What is Cross Charging in Apparel Production

In the apparel manufacturing industry, the concept of cross charging is crucial for accurately reporting the earnings of different lines or departments, especially when operators are transferred between production lines and departments. This process becomes necessary to manage the production flow and to balance workloads effectively across the factory floor.

Cross charging

What is Cross Charging?

Let's break down what happens with cross-charging using an example. Suppose Sophie is an operator who is normally assigned to Line-1, according to the payroll department. On a typical day, all of Sophie’s attendance, production, and earnings would be attributed to Line 1. This scenario does not involve cross-charging.

However, consider a situation where Sophie is instructed to work on Line 5 for an entire day. Despite her usual assignment to Line-1, the production she accomplishes that day actually occurs in Line-5. For payroll and reporting purposes, though Sophie is still officially tied to Line-1, her production output and associated earnings need to be attributed to Line-5 for that day. This adjustment in the records is what is known as cross-charging.

Cross-charging can also occur for part of a shift. Take Sameera as another example: she spends the first half of her shift (4 hours) working in Line 1 and the remaining 4 hours in Line 2. In this case, her production and earnings need to be appropriately split between the two lines. The hours spent and output Sameera contributes to Line-2 would be cross-charged to that line from Line-1.

Implementing cross-charging correctly is essential for several reasons:

Accuracy in Financial and Production Reporting: 

It ensures that each line’s productivity and labor costs are recorded accurately, reflecting the actual work done. Daily production reports must show line-wise total hours worked accurately including cross-charged hours. 

When a line supervisor calculates line performance considering the employees of his line and ignores cross-chared hours and production,  the performance efficiency of a line will be incorrect for that line.

Fair Employee Evaluation: 

Operators like Sophie and Sameera have their contributions recognized correctly, which can impact performance evaluations, bonuses, and other incentives. 

Operational Efficiency: Understanding the movement of labor across lines helps in better managing resources and planning future shifts.


In summary, cross-charging is a vital mechanism in apparel manufacturing that ensures the accurate allocation of labor costs and productivity metrics when operators work across multiple lines. This helps maintain transparent and fair accounting and operations management. 

It is also important for production units to maintain records for cross-charged hours and production with the employee record. 

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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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