Communication in Merchandising

A merchandiser plays central role in whole process of an export order The success of any export order depends upon the performance of merchandiser. As RMG business is a global business, hence for the production and execution of any order, merchandiser needs to communicate with the different people in the world those have different culture, language, attitude and etiquette’s to follow. So, proper communication is required by a merchandiser. At the very beginning of an order, the information, queries, and details of export are exchanged between the buyer and merchandiser by Communication process only. Buyer gives his standard manuals to the merchandiser. Merchandiser needs to communicate with different levels of people – existing buyers for the follow – up for orders in hand, new buyers for potential future business, the concerned departments like production, quality, purchase, accounts, shipping etc. for execution of order, suppliers for the procurement of fabric and accessories, and subordinates for giving  proper instructions and guidance.

Internal Communication of Merchandising Department

♦Production Department

  • Sample Section
  • Store Section
  • Cutting Section
  • Sewing Section
  • Quality Control Section
  • Finishing Section etc.

♦R & D Department

Production Planning and Coordination (PPC) Department

Commercial and Banking Department

Logistics Department etc.

External Communication of Merchandising Department:

  • Buyer
  • Supplier 
  • Shipping Agent

Modes of communication

There are several modes of communication those are commonly practiced in merchandising to communicate with buyer and suppliers. They are:

E-mail: E-mail is the most common used mode of communication not only in apparel industry but everywhere. Transferring information, files and documents, pictures are done through e-mail. But while dealing with international buyer merchandiser must keep in mind the e-mail etiquette’s.

Some important e-mail etiquette’s are as follows:

  •  Subject line of the e-mail should be meaningful which includes the Style Number; this will help to clarify what the message is about and will also help the buyer to prioritize reading the email.
  • Opening the e-mail with a greeting like Dear Mr. Ali, Hello Sir/Madam, Dear Sir/Madam etc.
  • Standard spelling & punctuation should be used.
  • Clear and short paragraphs should be used.
  • Be direct to the point.
  • Responding within a reasonable time frame is very essential.
  • Old Messages should Unnecessarily large files should be avoided be trimmed back.

Telephonic conversation: This mode of communication is useful in a sense that direct interaction happens between buyer and merchandiser. aware of telephonic etiquette’s which need to follow while talking with international personalities, in order to maintain the good relationship with buyer. The main advantage of telephonic conversation it is used to get quick response from buyer for an emergency case. But the disadvantage is that, merchandiser doesn’t have any proof of conversation, hence it may be risky for merchandiser.

Formal meetings: Often formal meetings with different people, at different stages of order processing become necessary. This is the oldest and very reliable source of communication, which ensures the quick response. This is very effective method of communication, the facial expressions, body language, attitude towards particular situation can be judge on the spot and decisions can be made at that time.

Video conference: Now-a-days it is very easy to communicate with buyer without leaving the office taking the help from technology. Normally buyer office may be at a long distance; hence for buyer as it is very difficult to come at manufacturing country every time to meet with people. Videoconferencing uses audio and video telecommunications to bring people at different sites together. Video conferencing helps in eliminating the disadvantages of both telecommunication and actual meeting. Videoconferencing can enable individuals in distant locations to participate in meetings on short notice, with time and money savings.

Courier: One of the most important aspects of communication is courier. Physical samples and documents are sent via courier. Hence there must be effective courier service nationally and internationally available.

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