Thursday, September 3, 2015

Quality Manual-Sampling procedure

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Introduction :

Product development is the core function of any manufacturing company. It is the basic tool to attract customer and eventually to come to a business contract. Initially a designer translates his idea, concept, perception and experience (gathered from his surroundings by visiting fairs, shoe markets, reading magazines, searching online etc) into a product considering a target group of customers. This initially developed sample under goes many modification through different stages, finally it is perfected by accommodating the suggestions from both the customers and the manufacturers.

Before placing any order to the facility, the Buyer/Customer wants to know whether the factory is capable of producing the styles with the desired quality level or not. The sample shows the ability of exporter to deal with any given styles of shoes .The Buyer/Customer accesses the capability of exporter only with the help of samples. If the samples are good quality, price competitive and time bounded naturally the Buyer/Customers will be willing to place the order to the factory.  The future of any style depends on the sample.

So it is very important to understand the sample development process to control quality and cost in the initial stage. Designer plays the vital role in the sampling process as the only person between the Buyer/Customer and the factory who understands the Buyer/Customer specification, technical details, and time line of sampling. The process of the sampling is about the eventual satisfaction of specific needs. Therefore, it is essential that the samples should be made with utmost care.

  1. Objective: 
    • To create   innovative product range to attract potential customers.
    • It must be competitive in the market.
    • It can be produced in the existing manufacturing facility.
    • It should be promptly responsive to the customer. 
  2. Main Function: 
    • To innovate a product range that can attract the potential customer to satisfy their desired need.
    • While developing a product following points are considered,
    • Aesthetics view of the product (Sales appeal to the potential Buyer/Customers).
    • Technicality of the product.
  3. Cost involvement.
    • To make liaison with the customer and accommodate their suggestion till finalization of the sample.
    • To update their technical knowledge so that they can build maximum comfort in the shoe.
    • To become versatile regarding the shoe material available in the market, their proper application and their cost.
    • To propose and arrange potential equipment and demonstrate their uses in the factory.
    • To remain updated regarding the manufacturing facility available in the factory.
    • To issue and remain responsible for all types of sample, swatches for material,  patterns, knives etc.
    • To follow-up pilot production.
    • As a shoe engineer, to assist in solving any sort of technical / quality problem that may arise during manufacturing. 
    • To maintain a lateral relationship with the following dept. such as Planning/ Merchandising, Procurement, Raw material stores, production and Quality assurance team etc.
    • Before finalization of sample, different steps are followed depending on the Buyer/Customer to Buyer/Customer and style to style. The steps are as follows:

        1. Initial Sample
        2. Salesman sample
        3. Advertisement/Press Sample
        4. Fitting Sample
        5. Confirmation Sample &
        6. Pre-Production /Gold seal Sample

These samples are sent to the Buyer/Customer one after another for approval.

Assessment of sample:

Upon receiving the samples, Buyer/Customers check the sample quality,  fitting, finishing etc and gives the feed back within 5-7 days through e-mail . Feedback from the Buyer/Customer comes in three different forms

          1. Accepted,
          2. Not accepted or 
          3. Accepted with comments.

After getting their approval, it proceeds step by step. Sometimes the Buyer/Customer suggests some changes in the prepared sample both in terms of technicality and material.  Revised samples are made incorporating those suggestions and get it approved. This process continues till the sample is finally approved. After getting the final approval Buyer/Customer place the final order. And then PD dept. along with the Merchandising dept prepares a manufacturing sheet stating all the technical details including the material specification and their quantity per pair for doing the costing of the shoe.

See Process flow of a sample department.

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