Importance of ‘effective follow up’ in merchandising

Mohammad Nurul Alam  Senior Merchandiser  Asmara BD Pvt. Ltd.   alamnur09@yahoo.com / alam@bd.asmaragroup.com  
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The task that a merchandiser finishes is mostly done by follow up process. Follow up is to monitor, control, and finding problems & work on solution. This process is mandatory for merchandiser to co-ordinate among the production unit. Proper follow up process helps to meet dead line & increase business.

To develop an effective lead follow-up process in merchandising, it is important to first understand what the primary obstacle that stands among the people. The aspect of the obstacle can be different and it requires to take measure them to overcome.

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The above obstacles are mostly responsible for all kinds of delays. But merchandiser some time fails to understand them and works haphazardly. If people are not caring in the factory then no need to wait & then ask to change the team. In the same way other aspect can be taken to work as root cause of the problem.

The purpose of follow up process

  1. Reduction on travel distance of man and materials
  2. Avoid waiting time & unnecessary delays
  3. Reduce cycle time

General follow up process in merchandising

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Effective follow up process in merchandising

  1. Work measurement / time study: This will help to understand the urgency.
  1. Recurring reminders: Repeatedly reminding will focus on quick response that task may not be stuck somewhere of the process.
  1. E-mail attachment: Merchandiser should be attached by mail otherwise there will be chances to have denials from the factory or supplier.
  1. Calendar view & calendar feeds: Time action calendar is to maintain dead line & continuing progress to keep.
  1. Response detection: Most of the time it was seen factory or supplier give late response by mail or phone. In all cases need to be sure that the responses are accurate & on time.
  1. Zooming & going to bottom line: Sometime the reality may not be same as assumed or improper information keep things to be hold. So merchandiser should work at bottom line as much as possible & always keep zooming of the problem to discover the reality.
  1. Worst case scenario: This can be technical problem or big disaster but merchandiser should keep the alternative at least two possible way. Suppose if sample got rejected after making it then to keep enough fabric for remaking the sample.
  1. Keep things real: To be honest with yourself as well as others.
  1. Monitoring & control: refers to the controlof any system, device, network or people through communication & managed by a control Merchandiser has to continuing this whatever situation arise.
  1. Review: This helps to reduce error or doing things again & again.

In conclusion – merchandising is the process to keep touch with people by follow up. Strong follow up can reduce unnecessary struggle as well as wasting of time. The dead line set by customer is possible to meet if the process flow works properly.

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