Internal Audit

Apparel and Textile Manufacturing Audit Checklist

Apparel and Textile Manufacturing Audit Checklist

With the growing impact of social media, fashion trends keep evolving.  Thus, the apparel industry, to stay relevant in the market, has to conduct an apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist to meet customer satisfaction.  This textile industry has to maintain quality and reliability with the customers in the long run of the garment business operation.

Production Processes Evaluation

Apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist helps the garment industry have an account and efficiency in designs, quality, and affordability in this extremely competitive market.  Every industry has two most important goals: consumer satisfaction and revenue generation.  Just like any industry, the apparel industry also needs to ensure the quality of a product to meet customer demands and requirements, thus enhancing the company’s brand value and reputation in this competitive marketplace.  With the help of an apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist, the company can improve the quality and reliability of a product, ensuring long-term customer relationships.

For any textile manufacturing company, quality plays a key role in maintaining the essential characteristics and attributes of a product.  This apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist frames the standards and methodologies to be followed by the manufacturing industry to ensure quality.  Some important aspects of the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist are product performance, ability to meet customer requirements, durability, innovative features, sales service, etc.

Compliance Requirements for the Textile Industry

Like any other compliance audit of a company or an organization, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist also includes evaluating the compliance issues connected to the apparel or manufacturing industry.  Often, buyers inquire about the garment manufacturer if they have fulfilled the compliance requirements.  A certificate shall be issued once the apparel and textile manufacturing audit on compliance is completed.  With this, the garment manufacturer shall be well aware of the compliance requirements and various other things buyers may ask from the apparel industry.

The apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist ensures that the manufacturing industry fulfils the compliance requirement so that the buyer gives an order from such a manufacturing industry.  A buyer may cancel the order if such a garment manufacturing industry does not fulfil the mandatory compliances. 

Some of the common areas of textile compliance under the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist are licenses, permits, and facility information, prohibition of child labour, forced labour discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, right of worker, disciplinary practice, wages, benefits, environmental management, workplace safety, occupational health and welfare, training records, etc.

Technical audit for a Garments Industry

Technical audit is another important element in the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist.  This technical audit refers to the evaluation of the textile manufacturing industry’s production process, quality control, texting, procedures, and various other SOP implementations.  However, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist and its technical audit are often conducted by the customer or a 3rd party service provider on apparel and textile manufacturing audit based on various quality management systems such as ISO, QMS, etc.  Most of the time, QMS guidelines are set by the buyers on their respective seller or supplier, and thus, accordingly, a periodic audit takes place.  A technical audit takes place on the garment manufacturers so that buyers can place a new order, and the manufacturer can run the business seamlessly.

Some of the important apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklists on technical procedures are raw materials storage, an inspection of various types of materials used in production, a list of nominated sources of fabrics and accessories, examining the primary and secondary light sources used within the lightbox, design, and pattern department, sampling of pre-production, fusing, pressing, needle policy, pull testing, snap button, cutting room, sewing room, machine maintenance, etc.

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Steps on apparel or textile quality management

The apparel manufacturing industry is one of the complex industries with various challenges that a brand has to face, such as maintaining high-quality garments.  The apparel and textile manufacturing audit helps the garment industry implement a quality management system so that it can maintain and align with the required quality standards in the market.

Some of the major steps used in apparel and textile manufacturing audits in implementing a QMS are:

  1. Firstly, the auditor shall define the quality standards that the respective apparel industry is seeking in its products.  This includes defining the quality standards like the quality of fabric materials, seam strength, colour fastness, etc.
  2. Secondly, determining the key processes engaged in the manufacturing of apparel products, such as sourcing raw materials to cutting, sewing, finishing, etc.  This evaluation shall help the company to identify how these processes affect the quality of apparel products.
  3. To meet the standard of apparel quality, systematic procedures have to be introduced, such as quality control procedures or methods, inspection, and various other testing methods.
  4. A program on training and awareness of apparel quality management procedures has to be introduced to the employees of such garment manufacturing industry to ensure and maintain quality standards.
  5. An apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist also includes a monitoring program to keep track of the performance of every method or procedure adopted by the apparel industry.  The prime motive behind such monitoring is to ensure that the industry meets the desired quality standards.
  6. An auditor, under the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist, shall also provide corrective action if the current industry method does not meet the quality standards.  Thus, a corrective action is introduced to determine the root cause of the problem.
  7. Continuous improvement of the quality management standard has to be taken care of by the respective manufacturing industry so that the company aligns with the latest industry trends and remains updated.

Thus, implementing a quality management system helps the apparel manufacturing industry meet the required market quality standards, reduce defects, manage waste, and improve the customer experience.

Red flags to look for in apparel and textile manufacturing audit

Modifying and altering are quite common in the apparel and textile industry.  Due to various defects in the quality and size of the garments, the said apparel industry has to rework certain products, wasting valuable time, money, etc.  Such defects or red flags can be detected beforehand through an apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist program.  Here are the most common red flags that an auditor or a quality control manager has to look for to ensure a seamless quality control process of garments.

Communication Gaps

A communication gap is one of the primary reasons for reducing and maintaining the quality of garments.  This is a red flag that leads to misunderstandings, not passing critical information to the right people at the right time, and various other procedures on garment inspections that are not easily understood by the inspectors of garment quality and standards.

