miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2016

From design-to-shipping a SAP t-shirt to retail store

The manufacturing process of t-shirt starts from designing a t-shirt, sourcing of fabrics and ends after selling the t-shirt to retailers. It is considered that design part is completed as buyer’s end and as a manufacturer you get order of a given style. In this case let’s create the entire lifecycle instead of looking only at the manufacturing side.

Design & Concept

Designers and merchandiser work on the new product. The new concept is created quickly on the PLM portal. The users provide instruction for stitching in techpack. Factory will follow those instructions for workmanship, printing, washing, packing, etc.

SAP B1 design form with basic information.

Users add colors, sizes, variants of the style as well as specifications (threads, trims, POMs, etc)

Estimate Material / Standard Cost

Create the standard bill of manufacturing (BOM) after creating the style. Include all items and production routing. Also add indirect cost to calculate final expenses and calculate the selling price in SAP B1.

For simple products like this, where the t-shirt color it is just white and material consumption is standard, no special settings are needed (such as consumption by color, size, etc)

The BOM wizard creates individual BOM for each style-color-size combination.

Sampling Process

This process can be created/tracked in SAP B1 integrated solution or Web PLM portal. Proto sample, size set sample, are just examples to illustrate this module.

Make two/three sample garments and follow all processes to be followed in bulk production (e.g. washing and finishing). Check these samples after finishing. According to checking report of the sample do correction if needed.

Users/factories create and update sample information from a simple web/mobile application.

Source Fabrics and Trims

Source Fabrics and trims as per requirement. In this example we have stock in the warehouse for all raw materials and accessories needed. So we can call it an internal sourcing. Another way would be creating a purchase process based on requirements from the sourcing department or using the MRP module to source for other orders as well based on overall material shortage.

Materials for the style show in stock for the selected warehouse

Material Receiving

Receive the materials in the warehouse. A common process would be to send the materials to the shop floor. After receiving fabrics and trims, check for quality and quantity of sourced items. Fabric and trims need to be checked as per specification (quality standards). For the confirmation for fabric properties you might need to send fabric sample to the testing labs. Test fabric shrinkage. We will explain this process in another blog.

Production Planning

Production planning is based on forecast or individual make-to-order. Operation SAM (Standard Allowance Minute) calculates the dates and resource availability. 

Resource allocation is displayed and edited in a drag & drop gannt planner.

Pattern Making

Develop patterns for the style. Pattern grading to be done for different sizes. Make sample marker with actual garment patterns and find average consumption of fabrics. Patterns are part of the cost sheet. Materials are linked to patterns to create a pattern list to include during.


Cut fabric as per pattern. Cut quantity to be as per size ratio in the in order. The below sample printout shows basic information for cutters including barcode for tracking quantities in the shop floor. 


Production Data Collection (PDC) form can be entered using scanners in the shop floor and web client.


Define sequence of the operations to be followed by tailors
A round neck t-shirt has 5 components 

·         Front panel
·         Back panel
·         2 Sleeves 
·         Neck rib

Quality Assurance

Check stitching quality. Follow the quality document for checking quality. In the finished garment fabric defects and stitching defects should not be allowed.


  1. After stitching the T-shirt you have to finish it and pack (if apply) it prior to sending the t-shirts to retails store. Quality of packing and presentation is as important as the product quality.
  2. ·         Thread trimming: Trim all thread tails and remove loose threads.
  3. ·         Quality checking: Check stitching quality. Follow the quality document for checking quality. In the finished garment fabric defects and stitching defects should not be allowed.
  4. ·         Pressing / Ironing: Press all garments using a steam press. By pressing creases on the t-shirt is removed. 
  5. ·         Folding: Fold the t-shirt according to folding dimension. 
  6. ·         Tagging: Attach hang tags, price tags using tag-gun. 
  7. ·         Packing: Pack individual t-shirts into poly bags. Or follow packing instruction from your buyer. See the following image for packed t-shirt.


Once all operations are completed the garments are received, WIP material accounts updated, and final cost for garments is also updated based on valuation method in SAP.

Shipping customer orders

This way t-shirts are made in mass production. In the example below we receive 100 units for sizes S to 2X-L, total of 500. Then receive an order for 80 units for size S to L from SAP itself.

Stock availability without order

Finally the delivery process is finished at the warehouse by picking/delivering the garments decreasing the stock and values from the warehouse


Real time stock information centralized at style level

If you have comments or questions about this process leave your comments

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