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Garment Packing

A nice packaging of garments sometimes increase the sales at the retailer’s point. When we look at mass garment manufacturing for export market and home market, we need to take care of the final packaging of articles, transportation of goods from manufacturing house to retail shop and easy distribution of color and sizes to the stores. Let’s look at an example -from the manufacturing unit to the retail shop or to the brand’s central warehouse readymade garments are transferred in cartons.
Each carton does not contain random garment pieces instead each carton contains garments of specific sizes, and colors of a certain ratio. The garment ratio of different sizes and colors may depend on the location, customer requirement and order booking.

In a garment production unit finished garments are folded and packed into individual poly bags. Later packed garments are placed into carton boxes. There are several criteria for the packing of the garments and packing into cartons which are explained in this article. 
In the AFS solution the style is linked to a default package in order for the wizard to auto create the packages based on this setting. 

There are generally two kinds of packing the garment.

Packing garment into poly bags

Traditionally garments are packed into poly bags before placing them into cartons box. Garments may be packed individually in the poly bags and the ratio will be specified by the buyer.

When creating the containers the user can also create the packaging by color, size or size run. It is also created by the buyer or customer (depending if it is an outgoing or incoming shipment) online.

1. Single piece packing
 – single garment is packed into poly bag or into a cardboard box. 

2. Blister packing: In blister packing more than one garments are packed into a poly bag in a size and color ratio. Later those poly bags are packed into carton box.

3. Solid Packing:
 In this method of packing, the carton box will include garments of single color and same size. For example, 20 shirts of a similar color say navy blue and the size say S will be put in one carton box.

Assorted packing or Ratio packing:

4. Ratio Packing:
 In this method the carton box includes garments of same color but of different sizes according to the ratio. For example, S : M : L : XL = 5 : 7 : 7 : 5.

5. Mixed Packing:
 In this method the carton box includes garments of different colors but of same size or garments with different colors and different sizes in a particular ratio form.

Garment packing based on folding method:

Traditionally garments are folded prior to packing. Folding of garments are done as followings

1.                 First garments are folded flat as per specific dimension and later packed into poly bag. 
2.                 Garments are folded and packed into individual cardboard box instead of packing into poly bag. Like men’s shirts are packed in cardboard box.
3.                 Garments are not folded at all – full garment is packed into poly bag in hanger and placed on carton.
4.                 Garments are not folded and not packed into individual poly bag. Garments are directly placed into carton boxes. Later in retail shop garment are placed in racks using hangers.
5.                 Crashed fold – garments like shorts, boxers, cargo pants crashed folded and items of different colors are packed into poly bag.

Fashion PLM and ERP Integration running SAP® Business One

Source: WhichERP

An Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an enterprise-wide solution used to automate and integrate core business processes. It is focused on the physical, transaction-oriented business processes and deliverable assets and has been optimised to manage the transactional flow of large volumes of historical transactional data. On the other hand a PLM solution manages and controls all product data from cradle, through design and development, production, and back to the cradle.

There are many essays discovering the issues of PLM and ERP integration in fashion companies.

These are some of the potential issues when the two systems are not considered as one end-to-end project from the get go

  Product Hierarchies & Attributes

The way the data is structured and the attributes given are fundamental to being able to store, search and report. An attribute is simply the description of a field or a table. In some cases, PLM and ERP will support entirely different structures and fields. For instance, PLM may allow you to have 8 attributes but ERP may only allow 6. Decisions then need to be made to see if you can reduce the 8 to 6 and still be able to get the information you need easily and quickly. Sometimes the fields in ERP are linked so it can limit how the fields can work together which can put in obstacles within ERP that may not be in PLM.

Style Codes, Style Names, Raw Material Codes & Colour Names & Codes

This often seems like such a simple thing but it can be fraught with issues as different applications can have different character restrictions in different fields, such as the number of characters.

Numeric & Alphanumeric Data

Some may only allow numbers, some only alpha and only in capitals, lower case, proper case etc. Some may auto-generate and want to overwrite pre-generated codes and numbers which can lead to discrepancies and confusion between one system to another.

