Production Planning and Control in Garment Industry

What is Production Planning and Control?
Production planning and control (PPC) are important aspects of the garment manufacturing industry. Precision in planning equates to on-time shipments, the best use of labor, and assurances that appropriate supplies and equipment are available for each order. Production planning involves everything from scheduling each task in the process to execution and delivery of products. In most cases the production of garments is very time sensitive in order to ship goods to stores and boutiques for the upcoming season.

Production planning can be defined as the technique of foreseeing every step in a long series of separate operations, each step to be taken at the right time and in the right place and each operation to be performed with maximum efficiency. It in a way helps the garment industry to work out the quantity of material, manpower, machine, and money required for producing a predetermined level of output in a specified period of time.

Production Planning and Control in Garment

To cope with the short lead time and small but frequent orders, apparel manufacturers strive to improve their production processes in order to deliver finished products within the expected time frame at the lowest production cost. Production planning is therefore gaining importance in contemporary garment manufacturing.

Managing production in garment manufacturing industry mainly involves planning, organizing, directing, and controlling production activities. It deals with converting raw materials into finished goods along with proper decision making regarding the quality, quantity, cost, etc. involved in it.

Textile and garment sector is always under constant pressure and where competition is fierce, there is a chance of rival firms waiting to challenge them. During the heydays of garment production, manufacturers would name the price of a product including their cost price in making the product plus profit. Now the retailers rule the market and drive the garment supply chain. Because they know exactly what they want in terms of the product, its design, color, pattern, etc., they now have a say on the price of the product, keeping in mind the consumer’s needs and expectations. From these issues it was found that most manufacturers and suppliers could not meet the demands of the retailer, which gave rise to dealing with production issues such as lead times, responsiveness, costing factor, improper planning, etc. that could be affecting the timely delivery of the product to the ever-changing market place.

Production strategies and roles of PPC department in garment industry is discussed below

Production Strategies in Garment Industry:
The commonly used production policies in garment industries are

  1. Flexible manufacturing strategy
  2. Value-added manufacturing strategy
  3. Mass customization

a) Flexible Manufacturing Strategy:
This system ensures quicker and effective manufacturing of a diversity of garment styles in small production runs with the least defects. This is quicker to respond to demands of the consumer especially for small orders and shorter lead limes. The main advantages of implementing this strategy are its flexibility to operate to achieve the consumer demands and the capability to adapt swiftly to changes in the garment market.

b) Value-Added Manufacturing Strategy:
It is a quick response plan that concentrates on the managing of avoidable operations that does not improve the product value but instead leads to delays in production. The underlying principle of this strategy is that every operation or task performed on a garment style should add value. Operations like material handling, sorting, inspection, ware housing, etc., involve additional time, handling, and workers; however, it does not add product value.

c) Mass Customization:
The strategy here is to produce products that could be made to order rather than made to plan. Product life cycle is short and the strategy requires processing single orders with immediate turnaround. Taking into account the complexity of many garment products and the number of processes that a style could require, the machinery, labor skills, information, and processes must be integrated. This may involve single ply culling, single piece continuous floor manufacturing, and integral information technology.

Mass customization reduces the risk associated in trying to anticipate consumer demand months ahead of the point of sale to the ultimate consumer.

Roles of PPC Department in Garment Industry:

1. Task Scheduling:
It involves planning of Time & Action (T&A) calendar for every order from the receipt of the order to dispatch of the same. The task schedule comprises a list of jobs to be processed for the style of garment. Alongside each task the production planner cites the start time of a task and the scheduled date for completion.

2. Material Resource Planning:
It is the planning and creation of material requirement sheet based on sample product and the specification sheet. The consumption of raw material such as fabric, button, sewing thread, and twill tape and their costs are estimated.

3. Loading Production:
Production planner delineates which garment style and how the quantity has to be put into the production line.

4. Process Selection and Planning:
The operations required to finish an order differs from garment style to style. Based on the buyer requirement, production planning section decides on processes for the orders. Sometimes additional operations or processes are removed to minimize the cost of production.

5. Facility Location:
For a garment industry that has multiple factories for production and are set for specific products, the production planner has to identify which facility will be the most appropriate for new orders.

6. Estimation Quantity and Costs of Production:
The production planner should estimate the daily production based on garment style work content. Based on the estimated production rates, production runs and operator involvement planner also estimate production cost per pieces.

7. Capacity Planning:
The PPC department plays a vital role during booking of orders. They have to provide information regarding quantity of order they could accept based on their estimated production capacity.

8. Line Planning:
It is the preparation of comprehensive production line planning along with daily production target for the specific production line. In a majority of cases, line planning is prepared after having a discussion with the production department and the IE in the industry.

9. Follow-Up and Execution:
The PPC department ensures that the order is moving in a particular production line as per the production plan.

Effective production planning and control in the garment industry play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless and efficient flow of operations from forecasting demand to delivering finished products. Besides, production planning and control helps to improve the productivity in the garment industry and meets the demand of retailers. PPC involves the efficient management of resources, processes, and schedules to ensure the timely and cost-effective production of garments.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  3. Practice of Garments Merchandising and Management by Engr. Md. Faruk Hosen
  4. Jahanara Rony “Functions of Production Planning and Control Department in Garment Industry”

Q1:What is production planning in the garment industry?
Ans: Production planning in the garment industry is a critical process that involves coordinating various activities to ensure the timely and efficient manufacturing of garment items. It is an important department which allocates the style to a sewing line and controls the processes such that the deliveries are met on time.

Q2: What are the benefits of PPC in the garment industry?
Ans: PPC offers various benefits that contribute to the overall efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness of the garment business.

Q3: What are the main steps of production planning?
Ans: Main steps of PC are Planning, Routing, Scheduling, Loading, Dispatching and Follow-up

Q4. What is the scope of PPC?
Ans: Scope of application of a PPC system is extensive and covers various aspects of manufacturing and business operations includes the three value added processes, Source, Make and Deliver.

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