Difference between Sampling Merchandiser and Production Merchandiser

You might hear a merchandising job profile. In garment manufacturing, merchandisers play a very important role. You might also hear the term ‘Sampling Merchandiser’ and ‘Production Merchandiser’. Do you know the differences between these two job profiles are?

apparel merchandising

Though there are no fixed rules for the job responsibilities of these two job profiles. We can draw the difference between a sampling merchant and a production merchant based on day to day activities performed by them.

Normally small size garment manufacturing companies don't employ different merchandisers for such different roles for sampling and production activities. All activities are looked after by the same merchant. So they are not given such name as sampling merchant or production merchant. In medium and large size garment manufacturing companies, different teams are found for sampling activities and production related activities. Even some companies have separate set-up or office for sampling. 

In case there are merchandisers in two different profiles in a company following are the different activities. Read the following activities to understand the difference between sampling merchandiser and production merchandiser.

Sampling Merchandiser:

Sampling merchandisers are responsible for sampling activities, which includes followings.

  • Coordination with buyer related to sampling requirement - they communicate with buyers for sampling process.
  • Product development – fabric development and sample development is handled by them. 
  • Handing sampling team – Many cases it is found that merchandisers handle sampling team. 
  • Preparation of sampling order for the sampling tailors – merchandised receive style techpack from the buyers and explain style requirement and style detailing to sampling master (sampling in-charge) and pattern master. Also they explain buyer's comments on samples to sampling head and tailors. 
  • Correcting pattern based on FIT and Size set comments 
  • Looking into quality aspect of the samples 
  • Following up sampling processes end to end 
  • Development of Trims and fabric 
  • Development print and embroidery sample 
  • Sourcing of trims and accessories for sample development 
  • Submission of sample to buyer and follow up sample approvals 
  • Coordinating with production merchandiser for production orders 
  • Handing over sampling comments and style files to production merchant 

Production Merchandiser

Activities of production merchant start after receiving of purchase orders (PO). Production merchandisers take handover of style file from sampling merchandiser. They prepare a schedule for production activities. Follow up with the production team and with factories if the factory has multiple production units. Their responsibility ends after shipment is dispatched to buyer.

Activities of a production merchandiser have been explained in an earlier post. Please read this article to know the difference between these merchandisers.

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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