Costing & Pricing 

Costing and pricing is an area where there can be many interpretation issues. A “cost” can be many different things and without clarification the meaning of it can be vague. Costs can vary by colour, size, dimension, volume, season and it is important that this is translated correctly. They can be called different things, because they are different things! Examples would be landed costs, FOB costs, CIF costs etc.

 Decimals, Rounding

Is the number of decimal places the same? And if not, does the rounding match across all applications? It is essential that the correct information be transferred to the correct fields.


BOMs & Usages 

Firstly, it is important to ensure that the (BOM) Bill of Material in the PLM system is compatible with the BOM in the ERP system. Do they both support the same units of measure (metres, yards, singles, dozens etc.), and the number of decimal places?

Seasonality & Effectivity Dates  
This is often an area of confusion and can cause some real headaches as some applications may not work with seasons and only with effectivity dates and those effectivity dates may need to be different for different areas of the process. Also, we have to be clear about the start and finish of the effectivity date, e.g. a product has an ending date of December 15 but in reality is it effective until 11:59:59 PM in the evening or did it become ineffective at 12:00:00 AM in the morning?

 Integration Method and Timings
It has to be clear how and when a colour, component, or product gets pushed from PLM into ERP – is it manual or automatic? Does it get pushed at creation or when a number of fields are completed? Or is it a “click” that is established as part of the lifecycle approval process?  Also, any mandatory fields in ERP must be considered and steps taken to ensure these are complete before the push occurs. This is really important as, otherwise, products which have not been fully established could become part of the ERP process and could potentially end up being ordered or appearing on the web if handled incorrectly. Once an item has been pushed and amendment happens in PLM it is important to establish how, when and what gets uploaded to ERP – once again is it manual or automatic, and how does the process work?

Explore a simple but powerful solution

SAP Business One is an affordable, easy-to-use business management solution designed specifically for growing small to midsized businesses and subsidiaries.
From financials and accounting to inventory and customer relationship management (CRM), all of your key business areas are integrated to provide clear visibility into your entire business.

Apparel & Footwear for SAP® Business one comes as an end-to end solution, whether you need to run your business in the cloud, on premise, going to powerful in-memory HANA® platform.
SAP Business One is the

The journey of a Garment

By SAP Business One / Apparel & Footwear Solution
It is a long journey of garments before they are put on display in a store. Since raw material purchase to reaching to retails shop may takes 30-100 days. 
These are some of the steps explaining how our garments are made in factories and shipped to the retailers.

    Garment Design

A designer first makes the garment design on paper or using a CAD tool – such as Illustrator. The file then is uploaded to a common repository.

Designers usually create styles in CAD design software and upload to SAP B1 – AFS solution.

Styles are categorized and managed in the same database

      Garment sampling and product development

And at the development stage design concept is converted into garment using fabric and trims. Sampling is making the proto type of the final garment. Brands spend lot of time and resources on product development. They also work on developing fabrics, if they wish to use a new kind fabric for their designs. Different types of samples are made for different purposes. Samples made by a factory may include proto sample, size set sample, salesman sample and pre-production sample etc.

All data is available in the Product Data Management (PDM) to manufacture and delivery the style.

     Garment pattern making

When we buy readymade garments we choose the garment that fits better to our body. A garment is made by joining various garment components together. Like a shirt has parts like collar, cuff, sleeve, front panels, back panel, back yoke and front plackets. Do you know that a full sleeve shirt is made of about 20+ different components? To get correct garment fitting, all garment parts are cut following the specific dimension (measurements). For this we need garment patterns. Factories make garment patterns manually as well as by CAD software. Then each pattern is linked to a material in the cost sheet, starting point of the Bill of Material.

Sourcing of fabrics, trims and packing accessories

You might know that fabric is the primary raw material for making garments. To make a garment we need various kinds of trims too depending on garment design. Common trims are like stitching threads, buttons, zippers, twill tape, laces, hook, snap buttons etc. Factory sources fabrics and all other items from the local market or from the buyer nominated suppliers. Prior to use these items, factory checks quantity and quality of the items.

