Pre-production (PP) Meeting is a very common word in garment industry but a few people can realize its importance. Sometimes people do it only to follow a system in the organization. If a PP Meeting goes properly with all of the requirements surely everyone will feel happy as soon bulk is finished. No one will have opportunity to blame others if error goes during bulk production because things are discussed with everyone. So keeping minutes of pre-production meeting is compulsory in all considerations. This article tells about 7 important things about pre-production meeting which includes what should be included in the meeting minutes.
1. What are minutes of pre-production meeting?
Any product that scheduled for bulk production require pre-production meeting. This is done prior to start garment making .In short it call PP Meeting in garments industry.
Minutes are instant written record of a meeting or hearing. Typically describe the events of the meeting, starting with a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.
People from production actually unaware how final product comes through all the sampling & approvals. For this reason it is important to give all the relevant information whoever involved in product making so that any kinds of error may not happen & production process goes smoothly.
2. Why pre-production meeting is important?
Key objective of PP meeting is to make aware everyone who gets involved in product making. The practice of PP meeting off course, help everyone to avoid error. If PP meeting is not done & line started without any paper work definitely garment will get improper making. Error & inappropriate production may lead the goods up to cancelation. Generally PP meeting should take place approximately 2 weeks after approval of PP sample. However, if this is not possible then a more appropriate date should be agreed between the Buying agent and supplier. So a good production unit doesn’t start production without PP Meeting.
PP meeting achieves following things in short:
- Everyone understands about production process.
- Misunderstanding on product or any other issue can be clarified.
- Critical path is communicated and explained.
- Liaison between buying & factory people.
- Group discussion.
- Strong relationship can be built up.
3. Where to arrange meeting & who will attend?
PP meeting usually held either in factory or in buying house & some time in both. The criteria of meeting is little different for both as stated below.
- At Buying office
Usually if factory gets the order through some agency then the agency / buying house do internal PP Meeting within the organization to hand over production file to relevant QC . In the buying house QC gets production file from concern merchandiser then study the file carefully. Any approval that requires from Merchandiser he tries to get & anything technical issue that needs clarification he discusses with technical team.
The person who attend in the meeting:
- Buying merchandiser.
- Buying QC who is going to take care of the file.
- Buying technical team.
- At supplier’s factory
PP meeting at supplier’s factory is most important for clarifying production process. This is important because most of the people related to production at the factory are less educated. So for them just reading the comment or having the sample may not be sufficient to understand everything properly. Here someone needs to explain them what to be & what not to be in production. Generally people in production feel that all the customer or product can be done in the same process. But different customers have different quality parameter .By any means if it is not followed customer might ask for discount or cancelation.
The person who attend in the meeting:
- Buying QC
- Supplier merchandiser.
- Supplier technologist.
- Factory Manager.
- Cutting in-charge.
- Sewing in-charge.
- Finishing in-charge.
4. Items required for PP meeting
Effective PP Meeting depends on some particular materials that should not be missing. Usually Merchandiser is responsible to prepare it before offering PP meeting. If anything really not possible to arrange before starting PP meeting merchandiser must inform earlier. This will help everyone not to be surprised for not having the item. But he has to give plan how missing items will be arranged & when.
- Production file
Production file is consisting of paper document including all the approval. Usually concern Merchandiser prepare the file & hand over to QC or production in-charge. If any order goes from buying house to any factory then buying merchandiser prepares internal QC file to start production at factory. On the other hand factory merchandiser prepares another file for his production floor when receive green signal to start production from buyer. Buying QC carries his production file which is made by buying merchandiser & goes to the factory. During PP meeting buying QC places his production file & factory places another production file those are prepared by factory merchandiser. This is a good thing that during PP meeting everyone can check out both production file & find easily if anything missing there. In a production file usually the following items are important to keep.
- Approved lab dips.
- Approved base fabric hanger.
- Size and quality breakdown /PO Sheet
- Wash care sheet.
- Wash panel.
- Approved trims.
- Tech pack /Style details.
- Sample comment.
- Approved sample.
- Print / Embroidery Art work.
- Approved print / Embroidery.
- Test report.
- Trim card / Production swatch board
Trim card or Production swatch board is the material representation of the goods that is required to be made. In a complete garment some materials are visible & some are hidden. For example a button is visible but elastic or fusing is not visible but the material should be kept for PP meeting .Only a trim card can present everything altogether .This will help people to understand what material, in what quality & how to use on garment.
Let us see why this is important –
- To avoid confusion if all the materials are not used on PP sample.
- To understand hidden materials.
- PP sample cannot be shared for all production units but trim card can copy easily.
- Trim card is one kinds of material syllabus so everyone must keep it in memory so that no chance of missing anything.
- Approved trim card enhance confidence during production.Sample Approvals.
- Approved sample in all color way.
- Bulk Lot / Bulk shade approval.
In most of the cases product goes wrong due to not having shade approval. Product for garment wash, over dye particularly denim items importantly require shade range approval. If it is not done before PP Meeting try to get approval as soon product goes for pilot cutting.
For any kinds of meeting some rules should have been followed to make it success. A successful meeting lies on good agenda & the person who chair it. The person who take chair he must know how to run a meeting & how to precede for each agenda. He must be aware of time & avoid irrelevant discussion. The below is short list of important issue on meeting procedure.
- In chair Buying QC usually starts meeting at factory.
- He explains quality parameter for his customer in the meeting.
- He informs all his procedure so that everyone can understand what to do.
- Show his production file & give a brief.
- Clarify any points that are not clear.
- Pilot run & cutting permission.
- Critical path review / Special Quality Points.
6. Special points to review in meeting
- Production schedule.
- When to start production.
- How many lines.
- How many machines.
- In-line inspection date.
- Pre-final inspection date.
- Final inspection date.
- Inventory of raw materials.
- Accessories inventory.
- Size set sample review.
- Pattern review.
- Print special attachment review.
- Finishing & Packing process.
- How to fold garment
- If tissue is required
- What size poly-bag to use
- for which garment sizes
- Position of poly bag label
- What style of hanger is required
- What size of hanger is required for which size garments
7. Meeting Paperwork & check list
- During PP meeting buying QC must review check list.
- Write down additional comments and actions agreed.
To confirm that all parties agree to the points made on the PP meeting minutes, buying QC must sign and date the form and supplier representative must sign and date for.