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How to Make a Good and Comprehensive Production File?
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How to Make a Good and Comprehensive Production File?

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Introduction 

Export manufacturing merchandisers in the apparel industry interact with buyers from product development to final product shipment. The merchant informs the production crew of the information received from the buyer regarding the production style.

Most organized factories adhere to standard protocols for communication between the production and marketing departments. One such instance is a production file. Making the production file is the merchant's most significant responsibility.

After receiving permission for the final sample, the merchant (or production planning team) holds a pre-production meeting with the production crew (usually PP sample). The production team receives the file from the merchant containing all necessary data and samples. 

The clear and comprehensive production file includes everything required to complete the style per the buyer's specifications.

Comprehensive production file contents/index

Below are the necessary inclusions when compiling the comprehensive Production File.

  • Using a ring binder or paper spring file is advisable for the production file.
  • The merchandiser must begin by attaching the print-outs of all buyer documentation (tech pack, specification sheet, comments, manufacturing order, and significant mail correspondence) and staple them as per the category.
  • Then the PP team must make a trim card as well as distribute a few swatch cards (on slightly thicker paper). They may either attach all the trims to the trim card, or they may place trimmings inside a tiny poly bag and then attach that bag to the trim card. Merchandisers must then approve the trims by signing them.
  • If the merchandiser approves the strike-off for any kind of printing or embroidery, or handwork, then that approval must be attached to the swatch card.
  • The production team must punch all paperwork and swatch cards using a punching machine and arrange them in a sequence in a ring binder (production file).
  • Include a checklist and attach it to the inside of the front cover. The checklist indicates what has been approved, what is awaiting approval, what is pending for handover etc.
  • It is always essential to organize the documents correctly, and if possible, merchandisers must insert separators between documents for more clarity.
  • The file must include a label (a small tag with essential details). This labeling must consist of the Style/Order Name, Buyer Name, Merchant Name, File Handover Date, Planned Cut Date, and Ex-factory Date.

Information to include in the production file

The essential details to be considered for a Good and Comprehensive Production File are as follows- 

Updated comments on sample

It is always critical to provide updated sample comments. Assume the buyer provided PP remarks, added fresh comments, and requested that they be followed in production. However, production personnel may not follow the required instructions if the merchandise ignores this and doesn't leave additional comments in the file. The merchandiser is in contact with the buyer and is the only one who is aware of the new instructions. Thus, if there are any new comments, they must always be included and taken into consideration. 

Size specification

The final size standard is often not provided by mistake, resulting in a concern. As a result, merchandisers must exercise caution when it comes to size specifications. They must double-check to ensure that the correct size specification is provided.

Size specification

Tech pack

The product information is contained in the tech pack. Merchandisers must be cautious of the current tech pack when preparing a production file. Since it has been observed that if the buyers adjust the tech pack after the PP sample and ask production to do the same, and the production crews simply follow the PP sample without considering the tech packs, then mistakes will likely occur.

Measurement tactics 

Measurements are just as crucial as the size specification since manufacturing personnel will make mistakes without them. Buyers only have general instructions and do not explain how to measure using the tech kit. Therefore, ensure that the instructions on 'how to measure' are updated.

Data and references for all types of fabric

It is crucial to offer fabrication information. The merchant must include the information in the production file of the clothing. This must include details about the fabric material or exact color blend as well as the quality. Moreover, for more clarity, merchandisers must include the fabric swatch so that the production team doesn't make any mistakes.

Order sheet

An essential document for executing orders is the order sheet. However, if the merchandiser is not diligent in examining the quantity and size ratio, a serious error could occur later. Mainly because, occasionally, buyers alter the ratio or quantity without previous notification. The correct order sheet should be appended to the production file.

Artwork for prints and embroidery

Artwork for prints and needlework should be added with size grading. If feasible, color art is more beneficial for comprehending colors. This step helps avoid confusion and gives a clear picture of the adopted designs. 

Results of test

Results of test

A garment test report must be added to the production file to check for shrinkage and other issues. If the buyer does not request a test, the merchant should conduct an internal test on the garment and maintain a copy of the results in the production file.

Requirement of barcode sheet

Including a readable barcode sticker in the file containing all the reference numbers is crucial. The reference number must be provided if the EN code varies for all colors and sizes.

Trim card

Complete trim cards include a brief description of the product. Typically, each trim card will have provisions for a clothing store, a sewing area, and a finishing portion. If the trim card is incomplete for some items, indicate the missing items.

PP sample

If possible, merchandisers must include a color-accurate PP sample with the production file. Any changes needed for the production but not included in the PP sample must be noted on the sample by the merchandiser.

Lastly, merchandisers must mark the departments where the paper document with all the details from the production file must be distributed. Usually, this document needs to be provided to the below-mentioned departments.

  • Knitting section
  • Garment finishing
  • Dyeing section
  • Garment store
  • Cutting section
  • Dyeing finishing
  • Garment sewing section

Execute the order smoothly with a complete Production File

No one can deny the importance and use of a suitable and comprehensive production file. It is crucial to follow the steps mentioned above and include necessary elements such as Order sheet, Measurement Tactics, Size Specification, and much more to successfully make the most appropriate production file. All the information necessary to create the style following the buyer's specifications is contained in a clear and thorough production file. Thus, a complete and comprehensive production file aids in the flawless execution of the buyer's order and streamlines the production process. Moreover, it helps in avoiding mistakes and confusion in the order and the merchandiser and production team can use it to tally any details. It is also helpful for future records. All manufacturing units should include production files in their system to ensure smooth and efficient business operations. 

In recent days it has been seen that the majority of organized factories adhere to a set protocol for communication between the production department and the marketing department through the production files. 

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Fashinza, a renowned name in the textile industry, has simplified the manufacturing process and offers efficient production and manufacturing for clothing brands around the globe. If you, as a merchandiser, need help in the manufacturing process, let Fashinza solve all your production problems. Contact today!

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