During product development the cost sheet calculates the planned fabrics , trims and operations. Then all materials based on garment attributes are lined to each sku and BOM

     Cutting garment parts

As mentioned above, to make a garment factory cuts fabrics into garment parts. In mass garment production numbers of garments are made for the same design and same size. Multiple fabric plies are cut together after layering fabrics on the cutting table. After fabric layering, marker is made manually on the top ply using pattern paper or CAD generated maker sheet is laid on the top layer. A trained cutter cuts fabric following pattern outlines by means of cutting equipment.

Manufacturing order is created with the garment routing. All jobs are tracked

 Printing and Embroidery

You might have seen printed designs or/and embroidery designs on your clothes. Printing and embroidery work are value added but optional process. All designs may not have print and embroider work. Printing or Embroidery is only done if customer asked for it. Printing on garments is done either on full length fabric or on garment panels after cutting garment components.

     Garment Stitching

You might have seen tailors to stitch garments in a tailoring shop. They normally use 2-3 types of sewing machines and one person makes the whole garment. In industrial production things are different.

Cut components are taken into sewing section. Garments are stitched in assembly lines. Large numbers of stitching machines are installed in multiple sewing lines in the stitching floor. Stitching operators stitch garment parts together and assemble garments. One operator sews only one or couple of operations. Hence numbers of operators are involved in completing the stitching of a garment. 

Just stitching garment parts are not enough. All garments must be defect free. To ensure stitching quality factory involves quality checkers to check the stitched garments in the line and end of the line. All defective garments are repaired in the line prior to sending garment to the next process. 

      Garment washing

Being a customer we would never buy a soiled or stained garment. Brands know this. So factory takes care of garment presentation and finishing. Factory cleans all oil stains, pencil/chalk marks, dust by spotting or washing. Garment washing is done to remove dirt and dust from the garments. 

     Finishing of stitched garments

A stitched garment comes with lot of loose threads, long thread tails, numbering stickers, various kinds of stitching defects, raw material defects and handling defects. In finishing section thread trimming, sticker removing and spot removing are done. 

Garment folding and packing

Nicely pressed garments are folded in a specific dimension. All garment accessories and tags like hang tags and price tags are attached to each garment. Folded garments are then packed into poly bags. Packing is done for individual garments or multiple garments are packed into a poly bag. Barcode stickers are attached to the price tags. Then garments are packed into a bigger carton.

     Garment Inspection and quality assurance:

We have learned that garments are checked at stitching and finishing stages. At this stage finished and folded garments are audited for quality assurance of the products. Factory follows certain quality standard, and inspection procedure to audit the packed garments. 

     Shipment delivery

Passed shipments are sent to buyers/retailers. For domestic order finished garments are sent to retailers’ warehouse or directly to the distribution centers. Thus our favorite clothes reach to retails stores. 

From design to delivery and invoice. SAP Business One and the AFS solution allows companies to manage the entire process with one powerful solution. 

Knit Fabric Consumption Formula for a Basic T-Shirt

Fabric Consumption:
Fabric consumption is an important factor in garment manufacturing. Profit of an order mostly depends on it. As a result, fabric consumption should be done accurately after receiving the order.
As its vast importance on garments merchandising, today I will discuss about the knit fabric consumption formula for T-Shirt.
Method of Knit Fabric Consumption:
Knit fabric consumption should be done by using the following formula-
Fabric consumption per dozen, (All measurements in cm),

Suppose, one of the buyer has provided you the following measurement chart of a basic T-Shirt by mentioning the order quantity and fabric GSM - Gram per square meter - (Where Fabric is 100% cotton single jersey and fabric GSM is 160 and order quantity is 10000pcs). Then calculate the fabric consumption for this order.

