SOP for Merchandising Department in the Readymade Garment Industry

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Learn the method of writing standard operating procedures (SOP) for apparel merchandising department. Read some example of SOPs for merchandising department.


No need to mention that apparel merchandising is one of the primary and essential activities in apparel manufacturing and apparel export business. Hence garment manufacturers set up merchandising department. Factories hire merchandisers to handle internal and external merchandising activities.

In this post I will be talking about standard procedures (SOPs) of the merchandising department in readymade garment production. Sometimes it is assumed that preparing SOP is a complex task and need an expert to draft an SOP and need thorough analysis and approval before implementation the in the system. This is true but partially. If everyone thinks that way, nobody would come forward and prepare SOPs for their factory departments and activities.

Also See: What is standard operating procedure

These SOPs are easier to understand and apply in the factory. These SOPs were made for one small-size garment export house.

SOPs are shown for the following activities of merchandising department:
  1. Preparation of bill of material (BOM)
  2. Time & Action Calendar
  3. Approval of Samples, fabric and trims
  4. Production File
  5. PP Meeting

Task-1: BOM Preparation


Title: Preparation of bill of material (BOM)
Revision: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandisers

Standard operating procedure
  1. BOM to be prepared for all orders within two working days after receiving PO from buyer 
  2. BOM format to use as provided to merchandising department (in a spreadsheet) 
  3. Take approval on fabric consumption and trims consumption from concerned person 
  4. Add rate for all items and total amount in the BOM (if data is available) 
  5. After making BOM, it should be forwarded to sourcing department (fabric and trims store) and PPC department 
  6. If required, correction on BOM to be made by 1 day
  7. Fabric and trim store to be provided with final bill of material 

Also Read: Bill of material format?

Task-2: TNA Calendar preparation and circulation


Title: Preparation of Time and Action Calendar
Revision: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandisers

Standard operating procedure
  1. Initiate TNA Calendar preparation after receiving order confirmation 
  2. First TNA Calendar to be submitted after one day of order receiving 
  3. Analyze style and identify processes to be done for the style 
  4. Discuss with PPC department about production process capacity 
  5. Prepare TNA Calendar based on process capacity and order quantity 
  6. Mail TNA Calendar to Management, PPC department, Store and QA 
  7. Update TNA Calendar daily basis and enter actual date of completion of a particular task 
  8. Initial Plan date should not be modified 
  9. Modify TNA Calendar if required and circulate modified TNA Calendar with concerned department.

Also read: Time and Action Calendar format for production merchants

Task-3: Production files preparation


Title: Preparation of Production files
 Revision: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandisers

Standard Operating Procedure
1. Prepare production file prior to PP Meeting
2. Cover page of the production file to mark as
  • Style #, Buyer name
  • Order quantity, 
  • PP Meeting Date 
  • Ex-factory date 
  • Merchant’s Name who is handling particular account 
3. A Production file must include following items
  • Production file check list 
  • Apparel Tech pack 
  • Purchase Order (PO) 
  • Approved Fabric Swatches (all color ways) 
  • Approved Trim card 
  • Approved print and Embroidery design for color and artwork 
  • PP comments 
  • Buyer’s comment on samples, swatches and approvals 
  • Special instruction for line supervisor/QA 
  • Approved production pattern 
  • PP Meeting comments (Minutes of the meeting) 
  • Copy of TNA Calendar (style wise) 
  • Packing Specification 
4. Production file to be handed over to Production Team and Quality Team at the time of PP meeting
5. Number of production files to be made to be decided by internal team
6. T&A calendar to be reviewed at the time of PP Meeting and if required re-planning to be done
7. Responsibility of each task (process) to be discussed

Also read: How to make a good and comprehensive production file

Task-4: Approval of Bulk fabric


Title: Bulk fabric approval process  
Version: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandisers

Standard Operating Procedure
  1. Receive fabric swatch card (3 sets) from fabric store on receiving of bulk fabric. ( prior to PP meeting) 
  2. Merchandiser need to provide approvals to each fabric for Fabric quality, Shrinkage and spirality and Fabric Shade band 
  3. In case bulk fabric approval to be taken from buyer/buying house, merchant should do sample submission and follow up for the approval   
  4. One swatch card to be given to Store, One for production file and one for merchandiser 
  5. For rejected or Hold Fabric, decision to be taken by Merchant 

Also read: Essential Fabric Quality Reports for Bulk Cutting Approval of Fabrics

Task-5: Approval of Bulk Trims


Title: Bulk trim approval process
Version: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandisers

Standard Operating Procedure
  1. Receive Trim card (3 sets) from trim store on receiving of bulk trims (prior to PP Meeting). 
  2. Merchant need to provide approvals to each fabric for  - (a) Trims quality, (b) Shrinkage and color fastness and (c) Shade variation (DTM tapes, buttons) 
  3. One Trim card to be given to Store, One for production file and one for merchandiser 


Task-6: Conducting PP Meeting


Title: Conducting Pre-production meeting  
Version: Original
Prepared on: 12/10/2015
Approved by: Anil Kumar
Responsibility: Merchandiser

Standard Operating Procedure

1. Prior to PP Meeting prepare production file
2. Prior to PP meeting take approval on PP sample (sealed sample)
3. Intimate PP Meeting date one day in advance to all concerned department heads/personnel
4. PP Meeting to be attained by
  • Merchandiser 
  • Sampling team 
  • Fabric and Trim store, fabric checker 
  • Cutting team 
  • Production team 
  • PPC 
  • Quality Assurance 
  • Finishing and Packaging team 
5. Minute of the meeting (MOM) to be prepared by QA (or any other assigned person) and to be signed by all participants
6. Copy of the MOM to be filed in the production file
7. Revisit production planning of the style (order) and do necessary modification of dates and processes if required
8. Responsible person for each task to be assigned in Style planning sheet

Also Read: PP Meeting procedures

Disclaimer: These SOPs of the merchandising activities are just for your reference. These SOPs my not be ready for use for your organization or factory. Your factory may have different procedures to plan and execute an activity. So, you might need a different SOP. You can follow above SOPs as guideline and prepare yours. For any help in preparing SOPs you can contact us.

Comments and feedback on this post are welcomed.

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Online Clothing Study: SOP for Merchandising Department in the Readymade Garment Industry
SOP for Merchandising Department in the Readymade Garment Industry
Learn the method of writing standard operating procedures (SOP) for apparel merchandising department. Read some example of SOPs for merchandising department.
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