‘Tapping the potential of fabric savings and enhanced profits by Marker Planning.’ Pushing the envelope to have increased margins of the profits from every part of the organisation is a major driving force as on date. And with an industry involving fabric and being as dynamic as it is, cutting through the seams wherever possible is the mantra of the day as a part of any company’s survival kit.

A wide extent of fabric saving, increased cutting room productivity, coupled with customer preferred product delivery can be ensured by converting the customer’s order into a cut plan, intelligently. Availability and appropriate usage of technology and software has helped simplify the process considerably and enabled the job to be done by people having much less experience, with a little training. It has time and again proven to be beneficial by not only being able to help tap huge potential savings but it also has lead to reduction of costs while improving profitability.

Increased competition has trimmed down the business opportunities with tighter prices and shorter lead times. These are difficult areas to navigate around to ensure money savings with each order. However, with improved techniques, cutting-edge technologies and newerconcepts, the forthcoming business opportunities can be tapped in a way to become even more beneficial for the organisations working in the industry.

In order to optimise the cutting room productivity, a new software programme has been developed by Mefthods Apparel Consultancy which helps maximise the numbers of plies and lay length. It in turn minimises the number of markers and bodies laid while smoothening the order quantity. The software markers also help cut the fabric so as the remainders are always in ratio which allows most efficient use of remnant pieces of the fabric too.

A set of data from group of 10 factories was studied by Methods and results were compared by re-doing their marker plans vis-à-vis the restrictions required by each concerned factory including lay length restrictions, number of plies allowed etc. to remake the markers using automatic marker making software to derive uniform results.

Maximum number of bodies marked in the fabric, number of plies laid in this fabric on one lay and percentage addition allowed by the buyer when delivering this order were the conditions that were specified and adhered to before the comparison process was begun. With the available set of data being compared, the laid bodies came down by 10 per cent, while number of lays came down by 22 per cent and plies showed a slump of 9 per cent leading to a great extent of fabric savings.

These results showed significant reductions in workload and in many cases major fabric savings were also recorded. Bodies were marked automatically which led to the reduction of about 12 per cent of the work of CAD department. Cutting work was also reduced to the same tune of 12 per cent. The number of lays required to produce the same number of garments was brought down by 19 per cent.

The other benefits derived out of using the marker software include reduced laying time, enabling the software for longer lays, reduced amount of markers, improvised usage of table space allowing space utilisation. Numbering of lays, sorting and all other handling were also reduced with 12 per cent lesser material needed to be handled.

The software was also compared to one of the major marker planning programmes available in the market. It showed significant difference between the markers done by external software and the Methods software. Although the external software did crunch the numbers, but Methods software helped further narrow down the fabric cutting and plies being layed. Number of lays was reduced by 23 per cent, while number of bodies and plies came down by 15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The marker is designed to ensure that remainders of all sizes are in ratio allowing the user to choose combination of sizes which will best use end-bits, without any effort at all from the existing departments. Various alternatives of cut order plans were also made using the software. Comparison between the factory and methods functional deployments showed the maximum fabric savings of a 17 per cent of fabric saving.

Organised cutting of the fabric as per the requirement and orders of the customer is another tricky spectrum which plagues many organisations as on date. Every organisation as on date is trying to create the order in line with the specifications of the customer while trying to manage some savings at the seams. Separating lots of the fabrics as per the type and shade of the cloth with unmixed deliveries also need to be ensured.

Cutting room procedures in few factories were checked upon in order to understand the functionality and were found to be delivering lot-wise orders. The said orders were then further distributed over sizes in the same ratio upon arrival vis-à-vis the order quantity. The markers hence were planned accordingly for the fabric. Linking markers to the availability of fabric in various lots helped automatically distribute the fabric over all the sizes as per the order ratio with markers planned accordingly. Different lots were, however, laid together but were separated as different shades.

The importance of the function of Cut order planning has now been established with their ability to help in Cut order planning with much more precision without being dependent on the experienced staff and the knowledge they have acquired over years and years of work. The adoption of marker software in the organisational system shows significant reductions in workload and in many cases major fabric savings. With obvious reduced consumption of the fabric, cutting room productivity being into the picture, these as now being touted as major areas where profits can be derived through savings.