Here, we will follow the measurement chart for XL size.
·         Fabric GSM- 160,
·         Total order quantity- 10000
·         Body length or shirt length- 79cm
·         Sleeve length- 43cm
·         ½ Chest width- 61cm
Now, all the measurements are applied on the following formula-
Fabric consumption per dozen, (All measurement in cm),

= 3.45 + 10% (in kg)
= 3.795 kg per dozen.
So, fabric needed for 10000pcs (833.33 dozen) garments is 3162.5kg.

7 Stages of Apparel Samples

No matter how many books you read, your first season can be quite confusing, especially as a beginner. There are so many different steps and terminology to learn: tech pack, patterns, prototypes, pattern revisions, samples, more revisions, second samples. You might wonder: when does production actually start?

Apparel “samples” actually refers to a series of different items produced for different purposes during the development process. Note that each type of sample has alternative names.

1.  Muslin (a.k.a. dummy, mock-up, drape, prototype, proto)

This is the very first concept sample, typically sewn in an inexpensive fabric. It’s a loose take of your design used to visualize an idea in three-dimensional form. A rough muslin typically excludes extras such as bags and trims  – it’s created for pure focus on construction. For some smaller brands, the muslin is also known as the prototype. This may go through multiple iterations of prototypes before you finalize your pattern.

2 .     Fit sample (a.k.a. first sample, original sample, sample test garment, development sample, design sample, style reference, parent pattern)
This sample is created from your first pattern and used to ensure the desired fit of the garment. Muslins or prototypes are often used hand-in-hand as fit samples.

3.  Sew-by sample (a.k.a costing sample, pre-production, pre-pro, P/P)
Used by factories, this sample reflects all of the construction information needed to produce the style. Factories use this sample to estimate cost of production. Any changes to the design after a factory has reviewed a sew-by sample could mean going through the quoting process again. For a cost effective-alternative, your finalized prototype could also be designated your sew-by sample.­

4Sales sample (a.k.a counter sample, duplicate)
This sample is sewn by your factory in order to prove the production costs along with the quality of assembly. You can then use this sample for marketing and presentation to buyers.

5.  Photo sample (a.k.a model size, flat sample, editorial sample)
This is self-explanatory. Photo samples are made to the size of model you are using for product photography. If you aren’t using a model for your lookbook or e-commerce imagery, it is still recommended that you have smaller size photo samples that can fit into into frame of the camera.

6. Size run (a.k.a size set, sizing sample)
These are a full suite samples made in each size that the style will be sold in, made to ensure appropriate grading of the style and the fit of each garment. One way to save a bit of money, in fabric and trimming as well as cut and sew costs, would be to produce every other size.

7.  Top of production (a.k.a TOP)
This set of samples is taken off the line during your first production order. The number of TOPs you receive is typically a percentage of the full production order in each variation, but this can get expensive. One way to save costs would be to keep your TOP percentage very low. For small batch orders, one or two garments per variation should suffice.

Why are Multiple Samples Necessary?
There are many reasons why it’s recommended to make multiple samples. You don’t have to cut them all at once. You may want just one prototype while you are working with your designer, but then order a new sample when you add another person to the chain.
Samples eliminate errors
We’ve all had a nightmare shopping experience in which what was advertised looked very different from what arrived in the mail. Maybe the arms fit strangely. Maybe the fabric began pilling unexpectedly after 2 washes. Samples allow you to minimize such issues before production begins.

Samples save time
You will likely have multiple partners in development and production: a designer, a patternmaker, each factory you plan to seek quotes from, photographers, buyers, and so forth. If you only have one sample, then each other partner will have to wait until they receive the sample from someone else. Having just one sample slows down an already long process, and if something happens to your sample along the way, then you are out of luck!
Real-life scenario
Say you have only one sales sample. It fits perfectly, and every detail is exactly how you want it. Your patternmaker needs the sample for pattern revisions, your potential manufacturer needs to use your sample for price quotes and sourcing, and you also have a buyer interested in your collection who needs to evaluate the samples. With only one sample in hand, are in a situation where each stakeholder had to wait their turn. You might slip to the bottom of their list of customers to get to.
Check our sample evaluation module in the Apparel & Footwear solution for SAP® Business One. 

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