comScoreTag
FancyBox
FancyBox

Merchandising

Integration of marketing and merchandising

by Ella Lee

Mandy Lo, human resources and administration manager, Fenix Hong Kong Ltd

Merchandisers adopt proactive approach

As the market becomes more competitive, merchandisers need to adopt a more proactive approach to market their products, as well as discover the emerging trends, demand and direction in order to win deals and stay ahead of the competition.

Fenix Hong Kong Ltd, a major knitwear manufacturer and exporter, has a large team of merchandisers who play a pivotal role in product and business development. More significantly, they are required to take on responsibilities for marketing.

"We have over 60 merchandisers in Hong Kong, more than half of our total workforce," Mandy Lo, the company's human resources and administration manager says. "Our merchandisers need to travel overseas for visiting trade fairs and customers, and market the products. They must have good market sense, be able to keep abreast with the latest developments in new materials, clothing techniques and fashion design."

With the change of emphasis from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) to ODM (Original Design Manufacturing), manufacturers now have to compete with one another by quality and design rather than pricing. "That change means merchandisers have to become more market-driven and customer-oriented than they were in the past," Ms Lo explains.

Defined quality standard

With the increasing focus on quality, merchandisers must possess the ability of setting quality standards to meet their customers' requirements. Ms Lo further explains, "Quality is especially emphasised in the mid to high-end market of knitwear products. Apart from the product quality, that includes the quality of yarn, material and the workmanship; the performance of merchandisers, in particular their communication and presentation skills, product knowledge and market sense, will also be customer's concerns."

However quality standards are not fixed. Instead, Ms Lo stresses that they change over time and vary with the expectations of different customers. As a result, it is essential for merchandisers to find out exactly what their customers' concerns are.
"Merchandisers need a thorough understanding of each customers' requirements, in order to present the required product with affordable pricing," says Ms Lo. "Also they should be able to judge whether a product is well made and up to their customer's standards."

As the market becomes more competitive, merchandisers need to adopt a more proactive approach to market their products, as well as discover the emerging trends, demand and direction in order to win deals and stay ahead of the competition.

Fenix Hong Kong Ltd, a major knitwear manufacturer and exporter, has a large team of merchandisers who play a pivotal role in product and business development. More significantly, they are required to take on responsibilities for marketing.

"We have over 60 merchandisers in Hong Kong, more than half of our total workforce," Mandy Lo, the company's human resources and administration manager says. "Our merchandisers need to travel overseas for visiting trade fairs and customers, and market the products. They must have good market sense, be able to keep abreast with the latest developments in new materials, clothing techniques and fashion design."

With the change of emphasis from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) to ODM (Original Design Manufacturing), manufacturers now have to compete with one another by quality and design rather than pricing. "That change means merchandisers have to become more market-driven and customer-oriented than they were in the past," Ms Lo explains.

Defined quality standard

With the increasing focus on quality, merchandisers must possess the ability of setting quality standards to meet their customers' requirements. Ms Lo further explains, "Quality is especially emphasised in the mid to high-end market of knitwear products. Apart from the product quality, that includes the quality of yarn, material and the workmanship; the performance of merchandisers, in particular their communication and presentation skills, product knowledge and market sense, will also be customer's concerns."

However quality standards are not fixed. Instead, Ms Lo stresses that they change over time and vary with the expectations of different customers. As a result, it is essential for merchandisers to find out exactly what their customers' concerns are.
"Merchandisers need a thorough understanding of each customers' requirements, in order to present the required product with affordable pricing," says Ms Lo. "Also they should be able to judge whether a product is well made and up to their customer's standards."


 

Taken from Career Times 30 June 2006

Share


Free Subscription

Email