Garment production planning involves creating a schedule for the mass production of clothing. Producing garments requires a lot of coordination and schedule management. Every production requires different elements, depending on how large the production is and what is being produced. The time frame for a production depends on the elements of the production, but generally speaking, planning for the production is the same.
Planning for a production can be very simple if all steps are followed, assuming have already sourced your materials and subcontractors prior to this stage. Be sure to inspect garments thoroughly before determining a schedule in order to make sure all the elements needed in the garments are included in your production schedule. If you not already a garment manufacturer, check your local state and city laws regarding certification, permits and licenses that might be needed for garment manufacturing--they vary greatly and many times require certification.
Creating a time frame is the most crucial part of garment production planning. Working backwards is the best way to determine this schedule. Determine a finish date for your production and move backwards from that.
Inspection and Finishing
Be sure to allow time to inspect your sewn garments before they are finished. Many times, sewing contractors will give you only a few days to return items for them to fix. You do not want to send defects out to your stores. Once inspection is completed, pressing, tagging and bagging are the final production planning stages. Select a finisher and determine the time needed to finish your production depending on size and requirements.
Cutting and Sewing
Many sewing contractors also offer cutting services. If this is the case, include this time in your contractor’s schedule, otherwise, use a cutting contractor. Once you select a sewing contractor for your production, they can tell you the time frame needed to sew your garments. Create a contract stating the schedule with your sewing contractor. Determine what they will provide, such as thread and what you will provide. It is advisable to provide a sewing instruction card along with sewn samples for the contractor.
Fabric and Materials
Ordering materials is a crucial element in beginning production. If your items require materials from multiple vendors this coordination can become more difficult. Be sure to give appropriate lead times for your orders depending on when your sewing contractor needs materials for production.
Patterns, Marking and Grading
This is the first step of production planning and if often finished after sample making. Once orders are in place, get your patterns and grading completed. Your markers will determine the yield of fabric needed for your order. Once markers are complete, fabric can be ordered.