Fabric sourcing is one of the most challenging tasks, no matter whether you directly work with mills, C&F agents or source yarn and get it weaved and processed… What is your strategy to ensure smooth fabric sourcing from selection to quality assurance to timely delivery? Have conditions improved over the years on this front?
Sudhir Dhingra, CMD, Orient Craft, Gurgaon
Our company faces similar kinds of challenges in fabric sourcing like others of the apparel manufacturing industry. We are not beyond the industry. What you can't help, you must accept. The situation is still the same when we see that the major sector is manmade fibre and there are a lot of duties imposed by the Government which increases our cost. Local
Indian producers of the same quote price as they wish which is often very high. Nobody wants to break or can break their monopoly, so business is suffering.
Narinder Pal Singh, MD, Nancy Krafts, Delhi
We mainly work on woven fabrics. No doubt, there is an improvement in fabric sourcing process especially in past few years. And one of the main reasons for this has been increasing competition across India. Especially, quality has improved which is a good thing. For quality issues, your selection of vendors does matter but at the same time you can’t ignore the price factor also. Still, we suffer due to price fluctuation. Price increases anytime without any strong and valid reason. We pay that from our pockets. When we talk to our suppliers, they also show helplessness. Buyers do need to think in this regard as they don’t want to pass any benefit to the exporters like in the case of weakening rupee, they hardly consider the issue of imported fabric. While the cost of imported fabric has increased. Overall there is still enough scope for improvement in fabric sourcing, especially on the price front.
P. Balamurugan, Managing Partner, Tex Orchid, Tirupur
Overall there is no major issue. Whatever small things or challenges are there, they are part and parcel of the business. To make sure of the smooth process, we ensure effective trial run. Once the trial run is completely okay, then only we move forward. If there is an issue, we sort out that issue completely at that stage. My only concern is the price which is without any logic or system. Whenever there is a tilt towards cotton export, yarn manufacturers or supplier increase the price without any reason. This is not fair. There is no way to control this illogical price hiking. We always bear this hike and can’t ask buyers to pay for this additional cost.
Sunil Kumar Goel, Proprietor, Sunil Enterprises, Kolkata
We work mainly in 100 per cent cotton, silk and linen and mostly source yarns from wholesalers or traders of Kolkata. Quality is all about the value for money. What you pay, you get accordingly. So far, we have not seen any major issue regarding quality, delivery or any such commitment. Unpredictable issues like technical fault or sudden genuine rise in demand affect sometimes but no one can do anything in such a case. Market forces always have negative or positive impact, like if there is less demand, we easily get whatever is required. On the other hand, if demand is more, supply has to be affected naturally.
Sunil Garg, GM – Merchandising,
CTA Apparels, Noida
As far as our organisation is concerned, we deal primarily in woven fabricbased garments and buy yarns. Though our weaving is outsourced, we have an edge of having our own advanced process house which is a big benefit, be it the issue of quality or timely production. Regarding cotton and viscose, I don’t see any major challenge as overall procurement of this segment is okay.
There are issues in the synthetic segment as our Indian producers are still not able to match the Chinese synthetic. Though quality of Indian synthetic may be good, but overall it does not match up with the Chinese or imported fabric. Most of the buyers approve such fabric as there is no other viable option in this situation and comparatively price of Indian fabric is also a little less. I have observed that when it comes to importing fabric from China, there is a lot of uncertainty in terms of price as well as delivery. Therefore, Indian companies should adopt similar advanced infrastructure like China. We do keep enough stock (50,000 to 1,00,000 metres) of such fabric which is maximum in use. It ensures smooth production.
Manoj Goyal, CEO, Goyal Tex, Jaipur
Yes, still there are challenges especially with regard to linen and imported silk. I would highlight the antidumping duty on linen. When India is not producing linen, what is the point of having anti-dumping duty? As far as cotton fabric is concerned,
there is not much problem as we try to plan well in advance. Though at times, there are quality issues in cotton and rayon fabrics also and for that, we have strong arrangements for grey checking. Weavers are still not up to the expected level and we have to maintain proper communication with them to ensure quality. Even after that, we still find quality issues. In this case, the fabric goes back to them for exchange and we blacklist such vendors so that such issues do not come up again. I feel debit note is just a one time solution. It is not even a solution but rather a kind of damage control and so we don’t issue debit note.
Jai Singh, Manager – Fabric Sourcing, Boutique International, Noida
As we have good in-house infrastructure for knitting, we procure yarns and that too from prestigious companies like Vardhman and Nahar etc. So, we don’t have any issues, be it of quality or lead time. We keep a reasonable stock of yarn. There are more options in yarn sourcing compared to fabric though it involves further follow-ups like knitting, dyeing etc. But we can always coordinate with maximum mills. Proper planning and coordination really works and things come out on time and as per the requirements.
I must say that still, there are many yarns or blends which are not easily available in India like cashmere. My suggestion to fellow industry professionals is only to work with such companies which have maximum in-house systems and to try to develop strong and long-term relations with them. Debit note is not an option and leads to useless quarrel.