The most important and powerful tool of merchandising -is the time and action calendar (TNA/ T&A) to execute orders to garment buyers. We are going to produce a PO, we need to check the time and action plan. Generally, merchandisers prepare the Time and action plan of the order in a spreadsheet by listing down the key processes in the first column and the planned date of action for each process in the next column. A merchandiser has to do many so many tasks to complete an order, a TNA will show what to do and when. This to-do task planning sheet of an export order is popularly known as the time and action calendar (TNA). It’s also known as Critical path, WIP (Work in Progress sheet), etc. Once the TNA calendar is made, then it can be easy for a merchandiser to list down their daily ‘to-do list’ and follow up one by one. A complete TNA have all schedule from pre-production dates to shipment deadlines, the merchandiser is responsible for keeping everything on track.
Importance of TNA
- It helps to streamline the pre-production activities and start bulk cutting.
- Easy understanding of order processing and execution.
- A clear understanding of timelines given by buyers.
- It gives a clear idea about the minor or sub-activities that need to perform during order processing at different levels.
- T&A gives the idea about the status of running order and talks about delay or deviation if any.
- T&A gives the dates at which raw materials need to be sourced, in a way it helps to optimize the inventory.
- T&A also reduces the risk of delivery delays, if one activity is delayed then TNA gives us the signal so that we can take action accordingly.
Factors to be considered while preparing Time and Action Plan
- Production capacity of the manufacturing plant
- Style details of merchandise
- Festivals in the manufacturing country
- Holidays in a week, special holidays of month.
- Festivals of the country from where raw material is imported
- Logistics facilities
- Lead time estimated by buyer
- Fabric and trims manufacturing complications
- The political stability of the country
- The flexibility of freight forwarder
- Response time from the buyer at different stages
- Lead times of various activities like L/C payment, customs clearance, etc.