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However, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist shall ensure that proper and concise communications are conducted regularly between the suppliers and manufacturers.  This shall help the staff understand the requirements of a product and its quality.

Insufficient Information

It is the responsibility of a garment quality officer to keep an eye on every single detail of garment quality control procedures.  Any incomplete tech packs and insufficient statements on garment quality standards are red flags that should be immediately reported and improved the same to avoid misrepresentation, frustrations, and various other additional production costs.  Therefore, a detailed and comprehensive apparel and manufacturing checklist helps the company meet the necessary specifications of finished garments.

Lack of Staff Training

The garment quality checkers must have proper training and awareness before the product goes to the customers.  Unless the quality checker receives proper training on detecting the qualities, it reduces the expected quality of a product, thus damaging the reputation in the market among the customers.  Apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist plays an important role in ensuring that the garment quality inspectors are well-trained and knowledgeable in detecting the product quality standard.

Faulty Garment Machinery and Equipment

Apart from various other red flags like lack of communication, information, training, etc., A faulty or outdated machine or an instrument used for apparel production has to be taken care of by the garment inspector to avoid various malfunctions at the time of production.

Repeated Changes in Production Planning

A sudden or frequent change in the design of garment production is a big red flag since it hampers the production timeline and may result in the production of low-quality garments.  To address such issues, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist shall ensure that the company has a stipulated limitation in the changes of design in the garment production planning.

How to check the quality of Apparel?

An auditor, under the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist, shall first have a clear set of quality standard requirements of the concerned company to compare with the specific batch of a garment or apparel once the auditor collects the key information for comparing the garments with others.  Then, the following procedure has to be followed to check the quality of an apparel:

Check Garment Style and Colour

The apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist shall address and inspect various colours and styles of garments.  Help the company detect and identify the different materials used in production, such as shades of colour, misplacing of accessories, etc.

Measure Garment dimensions

Measurement of garment dimensions is a very important part of quality check.  Often, clothing manufactured by hand is more prone to a dimension defect than a garment manufactured by a sewing machine.  Therefore, an apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist assists the quality checker in taking note of the garment measurements so that the wrong size is not received by the customers.

Review quantity Conformity

Provide the important details, such as a list of items in the inspected batch.  This includes elements like the reference number of a product, order quantity, list of packed and unpacked items, etc.  This method of reviewing the garment quantity helps the company to understand that the items are according to the expected quantity.

Conduct Physical Tests for Buttons, Zipper, and various other accessories

Various physical tests on garment buttons and zippers have to be conducted to ensure that they are durable and free of underlying defects.  This test includes a pull test, fatigue test, stretch test, and buttonhole test.

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Inspect Marking, Label, and packaging.

Lastly, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist also includes a check on the garment quality, such as inspecting the standard of packaging of a product, market regulations, etc.  Nowadays, a company has to meet the product labelling standard as part of legal requirements to avoid any legal liabilities and penalties.

Conclusion

Thus, the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist is a very important tool for textile manufacturing companies, helping them meet the necessary guidelines and various other standards to align with current fashion trends.  This apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist emphasizes various aspects of an apparel manufacturing industry, such as production procedures, compliance, technical requirements, revenue goals, etc.  The introduction of the quality management system is another method to comply with the market standards.  This checklist also assists the company in addressing red flags before they go out of hand, like communication gaps, faulty machinery, and various other drawbacks.  Overall, this checklist helps the fashion industry meet all the legal requirements and current market trends and build long-lasting customer relationships.

FAQs

  1. What is an audit in the apparel industry?

    An audit in the apparel industry is to evaluate and examine the garment production procedure, such as inspection of raw materials, stitches of clothes, packaging, colour, etc.

  2. How do you perform a manufacturing audit?

    A manufacturing audit is a method of evaluating how the manufacturing company operates its functions, checking if they are complying with the necessary laws and requirements.  This audit helps the company to ensure high-quality products and safe and secure working conditions.

  3. What are the 3 main segments of the textile and apparel industry?

    The 3 famous segments of the textile and apparel industry in India are the traditional handloom industry, handicrafts, wool, and silk products.

  4. What is QMS in the apparel industry?

    A QMS or quality management system is connected to a garment's quality control, assurance, and various other systems that document the production procedure, responsibility, goals, etc.

  5. What are ISO standards in the apparel industry?

    ISO standards signify a company's form of a certain standard in the production of a garment, where raw material goes through many stages to become a finished product.

  6. What is GSM in apparel?

    GSM in apparel means grams per square metre, which signifies the weight of a fabric material.

  7. What are garment standards?

    Garment standards refer to the general meaning of how well the clothing is, whether or not it functions well, and the design of its appearance.

  8. What are the key areas covered in the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist?

    The key areas that are covered in the apparel and textile manufacturing audit checklist are production procedures, quality control, worker safety measures, environmental compliance, etc.

  9. How is the production process assessed in the audit?

    The production process shall be assessed by an auditor by evaluating the entire company’s production procedures, such as design, resources, cutting, sewing, design, packaging, etc.  It also checks if such procedures have complied with the required laws and regulations.

  10. Are there specific requirements for facility management?

    Some of the common specific requirements for facility management are cleanliness, organization, equipment and tools maintenance, and compliance with various building codes and fire safety measures.

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