To find out what is involved in garment merchandising, it is important to understand the meaning of both terms. The term “garment” means a piece of clothing that people wear every day all over the world. In a retail setting, “merchandising” is the processes of promoting the sale of certain goods and services. The most common merchandising techniques in retail include displaying items, giving free samples, demonstrating products on the spot, giving discounts and special offers, etc. In large markets, merchandising is defined as the art of manufacturing and selling products and services to the international or local market. Garment merchandising therefore,can be defined as all the operations that take place in obtaining or procuring a garments sales order, analyzing the amount of raw materials needed to produce the quantity specified in the order, producing the garments, and exporting them within the schedule and the period stated on the export order.
Based on the above definition, it is clear that the whole process of garments merchandising, from procuring a sales order, to production and exportation is not an easy undertaking. For that reason, garments merchandising company needs to employ someone who has the skills and expertise to manage and oversee all the activities involved in garment merchandising. This individual is referred to as a garments merchandiser and he is responsible for coordinating all the operations from garments production to exportation.
Key Duties of the Garments Merchandiser
The primary responsibility of this position is to procure the garments exports or sales order (also known as Export L/C) and oversee the production and exportation of garments to make profit. In order to carry out these roles efficiently, a garments merchandiser needs to have vast experience and practical knowledge on garments merchandising. The person also has to put a lot of effort in the whole process to make sure that everything runs smoothly. The following topics discuss the main duties of this position as well as the skills needed for one to become a good garments merchandiser.
Primary Functions of a Garment Merchandiser
Below are the major functions of a garments merchandiser:
- Obtaining a garments sales or export order
- Estimating the total time required to produce the specific quantity of garments as stated in the export order
- Procuring the raw materials for the production and exportation of garments
- Making sure that the raw materials are collected in good time to facilitate the manufacturing process
- Ensuring that the quality and quantity of the raw materials is right for the production process
- Selecting a garment processing factory where necessary
- Monitoring the garments production process to make sure that the final product is of the best quality and is packed according to the company instructions
- Making sure that the garments are shipped at the right time
- Acting as the contact person between the buyer and the garment production department
- Ensuring that payment is collected at the right time and the company makes profit from garments sales
But What Skills Does One Need To Be A Perfect Garments Merchandiser?
To perform the above duties successfully, a garments merchandiser needs to have extensive knowledge about garments production and merchandising. This knowledge can be obtained from academic institutions. Below is a breakdown of some of the skills one needs in order to succeed in the garments merchandising career:
- Good communication skills that must be supported by excellent reading, writing, and speaking prowess of the English language
- Sound understanding of the textile industry including the various garments production techniques such as printing, dyeing, fabric manufacturing, fiber and yarn manipulation, garments washing, textile production, etc. Onemust also be able to inspect the quality of both the raw materials and final products.
- Must know how to obtain an Export LC order
- Must be able to plan and implement a schedule that fits in all the garments production processes
- Must be able to coordinate activities between the buyer and the garment production department
- Must be well aware of the formalities involved in garments shipping including all banking formalities
- Must know where to source for raw materials
- Must know how to calculate the cost of production of garments
- Must be committed and self-motivated to work under minimal supervision