Apparel Merchandiser: A Key Person in Export Business

What is merchandising?

Merchandising is the term which is related to trade. Here trade means buy and sale. The person who is involved with the trade he is known as a merchandiser. And the activities of a merchandiser are called merchandising. In apparel industry, the main activity of an apparel merchandiser is to handle foreign buyers properly. So the goodwill and image of a factory ultimately depends on him.

Apparel Merchandiser
Fig: Apparel merchandiser

Duties and responsibilities of apparel merchandiser:

Basic duties and responsibilities of a garment merchandiser at a glance are given below:

  1. The duties and responsibilities of a merchandiser is an essential service and an important influence on the company’s image to the buyer and customers.
  2. A merchandiser is the link between the production unit and the buyer. He is also a link between the production unit in the factory and the main local buying office relating to a particular order he is handling.
  3. He is responsible to examine and report about any shortage of fabric and accessories received from abroad against an order of a buyer he is assigned to.
  4. He is also responsible to get approved sample from buyers at the initial stage of an order and for the correct production as per specification.

Role of a merchandiser for control garment quality:


A chain of management

Management is responsible for determining who will have the final decision regarding quality control problems

Do we ship problems goods, knowing that merchandiser fails to meet the established quality level

To meet-up the quality level, a goods quality control program require, for this requires a competent quality control manager

The quality control manager is responsible for overall quality control systems, procedures and directions

All quality inspection report to quality control manager

The quality control manager should report to the person with the most responsibility for the facility operation (PM)

It is important that the quality control manager has the proper attitude toward quality

It is also important to ensure that production manager have the proper attitude regarding quality control

Activities of a merchandiser in the factory (after receiving the materials in the factory)

  1. Arrange to make inventory report both for fabric and accessories as soon as possible with relation to packing list of materials.
  2. Arrange to make swatch card for fabric and accessories and compare with approved swatch card or lab dips and issue 1 set product package with swatch card to P.M. and Q.M.
  3. Arrange pre-production meeting with concern people.
  4. Place order to store officer for issue fabric and accessories to production unit as per consumption and swatch card (earlier send approved swatch card to store keeper).
  5. If needed, arrange to get poly, cartons etc. locally if not order earlier.
  6. Arrange test cutting for pattern adjustment and consumption checking.
  7. Should collect daily production report and quality report from production unit and inform to higher authority if any problem arise by which shipment may be hampered.

What are the qualities of a professional merchandiser must have?

  • Communication skills
  • Planning capabilities
  • Decision making abilities
  • Honesty
  • Smart appearance / good personality
  • Knowledge about the product and business
  • Co-operating mentalities
  • Monitoring ability
  • Time awareness (punctual)
  • And others

What are the smart apparel merchandiser’s key responsibilities?

  • Forecasting
  • Sourcing
  • Negotiation
  • Market and product analysis
  • Designing and sampling
  • Raw material purchasing
  • Production follow-ups
  • Internal/External communication
  • Lab-dips prepare and getting approval
  • Accessories and trims identification and consumption
  • Order follow-ups
  • Giving shipping instructions and follow-ups shipping procedure
  • Prepare documentation
  • Taking responsibility for inspection
  • Fabric/Yarn consumption and calculating costing

Quick response merchandising procedure (at a glance) are discussed below:

  • Forecasting
  • Sourcing
  • Negotiation
  • Order confirmation
  • Generate manufacture
  • Source and prepare yarn/fabric
  • Prepare/monitoring lab dipping procedure
  • Getting approval of lab dips
  • Order bulk quality
  • Source and prepare trims and accessories
  • Getting approvals of trimmings and accessories
  • Prepare pre-production/size set sample
  • Getting approval of pre-production/size set sample
  • Start bulk quantity production
  • Ensure quantity and production execution/monitoring
  • Arrange shipping samples and send to the buyer
  • Arrange final inspection and prepare for shipment
  • Follow-up export procedure
  • Monitoring payment procedure
  • Getting feedback

Lab-dips preparation and getting approval:

  1. Accessories and trimmings identification and consumption
  2. Order follow-ups
  3. Giving shipping instruction and follow-ups shipping procedure
  4. Prepare documentation
  5. Taking responsibilities for inspection
  6. Fabric/Yarn consumption and calculating costing

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