a proper analysis you will definitely find a market for your product from which you can generate enough revenue for your company.
Worker Turnover or employee turnover is one of the common problems and it is a challenging task for textile and garments owners because as long as they are unskilled they will like your job but when they become skilled, they try to switch one company to another company. The problem is, you provide training to the unskilled worker to make them skilled but after becoming skilled they are not always promised to give their valuable output to your company. It is something like you are extracting juice from lemon but cannot take the juice on your own. You are losing your skilled worker, losing your invested money and also opening scope your competitors to steal your best workers. I personally consider this problem as the biggest challenge for the apparel industry.
But the question is, how to get rid of this problem? The easiest solution is; you need to provide a competitive benefit to your workers. First, understand their needs and provide their needs, it can be a monetary or non-monetary benefit.
Extra Pressure from Environmental Regulatory Authority
In the apparel industry, the textile is producing a huge amount of waste, especially chemical is used for dyeing, printing, washing which is ultimately dumped into the river water. A huge quantity of water is used for garments washing and there is no efficient scope for reusing this water. Because of the apparel industry, our water is not only polluted by industrial waste but also the underground water level is dropping. This is the reason why environmental regulatory authority is now more concern about environmental pollution. Garments buyers are now also concerned about the environmental effect of dumping of garments waste. Now it is mandatory to have ETP-Effluent Treatment Plant in textile and garments factory so that effluent can be treated before dumping into the river. Here the challenge is to set up an effluent treatment plant and manage it according to the guidelines of respective authorities which is a costly operation.
To get rid of this challenge, as a garments owner, you need to find a solution from three different types of an effluent treatment plant and choose which is least costly for you.
Obtain Low-Cost Leadership
Nowadays, low-cost leadership is a challenging task because everyone related to the apparel industry trying to get the best solution where they will get low-cost leadership. As a part of low-cost leadership, they choose a decision to make or buy decision. In addition to this, they are always working for setting good supply chain management for their garments resources.
So, as an industrialist how you can ensure low-cost leadership? All you need to do recruit a good financial analyst. Let him understand your business and its process properly. After doing a proper analysis, he will help you to decide which one is the best option for you. Another thing you can do is always ensure that you are well informed about what is going on in the industry and how trends are moving forward. If you are aware enough and take the right decision, then you must be able to obtain low-cost leadership in the apparel industry.
After these discussions, hopefully, you understand what can be the future challenges for the apparel industry and how you need to move forward to stay in the right path of your business which may help you to generate enough revenue for your company.
The condition of RMG Ready Made Garments Export of Bangladesh 2018
Bangladesh is now one of the developing countries in the world. Ready Made Garments (RMG) has a huge contribution to the economic growth of this country. The current condition of RMG – Ready Made Garments Export of Bangladesh seems good because there is a positive growth of export earnings. According to Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh (EPB), for the year 2017 to 2018 (July 2017 to April), Bangladesh Apparel Export is growing at the rate of 9% which seems a significant amount.
RMG Export Growth Over the Year 2010 to 2018
Here you can see that the growth rate of RMG export is always fluctuating, the reason behind this is a change in market demand, increase in the cost of making, political condition, market competitiveness, and the exchange rate of USD to BDT.
Total Export Million USD
Bangladesh RMG Growth for the Year 2017-2018
Ready Made Garments industry is growing at the rate of nine percent compared with the previous year. But in 2016-17 this growth rate was only 2%. So there is a significant positive change in the export.
Total RMG Export Growth 2017-2018
Broad RMG Export Category of Bangladesh
We mainly divide our apparel product into two broad categories. One is knit and other is woven.
Monthly RMG Export Growth for the year 2017-2018
Although the growth of Ready Made Garments increased in every month there was an exception for the month of September 2017. It is not clear why suddenly growth rate reached to a negative figure.
Main Apparel Export Items of Bangladesh for the Year 2016-2017
Bangladesh is mainly exporting Shirts, T-shirt, Trousers, Jackets Sweater among these Trousers and T-Shirt are exporting a huge amount, which is contributing at the rate of 29% and 28%. So these two products added significant value to the export earnings of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh RMG Export to the World 2017-2018
Most of our RMG is Exported to the European Union, where we export about 65% of our total export of apparel. Our second biggest client is the USA and the third one in Canada.
