It certainly is not one of the most glamourous, but it is one of the most important divisions in fashion. The production division is responsible to oversee the manufacturing of product. They work with design, merchandising and sales teams.
After the design team creates flat sketches for product prototypes, they are sent to overseas mills to begin manufacturing. Production Coordinators communicate on a daily basis with manufacturers to ensure the prototypes are made and shipped by their scheduled dates.
WHAT DOES A PRODUCTION COORDINATOR DO?
The Production Coordinator is responsible for managing the production calendar, track shipments, check in samples, review the samples for defects and quality issues. In addition, production contacts the merchandising and sales teams when final samples come in to send out to stores.
In my experience with production, I have dealt with a bit of back of forth on details such as stitching or the color and quality of the fabric with merchandising. However, things become interesting when your manufacturers are in China and you are trying to get production completed before Chinese New Year. This occurs around the first week of February to Mid-February when factories close for two to three weeks.
WHERE IS THE PRODUCT COMING FROM?
Many of these mills are in China while some are in the Philippines and Bangladesh. However, Vietnam is becoming big in the manufacturing game.
*Note: It is helpful to know mandarin Chinese since most mills are in China, but it is not necessary.
WHAT IS A BASIC PRODUCTION TIMELINE?
The spring line has a production date of March 1st because merchandising has a product review date with the Creative Director of the company on March 10th. The Production Coordinator must track the progress daily via e-mail with the manufacturers to make sure they will arrive on time.
If there is an issue, it must be reported to merchandising and sales immediately so they can adjust accordingly.
It is rather common for shipments to be a little late, unfortunately.
Most of the work is data-entry related. You must develop knowledge of costing, purchase orders and bill of materials.
Job Titles In Production Include:
Director of Production