Do you know what the working hour is for a merchandiser in Bangladesh? Believe or not merchandisers in Bangladesh are working more than 13-14 hours as regular job & some time much more. Always they are busy with hundreds of work schedule but nothing can be completed within office hour. So they have to stay in work place up-to late night. You can’t say this is only inefficiency of their profession because most of the time they are over loaded. The owners are having a cost minimizing tendency so they hire a merchandiser instead of two or more without considering the demand of work load. As a result a merchandiser always fails to enjoy their regular life & gets tired. They loss their innovative force & feel exhausted in older years. We often see merchandiser who aged beyond 45-50 either loss their job or stay in the organization as a good for nothing. Owners don’t want to pay higher salary for him though they already have taken valuable energy, time & work force in early age . This is really shocking that now they feel you are not to be used. Yes, right now we have to think how can we take the best from our life period. Whatever the age, we have to keep energy & not to be exhausted. We can think from today & prepare a new deal for career. To make easy & to be smarter merchandiser in our way of working please let us do something different. Today we are going to discuss how we can manage our thousands of jobs in a limited period of hours & can keep maximum energy.
1) Make a list of all your tasks
This is very important what you are doing to keep it in your daily schedule. It would be better to make schedule 1st daily than weekly & finally monthly. Usually a Merchandiser has to work through lots of stress as well as difficulties. For which this is not surprising to forget some most important tasks even. The schedule and ‘to do list’ help to prioritize tasks & get things done in right time.
Example of a ‘to do list’:
3.Price for new query
4.PP sample submission
|1.Recape meeting with senior
3.Bulk Lot shade approval
4.Factory visit & get the production status
|Not Important||1.File & Sample organizing
2. System Up-date
|1.New product collection
2. Develop product knowledge
3.Knowing up-date product status of other customer
2) Don’t put tasks for tomorrow
Just keep in mind that tomorrow never come. If you are thinking today is for relax & tomorrow will be your busy day that would be unrealistic. Actually it does not happen because tomorrow you will see new task has added to do & in this way task will be more. One day without doing your important task means you are going to burden yourself for tomorrow .So whatever you think that should have be done today from your task priority list , do it immediately . Never wait for tomorrow.
3) Check double/Triple which is mathematical
Usually a merchandiser works in a rush so sometimes it is not possible to do the entire mathematical task in cool mind. Small mistakes bring big losses in those. In a tight delivery schedule it is difficult to rectify those mistakes. To save time if you did not give a cross checks on the calculation sheets & a small mistake can be very devastating. This is really miserable when you will see your fabric is in-housed but cannot meet delivery date. A careful approach to taking extra time to give revision twice or triple is key to avoid those mistakes. For fabric booking check the below
- Fabric composition.
- Fabric construction.
- Fabric color.
- Fabric width.
- Finally Fabric Qty.
4) Don’t miss any mail
A single mail can change total output. If you are not properly looking into your mail & work through of it you may miss some important information. So read your every single mail & share the mail with all the relevant parties. Don’t keep it in your box only. If you have some mail that you should give answer please keep it in red mark so that it will not go out of your track. Emails should be organized properly and back up information sheets have to be updated regularly.
5) Don’t do a task twice
This is actually relevant to point number 3 .Take extra time to do anything but don’t think you will do it twice or 2nd time you will get the opportunity to do it again .
6) Do extra work just one day
In your ‘to do list’ you got some task that has to be done by this week but you are engaged so much in some important meeting so could not able to work on weekly schedule . Now what can you do? Use only one day to work extra hour in the week. Never think to do it every day. You can work extra hour at the last working day of a week so that the next day you can do relax & enjoy family. So a day for a week can be your extra hour to finish pending task.
7) Make a good relation with everyone to get job done early
This is said that everyone is king in his own work place. May be the person is a lab in charge or a sewing operator in the sample room. So make a good relation to all the department to get a privileged treatment! Workplace friends will help you grow. Never underestimate any one. Respect all to get respect from everyone.
