How Sample Approval Delay Affects in Shipments of Export Orders?

Garment sample approval requirement, delay in approvals, and shipment delays are well-known facts in the garment export business.

Garment Sample

Garment buyers place an order with garment exporters with a mutually agreed lead time that starts with receiving of orders to ends at shipment dispatch. Within the given lead time factory needs to complete pre-production, production, and post-production processes. Sample approval is one such process that falls under the pre-production process.

What is the sample approval?

Prior to start bulk production, suppliers need approval on samples at various stages from buyer to ensure that everything is okay to follow in bulk production. Various sampling stages may include FIT, SMS, Size set and PP Sample. Print strike off, fabric quality approval, embroidery approvals are also included in sample approval. Any delay in sample approval, due to let submission of samples to buyer or buyers delayed in giving approval from their end, the factory had nothing to do but postponing following processes.

While pre-production planner or merchant prepares time and action calendar for the order, the time period is allocated for each process depending on the process capacity. Major capacity is required in production and finishing.

As said above that when sampling approval process gets delayed, factory needs to postpone planned cut date (PCD). As a consequence garment production and garment finishing get delayed than the actual planned starting time. This results a shipment delay.

There are a number of issues that can happen due to sample approval delays with shipment delay. Followings are the few most common consequences of delays in sample approval.

1. Shipment gets delayed: In normal production speed, when start time of every processes get shifted forward, shipment automatically gets delayed.

2. Delay of other styles: When a style gets delayed production processes overlapped with other orders those were running on time. At this situation factory faced capacity issue in production and finishing process. Though factories plan for overtime working to cover backlogs, it is not always possible to finish shipment on time.

3. Production cost increased: While shipment is getting delayed due to shorter time span for production and post production processes, factory normally involves extra manpower to meet the lead time. This increases production cost for that specific style.

4. Quality issue: When a shipment is getting delayed, suppliers try to push every process to complete faster and overlook standard procedures. Not always but most cases factory produces garment with lot of defective pieces. To repair defective pieces and to ready the shipment up to accepted quality level, factory needs to spend more time and money. Quality issues may further extend the delay of the shipment.

5. Penalty to be paid for late shipment: Some buyers charge a penalty fee for shipment delays. Some buyers accept the delayed shipment in the discount rate. So, shipment delay may cost the factory further due to late penalty charges.

6. Rejection of shipment: Even few buyers reject the shipment completely if the shipment gets delayed that shipment does not meet the deadline.

To avoid the above consequence due to shipment delay, factories need to plan and complete tasks before or on the deadline. Where a delay in sampling approval is a regular issue, merchants need to plans accordingly and need to keep buffer time to cover such uncertain delays.

What happened in your case when your shipments get delayed?

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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