4 Quick Fixes for Your Fabric Buying Woes

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In my last blog ‘5 Problems you Face While Buying Fabric’, I discussed the various problems apparel manufacturers face while sourcing fabric. From unavailability of sizes to fabric information, the problems are immense.
This time I present to you few relevant solutions, which can help in buying the correct amount of fabric through precise estimates.

1. Size-wise ratio: As discussed in the previous post, many times the exact size-wise ratio is not availableat the buying stage. Not being aware of the sizes makes the buying precision plunge, and you end up buying less or more.
The first step to buying right is to get this ratio correct for the most accurate buying estimate. This can be made possible by analyzing historical data for the correct sizes.
Take this case for instance:
Style 501 is a repeating one in your factory and you have below information from your previous 3 orders:
If we take into account the size-wise quantity of previous orders, we can arrive at an average size-wise ratio of.


This ratio is our best bet of getting as close to the actual ratio as possible. So calculating consumption on this footing can actually lead to improved buying estimates.

2. Production Grade Cutplan: In order to buy right, it is essential to estimate buying consumption as close as possible to the final production plan.

The general practice of arriving at a buying consumption by simply making a 2M marker or a ratio marker as in the above example of 1S/1M/1L will not provide the correct data.

The best way is to make production grade cut plan at the buying stage itself,using the calculated size-wise ratio and order quantity provided by buyer.

This process cuts down on your time and effort and eliminates redundancy as the cutplan can be used again during production.

3. Markers on correct width and shrinkage: While ordering fabric, it is possible that even after mentioning a certain width/shrinkage, your vendor supplies fabric rolls of varying values. This is where the glitch lies. In order to estimate buying consumption, you make markers. These markers are made on fabric width which may not be the same width at which your vendor supplies fabric. A similar situation arises in case of shrinkage. In both the cases, chances of getting the correct width/shrinkage are improbable.

The solution to this lies in analysing the past patterns of your vendor for getting the nearest width/shrinkage of upcoming fabric. Take this case for instance:
Style 501 is a repeating one in your factory and you have below information from your previous 5 orders for the same fabric type:
You received a total of 5000m length in 5 orders.
Out of this, 2

We need to calculate the weighted average width across all rolls.
Weighted average width= 752000/5000 = 150.4 cm.
This average value of fabric width can be used while making markersfor estimating your fabric buying.
A similar calculation can be done for shrinkage.


If we calculate the historical data of width and shrinkage of fabric, we can make factual markers and get our estimates precise while ordering fabric

4. Accurate process loss:The fabric that is lost or wasted during the production process is calculated as process loss. In order to arrive at an accurate estimate, the process loss of the product needs to be added to the consumption. It should also be noted that process loss calculation varies with different styles. Take this case for instance:

The process loss for a shirt is close to 2.5%. If we dig deeper, we can find that this value varies with style: solid or check. Looking further into it, we can see that this again changes with the type of fit.
Most manufacturers add a standard percentage for process loss,which is 2.5% for a standard shirt in this case. This value used for buying fabric for slim fit solid shirt with actual process loss of only 1.9% will result in excess fabric buying and huge losses

It is therefore crucial to add accurate process loss, based on detail historical data categorized by product, fabric, fit, etc.
Now we know that,
Buying Consumption = Marker Consumption + Process Loss.

The marker consumption here is a result of the historical data based calculation of size-wise ratio and fabric width/ shrinkage. This is then coupled with a production grade cutplan to arrive at markers and hence consumption calculation. This when added to accurate process loss gives the most accurate buying consumption.

These are a few solutions which when enforced can ease your buying. But achieving this manually can make the whole process time-taking and tedious.

What if you had an advanced system which could help you estimate your buying needs, and aid you in buying the right amount of fabric?

IntelloBuy by ThreadSol works on these refined solutions and solves your buying woes. It takes into account all your historical data of sizes, fabric and process loss to provide the most accurate buying estimate, in just 3 clicks. A system like intelloBuy extensively reduces manual effort by eliminating redundancy of various processes. Click here for details.

Buying the right amount of fabric can help you save millions of dollars, otherwise stuck in inventory or lost in short shipments.

So, when are you implementing these solutions in your factory?

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