8) Utilize down time
Usually success comes from the time which is not counted by the commoners. Because to do extra work, there is no alternative except utilizing down time. Down time means, the time that you are just doing nothing or doing one more job simultaneously. Suppose you are just stucked in the traffic jam which is very common in our city life. It is often seen people are just seating in the jam & trying to blame the system. But if you want to use your down time, this can be an opportunity for you. Take jaurnal or book & start reading. That means all of your time can be used properly. On the other hand you can use down time in different way. May be you are having lunch .This may take 15 minutes to finish . During your lunch time you can listen radio news in your mobile. This will help you to get up-date information about what is happening around you. Your busy life will not stop you to be up-dated in a new day.
9) Keep proper tracking whatever your are doing
In the merchandising no one can say everything is in tracking unless one follows some basic rules. The basic rules of keeping track is ‘put down notes’ in your excel sheet or note book. Make a excel sheet & put all your information whatever you receive every day. Put the date on the stuff what you receive from buyer & what you send to buyer. Keep same information on the submitted items to avoid any kinds of confusion between you & buyer. Keep your sample / swatch in a place where anything may not be lost. Make sure to keep separately all your important items to be understood by everyone or to get it in your absence. You can follow below rules to keep tracking.
- Put date on everything.
- Up-date & review your excel sheet every day.
- Keep hard copy of all your important mail. Because some time you may not be in net service when the information is required.
- Put your excel saved in your draft mail to find the data available incase computer is got effected by the harmful virus.
- Don’t forget to send a mail to any consignee whenever you are sending sample /swatch.
10) Keep all approval in hand :
Don’t miss any of your approval that received from buyer. Suppose fabric quality, sample or trims whatever comments on submission please keep in proper way so that it will not loss. If you have several submissions on particular item that sent to buyer make sure to keep date & comment for each submission.
11) Don’t miss to put anything on mailing correspondence
Some time you may feel unnecessary to put things in the mail whatever discussion you did in phone or verbal communication with someone. In reality this is very important to put the content you discussed in a written document /mail to prove the conversation.
12) Keep your desk clean
A merchandiser has to do hundreds of job in a day so this is quite natural if his desk gets occupied by lots of stuff like paper, swatch, trims etc. Every day new items come to you & your surrounding seems to be a little store of fabric, sample & with others thing. You feel over loaded as your desk is overloaded by working stuff. How can you clean your desk to make free from all kinds dizzy materials? This is really challenging for you rather than your daily job. So use only 30 minutes to keep clean your desk & put all the stuff in particular folder so that anyone can find any important item. This will make your job easy. Remember ‘The true competition lies is not what we do, but how we do it’.
13) Take suggestion if you are in trouble
The universal truth is – two head is better than one head. That means if you are trying to do something in counsel with other so that you can work more efficiently with less error. Never think you are the perfect one & no need to take suggestions from others. In other way this is called – cheer leader .Cheer leader is your boss, co-worker, friend so if you want to be in track & to do the correctly must discuss with fellow people. Definitely this will ease your job.
14) Filing & updating
A merchandiser means lots of file & documents, so maintaining file for the each order & keeping the necessary stuff is very important. Actually this is little similar to the point ‘Keep clean your desk’. However this is specifically to put the thing in file properly. Here some suggestion how to keep file –
- Put a name for file in bold letter.
- Put all the information on top of the file, example – style name, PO no, Qty, & a garment sketch.
- Your file should be clean & need to keep all the paper in a chronological way.
- For easy understanding you can use divider to keep separate the subject matter.
- Use folder to keep different submission, off course don’t forget to write date.
- Use metal cliff so that the file can be used for long time.
- If you receive revised PO please make sure to keep it in file & keep a cross mark on old PO.
- Never remove any paper from your file, if Pos are revised keep date on old file & write on top of it why this is changed.
Remembering the basic things any automation would help merchandisers to ease their life. Use of modern planning and controlling software can bring great value. Critical path analysis and following up is key for proper tracking of samples, approvals and corresponding comments. Software can help in evaluating the functions of the merchandisers which will help the management to monitor and control.