Sampling is one of the main processes in garment manufacturing and it plays vital role in attracting buyers and confirming the order, as the buyers generally places the order once satisfied with the quality and responsiveness of the sampling. It is the most crucial and most important stage of fashion merchandising. Sampling department makes samples on the basis of the specification and requirement by the buyer. Sampling in merchandising may be defined as “The concept, perception and ideas of fashion designer developed into product samples, in systematic stages of product development, with technical and quality clarity in a development.” Though sampling is a difficult and time bound process, it will help the exporter to get the order from the buyer. Before placing any order to the factory, the buyer wants to know whether the factory is capable of producing the styles with the desired quality levels or not. The samples decide the ability of exporters to deal with any given style of garment. The buyer accesses the capability of exporter only with the help of Samples. If the samples are of good quality naturally the buyers will be willing to place the order to factory. Sampling also work as a bridge between the productions and marketing department, hence it has the influence of both marketing as well as production department. So it is essential that the samples should be innovative and should be manufactured with optimum quality.Different types of samples:
Sampling process varies from buyer to buyer, and type of style as well, but in industry there is particular order of sampling is followed, the stages and purpose of sample may be same but terminology used may be different and it totally depend upon buyer. The typical samples namely described as:
1. Design development
2. Proto sample
3. Fit sample
4. Ad or photo shoot sample
5. Sales man sample
6. Pre- production sample
7. GPT sample
8. Size set sample
9. TOP sample
10. Wash sample
11. Shipment sample
These samples are sent to the buyer one after another for approval from the buyer and to proceed further. Apart from these usual steps, sometimes the buyer suggests some changes in the prepared sample, and then incorporating those suggestions makes a counter sample andin it is sent to the buyer for approval. The sampling department helps the merchandising department for finding out fabric consumption per unit garment and thereby helps in the costing of garment.
2. Proto sample:
3. Fit sample
At this stage of sampling, buyer makes sure that factory understands thoroughly the construction and quality details and standards The sample sent mostly in medium and large sizes mentioned by the buyer.
4. Ad or photo shoot sample:
5. Sales man / Marketing /Showroom sample:
6. Size set sample:
7. GPT sample (Garment Performance Test):
8. Pre- production sample: (PP sample)
9. Wash sample:
10. TOP sample (Top of Production):
11. Shipment sample:
People involved in sampling:
Assessment of sample:
What buyer looks into sample?
following table presents necessary requirements from buyer:
Sampling is the heart of any export order processing. The future of any style purely depends on buyer and factory which are adding value to the samples. So it is very important to understand the sample development process to control quality and costs in the initial stage or in the sampling development. Merchandiser plays the central role in sampling process as, the only person between the buyer and factory who understands the buyer specification, technical details and time line of sampling. The process of sampling is about the eventual satisfaction of specific needs. It is about products the company can make or out-source profitably for which there is a market demand. Sampling is the best way to place an order. The purpose of sampling is not only to get bulk order and also it gives some additional benefits to the exporters. The use of technology, computer based designing, as well as innovation and creativitiy are important tools in driving apparel sampling.