Top 10 European Union (EU) Countries Bangladesh Export their RMG
Export of RMG by Bangladesh in European Union (EU)
Here look into this list that for the last 10 month EU countries is contributing 14734.69 million dollars. So there is no question of EU is the largest buyers of garments in our country.
Mold is a type of fungus. Mold can grow on almost all organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Mold eventually cause structural damage to the building, building materials and manufacturing product of a garments industry. To control mold you need to have a good idea of how mold prevention in apparel industry can be applied.
Mold Prevention in Apparel Industry
Due to molding in garments, apparel manufacturer gets a big amount of financial claim from customer. So it’s very necessary to adopt a control measure to prevent mold from garments.
Molds can be Grown on the following Materials
Any organic surface
Causes of Mold in Apparel Industry
Improper storage method / conditions
Incorrect procedure to operate the vacuum system of pressing table.
Poor storage of anti‐molding materials before packing.
Poor ventilation of finished garments.
Poor storage of finished garments.
Wrong vacuum system setting of pressing table.
Wrong timing to pack pressed garments
Poor loading environment
Minor and major roof leaks
Dark space in factory indoor also create a mold
Leaking in roofs
Leaking or condensing water pipes, especially pipes inside wall cavities or pipe chases.
Leaking fire protection sprinkler systems.
Landscaping gutters and downspouts that direct water into or under a building.
High humidity (60% or more relative humidity) and condensation.
Mold Preventive Action for Garments
Set mold prevention policy or SOP for workplace
Staff training, awareness creation
Develop humidity control system for every section
Keep good general housekeeping
Daily checks humidity level and keep records accordingly
Good Storage condition of incoming materials & finish products
Good shipping condition of finish products and checking the delivery container
Ensure section cleanness
Use ultraviolet light; mold cannot grow under ultraviolet light
Maintain relative humidity (RH) less than 55% or 60%
Maintain temperature 70-72° F
Ventilation or dehumidifiers system should be there.
Improve general housekeeping system.
Mold Preventive Areas in Garments Factory
Raw material and finished goods warehouse
Garments manufacturing workplace
Finishing and packing section
Mold Prevention in Garments Warehouse/Store
Keep your warehouse organized
No sign of mildew on the wall, floor in the warehouse and conduct mold check weekly basis.
All packed cartons (for trim & finished garment) must be loaded on the wooden/plastic pallets and at least about one meter away from walls & windows. (Nonwooden pallets is better).
Maintain relative humidity of about 55% and humidity is to be measured daily basics and maintain proper records.
Protect all trims, fabric, and garment by storing them in polybags or cartons.
Empty cartons must be placed on pallets and well covered by poly sheets or clothes before use.
When there is any doubt, then you need to measure the moisture content on carton by “moisture meter machine”. The reading should be less than 8%.
Apply First in First out (FIFO) method for all raw materials.
Mold Prevention in Factory Workplace
Apply vacuum function correctly on pressing table. Leave the garments on vacuum table for 5 seconds more after steaming (in order to remove moisture from the garments)
The pressing table must connect with steam ducts to remove the vapor out from the building.
Increase air ventilation by using big fans in the finishing areas.
Garments cannot be piled up too high right after pressing. Quantity can be 20 pcs for denim products and 30 pcs for non‐denim products.
Garments cannot be packed until they are exposed to open environment at least 12 hours.
Anti‐molding materials (e.g. silica gels) must be stored in the original packing material until they are required to put into the polybags/cartons.
Measure the garment moisture content by “moisture meter machine” for each Shipments (especially during the high humid season). The max reading is 8%. If garments are failed, dry them in the de‐humidifying room for about 1 day before re‐
Measure the relative humidity in the finishing and packing area at least twice per day. Max reading is 55%. Walls show no sign of mildew. Conduct mold checks in every week and keep a record.
Avoid placing the garments directly on the floor, placing them at least one meter away from the wall/windows.
