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The critical path is not a term I am particularly keen on as it sounds like jargon and it is generally explained in more jargon. But it is nevertheless a term that is referred to constantly within the fashion industry. It is important for the small startup companies  to understand the general concept of the critical path , without necessarily understanding it in its entirety. So, what is the critical path ?

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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. It is about understanding and controlling the production timeline . it involves all the processes involved in 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. there are software systems available  for designers  to manage the critical path, but they can be expensive.

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. Sometimes they may make it an excuse for not starting if they are under pressure

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.

it is a good idea to keep the factory informed of delivery times and delays of components.

You will need to check the lead times of each of your components and check on their progress on a daily basis.

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