Equipment / Process

Production planning in textile industry

Luftkuss Atelier

Production is the event of bringing together the factors of production in a suitable environment to meet the needs of people and creating goods and services. Production planning is the pre-planning of which goods, in what quantity, in which facilities, how and in what time period an enterprise will produce with its existing facilities and workforce, and taking the necessary measures.

Production planning has two dimensions. These are the preparation of the production program and the planning of its implementation.

The importance of production planning is increasing in parallel with the development of production systems. The reasons that require production planning in today’s production enterprises can be summarized as follows:

  • Activity intensity and complexity of production systems
  • Coordination of in-house activities is mandatory
  • Expansion of supply and distribution activities 
  • In order to increase the efficiency of the enterprises, the necessity of minimizing the material, processing time and manpower losses
  • Development of interdependence and relations between businesses
  • Intensification of service, quality and price competition
  • Expansion of the consumer spectrum
  • Differentiation of consumer demands and expectations

Production plans are divided into three in terms of the time frame they cover:

  1. Long Term Production Planning
  2. Medium Term Production Planning
  3. Short Term Production Planning

1. Long Term Production Planning

These are the plans made for 5-10 years and beyond. Long-term plans have a quality that will affect the future of the enterprise because they reflect the production strategy of the enterprises. It requires a high level of capital investment and is prepared by senior managers. They are decisions with a high risk ratio due to the high uncertainty of both external and internal factors in the long run. These general decisions have restrictive effects on medium and short-term plans.

Data used in long-term production plans:

– Long-term demand forecasts,

– Expectations regarding technological, economic and political conditions and competitive opportunities,

– Capital restrictions

In the long-term plans to be made by using these data, decisions are made on the following issues:

– Decisions on facility design

– Decisions regarding process planning and technology selection

– Decisions on the determination of the product group

– Decisions on the allocation of resources to production activities

2. Medium Term Production Planning

They are plans made for periods of 6-18 months. It is also called total production planning. Total production plans are not related to individual products, but to product groups (collections). These plans place constraints on short-term plans to be prepared at the workshop level. After the preparation of the medium-term plans, the main production schedules are prepared showing the quantities to be produced for each product type. Compared to long-term plans, the risk ratios are also low as the uncertainty decreases. As the planning period gets shorter, the risk decreases, but the detail increases.

Data used in medium-term production plans:

– Estimates of the quantity and timing of sales

– Policies and restrictions for the specified period (hiring, firing, stock amounts, etc.),

– Restrictions specified in long-term planning,

– Costs related to capacity utilization options

In the medium-term production plans to be created as a result of the use of the specified data, decisions are made regarding the following issues:

– Decisions on contract manufacturing plans

– Decisions on stock holding plans

– Decisions on employment plans

3. Short Term Production Planning

They are production programs that are made for 1 week – several months, in which the production process is separated step by step. Short-term production plans are high-detail, low-risk plans in which the quantity to be produced from a particular product or which order will be processed first in a particular facility / department.

Data used in short-term production plans:

– Short-term demand forecasts

– Fulfilled orders

– The main production schedules determined in the total production plans

As a result of using these data, decisions are made regarding the following issues in short-term production plans:

– Programs regarding the production time and quantity of the products to be produced in each department

– Material procurement programs that will enable the production programs of the departments to be realized

– Programs for batch movement between departments and production changes on machines

– Decisions about overtime work

Production plans can be changed as a result of demands and differentiation of production possibilities. In this case, it is important how to make changes. In the preparation of production plans, the conditions under which changes will be made and the methods to be applied in the changes should also be determined.

Duties of Production Planner

It is the demand or demand forecasts that should be known primarily in the preparation of production plans. Because the main purpose is to have the product that the consumer wants, at the time and in the amount they want. The sensitivity of demand forecasts, which is the basic element of production planning, is of great importance in the realization of the planning. There are two factors that affect the sensitivity of demand forecasts. These are time and degree of elaboration. Considering these factors, the points that those who prepare production plans should pay attention to can be listed as follows:

– Selection of the appropriate planning period

– Creation of suitable product groups

– Determination of production criteria such as technological possibilities, machinery and manpower capacity

A production plan to be prepared in the light of this information serves as a tool for the planner to keep production under control. By using the production plan, the production planner can control the production quantities at certain time intervals and the realization of the production in accordance with the plan, and can more easily distribute the workload of the facilities and equipment. In addition, production plans are a good control tool that guides managers. In order to ensure that production plans are useful to managers and implementers, they should be easy to understand and the results should be expressed in common units (number of pieces, labor hours, etc.). In order for the production plan to be successful, relations are established between production, stock and sales quantities.

In preparing the production plan, the production planner should perform the following actions that the plan will cover:

  • The time interval is determined.
  • Economic stock levels are determined.
  • Demand forecasts are made.
  • The amount of production that will be needed in the plan period is calculated.
  • The amount desired to be produced is distributed over the period slices.

Production Planning by Order

Orders are taken in batches in ready-made clothing companies working for export. Today, with the changing fashion and developing technologies, customer demands are constantly changing and as a result, the product variety is increasing. 

In the past, high-volume and long-term orders were taken, but nowadays orders are as low as 100-200 and order processes can be reduced to 1 month. This situation requires companies to make more effective planning. 

The realization of an order and the delivery of the product features and quantities requested by the customer on the desired date (deadline) depend on a well-prepared order plan. Effectively planning all production resources and delivering the information in the plan to the required departments in a timely manner are of great importance in the realization of the order as planned.