Good pressing table maintenance. No water leakage foam steam pipe. Keep the cloth and foam clean and dry by changing it at least once per week.
Mold Prevention in Garments Shipping Container
Check container before loading to ensure that there is no hole/leakage on the container wall.
Technical Audit (TA) is a very crucial task of garments manufacturing. Every buyer (Customer) do a technical audit before placing an order to any garments factory. In this article, I am going to talk about what is a technical audit in the apparel industry and how we can use and for what purpose of technical audit fulfill. Many garments buyer have their own technical audit checklist, Audit must be done routine wise time to time. Through Technical Audit, auditors actually an assurance of ability to make export quality garments of garments maker. Technical audit checklist can vary buyer to buyer.
Technical Audit in Apparel Industry
Objectives of Garments Buyer Technical Audit
Ensure the QMS is effectively
Audit quality control system
Ensure compliance with customer quality standard
Ensure customer manufacturing and process control requirement
Apply best practice in garments manufacturing.
Ensuring effectiveness, efficiency, improvement and customer satisfaction.
To get excellence & sustainable results in the long run of customer product quality and as a supplier.
Types of Technical Audit (TA)
Internal Audit/ 1st Party Audit
Performed by factory internal Auditor assigned by factory management. Internal auditor report for factory management, management evaluates the report and take corrective action. Here supplier has a scope of improvement as per customer quality and technical requirement by their own (internal) audit system.
Customer Audit/ 2nd Party Audit
Performed by customer/ buyer own self, report to their supplier and ask for corrective action, available scoring or rating system to classify supplier. Customer audit is very important for the supplier.
External Audit/ 3rd Party Audit
Third party audit is an external independent audit performed by a party hired or approved by the customer to verify their process standard and requirement. 3rd party is a contracted organization work on behalf of the customer, make a report or certify supplier for a certain period.
Technical Audit Categories/Sections for Apparel
Factory Warehouse (Incoming Goods Storage)
Trims & accessories area
Packing/ Finished Goods
Technical Audit Criteria for Garments
Product identification, FIFO-LIFO, storage items tracking system and inventory
Mold prevention system, relative humidity %, and controlling system
Trims, accessories and fabrics storage using pallet or rack
End of an audit, auditing party make a report with their comments where requirement does not meet as per standard or customer requirement. Audit result by the scoring system by marks (Performance rate) or classify Good, alert and risk. The supplier takes corrective action as per 3rd party auditor or customer recommendation for their customer requirement.
CAP Report Includes
The corrective action plan of supplier
Estimated completion date
Follow up improvement
Follow up Improvement of Audit
As per the audit checklist report by an auditor, a supplier has to fill up customer requirement by a certain time. Customer follows up the improvement of CAP in every week or month. If the number of CAP decrease after every month, supplier improving towards customer requirement. Anytime or after certain period buyer audit again.
This article also refers to a few headlines as following
Garments defect is one of the curtail factors of the apparel manufacturing industry because it creates a negative effect on actual productivity. If you have no idea of garments defects identification then it will be a tough job for you, but if you know it properly then it is an easy task to identify defects. So must know all types of Garments defects if you are involved with the apparel industry. It is the responsibility of the garments manufacturers to maintain a required Garments quality standard for each and every product they are offering or delivering to the buyers. After reading this article you will have the idea of all types of garments sewing defects and finishing defects. For your better understanding, I also add pictures of each type of defects. All commonly visual garments defects are included here. The quality management team will be required to train quality inspectors and quality controller by making a presentation so that they can visualize easily. I am hopeful that, this article would be helpful for any person who works in the quality department in the apparel industry.
How you can Identify Garments Defects
For visualizing and identifying any garments defects you need to learn about all defects with its visual characteristics first then you can simply see the product and identify defects accordingly.
List of Garments Defects Which You Can Visualize
Brand Logo Mistake
Button Half Stitch
Eyelet Hole Missing
Pleat Bottom Hem
Up Down Parts
Here is the picture of all garments defects which we can identify visually. You may find the name of each defect at the bottom of each picture.