GARMENT MANUFACTURING PRODUCTION PLANNING
The fundamental concept of production planning is where to produce and when to produce. It sounds really simple however so many start ups and well established labels fail in understanding the main objectives and make disastrous mistakes.
A well thought through production plan ensures that the overall process of dropping off of raw components to the manufacture and delivery of ready-to-wear garments to the buyer is streamlined providing following benefits:
- Reduced shipping and handling costs.
- Reduced overall production and overheads cost by driving efficiency.
- Designer can deliver product in a timely manner with consistent quality.
For us as a high-end garment manufacturer planning is an essential ingredient to the quality product. It ensures that a garment production kept to the optimum level thereby increasing the turnover time, efficiency and quality.
At Plus Samples we’ve implemented 2 stages of production planning: long term and short term.
Long term planning is a capacity planning with an overall view of the 3 upcoming months. Recently we’ve developed a bespoke software to monitor our capacity and received orders. It was a huge investment for our company but already our clients could see the real benefits of this. Our delivery efficiency keeps improving with a consistent quality of the delivered production and samples.
Within the software, sewing and cutting out hours are allocated against orders received, booking chunks of time for the orders to be completed and allowing us to plan the factory capacity far in advance in accordance with the delivery of the raw components and final delivery deadline. At this stage we are able to provide a fashion designer with an estimated date of production delivery based on components delivery date. A certain number of hours is booked for a sampling development or garment production within our studio at a certain period of time.
Short term planning is a work scheduling for a fortnight. At this stage we are able to confirm exact delivery date for a garment production or samples and collection methods.
Its absolutely essentials to understand that the raw material delivery and delivery of the quality production are the links of one chain. Also importance of good communication shouldn’t be underestimated.
We understand that the delivery of the components to a factory could depend on lots of factors which are sometimes impossible to influence. However if we receive an early warning of a possible late delivery we would be able to re-arrange our timetable accordingly. When the warning gets to us at a very last minute and we’ve confirmed dates and have committed ourselves to other deliveries, the changes in our manufacturing schedule are difficult to make without jeopardising a relationship with another client who would be delivering within agreed timeframe. As a result, the designer with the late delivery might loose a slot of time which has been booked for that production. Both sides are suffering in this case: Plus Samples is loosing an order and might have to lay-off work our staff, the designer is not able to deliver garments to the buyer on time risking to have order cancelled or pay a hefty fine.
This is a worst case scenario which could be easily avoided with a careful and considerate planning.
- Try to create achievable delivery targets, always allowing plenty of time for each of the stages.
- If it’s commonly known that your textile supplier is late with the orders, add an extra week onto the delivery date. Basically give yourself a cushion of few days where possible.
- Make sure that all the delivery dates agreed in advance and all the parties have had an agreement in a form of email message or letter to avoid any misunderstanding.
We understand the whole difficulty and complexity of the process for the designer and will try to do everything possible so make this process on our side as smooth as possible.