The Critical Path
The Fashion Business.
(11-40). The critical path is not a term I am particularly keen on using as it sounds like jargon and it is generally explained by using more jargon.
But it is nevertheless a term that is referred to constantly within the fashion industry. It is also important for fashion business owners to understand the principles of good practise in production management.
They need to understand the general concept of the critical path , without necessarily understanding it in its entirety.
What Is The Critical Path ?
The critical path method ( CPM ) apparently is a “mathematically based algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities”. It refers to a clothing production management system that tells you what and when all the consecutive steps occur – From research and design, choosing fabrics, through to fittings and samples.
It is about understanding and controlling the production timeline . And involves all the processes of getting a clothing product to market. If there is a delay in one part of the process it will delay all of the other processes unless time is gained elsewhere.
you need to have a management system in place to know where everything is coming from and how long it will take to arrive. The factory may not start production until everything is in place.
So, even if all the fabrics have been delivered, if the labels have not arrived, then the production process may be delayed. It also provides the factory with a convenient excuse to delay delivery.
If a factory give you a specific delivery time assuming a given start date, if they receive the components late the start date may extend beyond the delay time.
This would result in a longer delay. The factory needs to be kept fully informed of delivery times and delays of components.
- Establish the lead times for all of your fabrics and trims.
- Make a record of when all your orders are due to be delivered.
- Inform the factory of all delivery dates and delays.
- Ensure that the factory have acknowledged receipt of all the delivered components in the correct quantity and quality.
Fashion Production Software Systems.
There are various software systems available for management of the critical path. These can be a huge benefit for growing fashion businesses.
But they are very expensive to purchase. Small businesses may prefer to use other methods of critical path management.
You will need to check the lead times of each of your components and check on their progress on a daily basis.
Fashion Business Consultancy.
We at The London Pattern Cutter, are experts in the field of fashion business consultancy. We help young fashion businesses achieve their goals and help them become more profitable.
We can assist you with running your business, provide invaluable advice in our popular fashion startup workshops, or we can provide project management.
Fashion Design Production Timeline.
Every business and every product has a unique timeline from conception to production. If you are looking for UK production the timeline will be entirely different to one based on offshore production.
Create A Production Timeline.