8 Common Mistakes: Apparel Merchandiser Need to be Careful During the Preparation of Work Order

Mohammad Nurul Alam

This is not just a matter to be ignored mistakes in the workplace are not unexpected but the result of errors is not all time same. Sometimes the cost of mistakes is valued at thousands of dollars that an apparel merchandiser never can recover by paying them from his own pocket. An error on the worksheet and the consequences of course enough to destroy all of the positive images in the company that an apparel merchandiser earns over the years. It will also cause anxiety and affect productivity. The present discussion will help an apparel merchandiser to avoid some mistakes that should not be done during the preparation of the work order.

1)Copy-Past work on an excel sheet

A common mistake that an apparel merchandiser makes while working on an excel sheet is Copy-Past. Usually, a work order is made on a set format that individual organizations follow for internal tasks. Suppose a worksheet for poly bag booking, when an apparel merchandiser makes new work order he simply does it on an old poly booking sheet. This is done because if some information has been changed then new work orders can be prepared easily. But the worse things happen when merchandisers kept unchanged some of the old information.

For example- In an old worksheet merchandiser has started for a new poly bag booking and put the correct poly bag qualities and quantities but forgot to change the size of the poly bag which has to be updated according to the new booking but the merchandiser kept it unchanged. Due to some busy work merchandiser was in a hurry and release the booking for production without much careful checking. As the size of the poly bag was not updated and so wrong size poly bag is in-housed and for this unexpected mistake the ultimate consequence has been observed missing the schedule and loss of money.

So before working on an old worksheet –

  • 1st of all merchandisers should have too high lights in all the areas that needed to change. It will help to keep the focus on the area that requires change.
  • Take time during booking and should not be hurried.
  • A careful overview has to be put on the highlighted area after completing the task on the worksheet.
  • If possible can take help from the person who sits next to him just to give a look at the sheet. Because 3rd eye can easily catch the error on anything.

2)Error in sum-up value

Sometimes it has been noticed that apparel merchandisers kept errors on worksheets in sum-up value. After preparing the worksheet if the sum-up value is not checked and made casually then there might be a big mistake. So if the total value is not done correctly then it will show the wrong status. Because of this unawareness, people will consider that the merchandiser is less efficient and much not very careful at work.

Apparel Merchandisers

Multiple times / Less than a requirement

Input multiple times or less than required can happen for the pairs or set program. Apparel merchandisers should have to be careful during the preparation of work orders whether the product is for a set or a single piece. Even pairs have to be calculated preciously so that chances of error might not be there.

Example of an error – A polo shirt has one pair of cuffs (2 pieces for both sleeves) and when the merchandiser received consumption from the CAD department, he simply made it double for 2 pieces of the cuff but he is unaware a pair or 2 pieces has been already considered by the CAD. The result is production completed with a number of double quantities and a big sum of cuff remains in stock that cut the overall profit margin.  

4)Working without real product keeping in hand

When an apparel merchandiser is preparing to work for any kind of booking – fabric, accessories trims, or other materials he/ she must take the real product in hand and check every component of it by careful observation. Because if the real product is not reviewed during the booking time then chances to miss some of the important parts that should not be kept untouched.

This working method will also help to understand what items is approved by the customer and in what condition. Because during trims approval buyers may put some comments just to follow for bulk production. The below note can help an apparel merchandiser if he considers them during booking-    

  • Keeping the real product in hand during booking.
  • Checking all component; even need to be confirmed if the buyer has been given approval for all or not.
  • If the approval process has not been done or completed then need to hold production until receiving the complete approval from the buyer.
  • Off course, there should not be missed to enclose the buyer’s comment with the work order that is related to follow during production.

5)Missing information or putting the wrong data

This is more likely to be related to the above point but here the focus area is – ‘not to put wrong data’ during booking time. The data comprises with the Order number, EN code, Product reference, Supplier code, or some numerical reference that the customer wants on the product. To avoid missing or wrong data merchandisers –

  • Has to be very careful when mentioning numerical references like EN code, order number, color reference etc.
  • If possible numerical references always have to copy from the buyer’s data sheet /order sheet and past the same on the work order and never put the number by typing.

For example – color reference if needed to mention on the wash care label then try to copy the entire digit from the Buyer’s PO sheet and paste it on the excel sheet to prepare the work order. Because if the merchandiser practices putting the number by typing there might be chances to be mistaken by missing a number or it can be typo. If something happens like this then the result is not unknown to any merchandiser that any item with a missing digit will be unacceptable to the buyer and it will be a big loss for the company. 

6)Working hurry and not being much attentive

Any kind of work order should not be done in a hurry or doing them in a very noisy situation or at a busy table when the merchandiser is working on multiple tasks. Because when the mind is engaged with multiple tasks then there might be errors in the worksheet, maybe he may miss some important component or input the wrong data. So to avoid the situation he can follow below note –

  • Work order preparation has to be done with a cool mind with the engagement of full attention.
  • It could be done when public engagement with merchandisers will be less.
  • Should take enough time to work on booking, if possible it should be done very slowly, and completing them takes more than two days than the target completion date for the task. Because late with correct submission is not a sin but a mistake in a hurry task never be considered a good deed rather it will show his lack of competency.

7)Mistake in currency

When a merchandiser is working on garment costing and mistakenly put the sum in the wrong currency and submitted the price to the customer or sometimes forgot to convert the currency that needs to submit to the buyer then it would of biggest blunder. The price submission will be completely wrong and in most cases, if the buyer confirmed the price then there will be little chance to change them because it will irritate the buyer.

8)Working on a sheet where some old pages are not deleted

This is a mistake that can bring land slid disaster for a merchandiser’s career. Because the pricing of garments is very sensitive we needed careful input and need to check each of the components properly. But sometimes it happens like this the merchandiser has submitted a costing sheet to the buyer and forget to delete some old date sheet page that contains some confidential information or price.

Even some time merchandiser attached the wrong data sheet which is supposed not to send for confidential reasons then no doubt the merchandiser will receive show case notice in soonest time for the task from his management. So to avoid the mistake.

  • Merchandisers should have to review all the components.
  • Need to check properly if the correct file is attached.
  • Need to remove all the irrelevant information from the costing sheet.
  • Re-confirm the sending mail if the correct file is sent or if everything is sent correctly. 

In short, doing mistakes in the workplace that might be putting oneself under stress can literally make someone both mentally and physically ill. And it is natural to feel frustrated and embarrassed when something goes wrong at work. So learning from mistakes and taking ownership of them will help to overcome the situation.

Author Contact:

E-mail: alamnur09@yahoo.com

Skype: alamnur2011