Fashion Designing is an art of designing beautiful clothes, garments, accessories and footwear as per the market trend. Many fashion brands provide bulk quantity in the market, which people use as a daily wear. To produce the bulk garments, industries help the fashion brand to fulfil their requirements.
Fashion institutes provide different courses which help students to choose various career options in fashion industry. In Fashion Designing Course, subjects like Textile Fundamentals, Structure of Apparel Industry, Advance Tailoring Techniques, Retail Marketing & Visual Merchandising and many more subjects helps student to get into the garment industry. One of the reputed positions into the garment industry is “Merchandising”
Let’s Understand First What is Merchandise and What are the Roles and Responsibilities
Merchandise means to buy and sell goods or products in any business. In the middle of 14th century the term came from Anglo-French Marchaundise, meaning business or trade of goods. The name was known in old days was "merchant". After the world War ll the word merchandising got the importance after the industrial revolution. Merchandising grew at that time due to the demands of products, Marketing and sales which helps to fulfil the requirements and needs of public.
Merchandising is a bridge between the industry and buyer. Merchandising is a department in the industry who perform a role to arrange all require materials to produce a finished product and selling them to customer.
Now a days in every garment industry regardless if it's export or buying house they hire a merchandiser who take care the orders and clients. Merchandiser is responsible for almost everything from order execution to shipment and final payment realization.
Merchandiser has to communicate and involved with each and every department to execute the order.
Qualities of a Merchandiser:
1) Good with Technical Skills –
A merchant must have ample knowledge of production activities. When a buyer provides a garment design for bulk production a merchant must have the technical knowledge which can helps the production flow in a friendly and efficient manner. When a merchant has a fashion design knowledge; they can easily make understand the buyer if any changes require in the design or they can easily communicate with the designing team to make the design production friendly at the very early stage of sampling. Technical knowledge with pattern construction also helps to communicate with the pattern making department to get a cost-effective production for the industry.
2) Good Planning Skills –
As a merchant the very first step is planning. In the garment and export industry a term using T&A means Time & Action Plan. Where a merchant plans every stage and make a proper strategy to complete the sampling and production in the given time frame. They plan when to start with the initial process and when the work has to get complete keeping extra time in hand, because into the garment industry many things can get delay. So, a good merchant always has another plan to get over the situation.
3) Communication –
Coordination and communicate is a big factor in every industry. A merchant does communication with various department and manage multiple area and work at a time, so they have to be very good with the communication. Merchandiser not only has to communicate with the buyer but also with the internal team so they must know how to deal with different people.
4) Decision Maker –
As an example many times it happens when we get stuck due to some shortage of raw materials or due to damage of raw materials chances occur where product get effected. The merchant has to be pro-active and must be a good decision maker who can take an immediate call which saves the time, energy and money of both buyer and the industry.
Departments in the Garment Industry where Merchandiser's involves & roles to perform:
Marketing team brings order from different corner of the world. Once the order gets placed the Merchandiser has to do the costing by understanding the requirements and also need to discuss with the client on technical areas and shipment dates.
Industry have their own designers who help to redesign the garment/order to help the production flow in a friendly manner. Merchandiser coordinate with the designer and get into a mutual decision. Merchant helps designer to understand the buyer’s needs.
Fabric Department responsible to arrange the raw yarns, dyed yarn, greige fabric, dyed fabric, printed fabric to the industry by coordinating with fabric mills. Merchandiser provide the requirement of the fabric quantity to the fabric team with the width of the fabric, colours, shades or prints as per buyer requirement. Merchant also takes decision to approve the shades of the yarn and fabric as per the buyer requirement as well as check the print quality.
Most of the large-scale industry have their in-house printing unit and some industry give job-work/out-source the printing jobs. Merchandiser develop the design by co-ordinating with the designers and make understand the requirement to printing department either it’s a “Table print” or “rotary print”. Quality team is been assigned to check the print even though merchant is equally responsible to check the finish design, size, colour and quality of the design.
There are various embroidery techniques used by the industry and Merchant co-ordinate with the embroidery department to make understand the embroidery requirement also provide the raw material required for embroidery like felt, sequence, embroidery threads, etc.
Pattern Making Department:
Earlier pattern masters use to make patterns manually, nowadays industry use CAD machines which helps to save time. Merchant co-ordinate with the team by providing require measurements of the sample, order quality, quality of fabric as well as the trims and accessories.
This department is also known as store in the industry who take care to keep stock of the materials and also keep record of the trims and accessories. Merchant provide the BOM (Bill of Material) to the department and co-ordinate with the department supplies of the goods and material to the sampling or production units. Except fabric the accessories department keep all the rest of the materials with them like threads, buttons, zippers, garment packing polybags, cartons, twill tapes, scissors, measurement tapes, etc.
Sampling department in the industry who makes samples to show to buyer before starting the production. Samples like fit samples (for measurement approval), Photoshoot samples (using original fabric, colour) which require to photoshoot for advertisement, pre-production sample. Merchant co-ordinate with the sampling team and get the samples done and take approval from buyer before moving to bulk production.
The name itself gives the introduction. However, the production team needs lots of planning as they have to keep the flow of the production. Merchant regularly keep following with the team to check the requirement flow and plan for next order placement.
The quality department involves in each and every stage and with every department from the starting. They keep an eye on the quality of the product and keep updating the merchant.
Once the production gets completed all the ready goods needs to store in the warehouse. Sometimes the buyer rejects the goods and industry gets the burden of the stock. Merchant keep all the records of the stock goods and use to help industry if get buyer who purchase rejected goods.
Finished goods dispatch by road, sea or by air. Merchant co-ordinate with the team and provide all the require information like size of the packed goods, quality, shipping address, billing address, price of the finished goods, etc.
Before we get into depth of Merchandising let’s understand how we can prepare to get into the merchandising role and which courses can help you to get into the garments industry.
In the above summary regarding merchandising we understand that the Merchandising roles need involvement into many departments and we can only tackle and manage all the work in the garment industry if we have all the required skill set. A merchant must have knowledge or understanding of yarns, fabrics, pattern construction, average and efficiency calculation, stitching, measurements, understanding of colours and design development. Now to get all the knowledge and information one can opt for fashion designing institutes where one can get all the knowledge theoretical and practical under one roof.
Seeing Off: -
Merchandising is one of the reputed and interesting career options into a garment industry. One can keep learning new things every day as this is a creative field and keep changing as per the customer taste and trends. One who complete a fashion design course can choose Merchandising as a career option as it has many areas to explore and good career scope.
Hope this blog will help the students who are planning to join fashion industry and looking for a career guidance or may to someone who already pursuing in the fashion designing Institute but not clear with a career goal.