The planning phase of the production process, which is also referred to as the execution of the order, begins after the customer receives a written order. This planning consists of the following stages:

  • Analysis of the order (model, color, assortment etc.)
  • Material determination and supply
  • Capacity determination and programming
  • Execution of the order (production)
  • Shipment and delivery of the order

The most important criterion taken into account when planning production according to the order is the delivery date (deadline). Dozens of orders are produced at the same time in a ready-made clothing business. In this case, which lot will be produced first and which lot will enter the facilities first is determined by the production plan prepared according to the shipment date. The slightest mistake in planning can prevent the timely delivery of the order.

Material Planning

Material planning consists of the determination of materials, stock control and procurement of materials. Materials are determined by the customer’s written requests, sample production and customer approval. Then, the stock status of the determined materials is checked. After the stock control, a written order is sent to the suppliers in order to ensure the supply of the necessary materials.

Decisions in material supply should be made by considering time and economic factors. Because, payment and stock costs will increase in material supplies made long before production. However, supplies that will be made late enough to cause production disruption will cause serious cost losses. In these decisions, the supply times of the supplier companies, the transportation times and the production plans of the enterprise should be taken into consideration. After the date on which the materials to be supplied should arrive at the facility is determined, the supplier company is informed about the properties, quantity, order and delivery date of the material needed through an order form.

Sample Production

At the beginning of the order, one production is made in the technical specifications and dimensions requested by the customer. This first study, which is called the order sample, is sent to the customer and the customer is asked to evaluate this sample and specify the desired changes. According to the evaluations made, a size set (one sample from each size) is then prepared. The reason why the customer wants to see samples of all sizes is to see if the same technical specifications can be achieved in all sizes and to check the conformity to the dimensions. In addition, some customers ask for samples repeatedly under the name of photo sample, color sample and washing sample.

Before the batch goes into production, approval of the samples is obtained in writing. This approval, also called production approval, prevents the customer from making any changes or canceling the order later on. Sample production is important in terms of seeing the product as a whole and intervening for errors in a timely manner before starting production. This minimizes time and material loss. In addition, it is the main source for the preparation of the production program and process steps, in other words, the flow organization required for the production of the product.

Time Determination

After the order is received, first of all, the order dispatch date should be determined by collecting all the planning data and making predictions. The time from the material supply to the delivery date of the order is the sum of the transit time and the safety margin time. Transit time indicates the time required to prepare the order. Production time is the sum of intermediate times and additional times.

Production time (the time planned to be used in the creation of the garment), intermediate times, waiting times of the garment at each workplace, and additional times are the unplanned downtimes that occur while the production is carried out (breakdowns in work tools, disruptions in the workflow, personnel changes, etc.). The margin of safety time is the deviation time from the delivery date that the company gives itself in production. These deviations may be due to delays in supplies or problems with production elements. In addition, the delivery date specified in the sales specifications and the time elapsed until the buyer receives the order are expressed as the shipping period.

The daily production capacity of the enterprise is closely related to the transition time and the delivery date of the order. Capacity is the display of the performance of an enterprise regarding the production to be made at certain intervals as production minutes.

The following information is needed in capacity determination studies:

  • Number of model to be produced
  • Time required to manufacture a product (minutes)
  • Daily working time (minutes)
  • Number of workers (person)

Production and Contract Tracking

Production planning is made, production time is calculated, production amount and material to be used in production are determined, and the production process of the product is started. This process is usually carried out by production units of different structures and sizes, using different production methods and techniques, with intense labor.

Every department that will contribute to the realization of production in the production of the product fulfills its duty in accordance with the plan. The production is carried out in a controlled and serial manner, since the disruption in one of the departments will affect the other departments as a chain.

The large number of departments to produce, the production of the product in parts and then assembling it as a whole provides an easy and fast workflow. This also reduces the impact of disruptions that may occur during production, as it will enable quality control of each part before assembly, while the product is still in parts.

Capacity is taken into account in the planning of the production department. The orders that each band will produce in the short term or even in the medium term should be determined in advance. If the sewing bands of the enterprise are insufficient to carry out the production, contract manufacturing is carried out. In order to carry out contract manufacturing, contract workshops must be well-chosen. At this stage, criteria such as quality level, production cost and delivery date are taken into consideration.

Contract manufacturing, as a result of the relationship between two companies, one of which has an economic advantage over the other, is the small company’s production of the agreed type, quantity and quality for the large company and delivery of this production on the agreed date.

Contract manufacturing has its advantages and disadvantages. The contract workshop does not deal with issues such as planning, marketing, material selection and procurement in the process from production to delivery of the order. Less risk and less profit. In addition, while the time allocated for production is limited in contract manufacturing enterprises, quality and efficiency expectations are high.


Products that have completed the production process and become ready for customer use must first be packaged in order to store or ship them. Materials and methods to be used in packaging processes vary (hanging packaging, folding bagging and packing, etc.). In their selection, the characteristics of the product, customer requests, storage conditions and time, transportation type and duration are important.

The operations carried out in this section must be a continuation of the care shown in the production process and the quality achieved. It is requested that the set, series, assortment processes of the products are carried out by taking into account the instructions of the business and the customer. Since there is a wide variety of products in the ready-made clothing industry, product, size and piece matching should be done carefully.

Shipment transactions should be carried out taking into account both the elements required by commercial and legal obligations, product features and customer demands. The department manager is expected to know the product and the production process, as well as to be experienced in stock operations, storage methods, shipping, correspondence and document editing. Department employees should also have the knowledge and experience to track product-customer-transactions. 

Approval control (inspection) is made by the customer’s inspectors before the shipment of the order in ready-made clothing companies working for export. In these controls, the sampling method is preferred. Only a certain percentage of products are checked. The resulting errors are classified as major errors and minor errors. If the errors do not exceed a certain percentage at the end of the control, the shipment is approved.

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