There are many modes of communication that are commonly used by merchandising to communicate with buyer and suppliers.
- Telephonic conversation
- Formal meetings
- Video conference
E-mail is the most common mode of communication nowadays. Electronic mail is used everywhere. Previously P/C or laptops were used for email sending but the smartphone changed the way of mailing. Now it is very easy to transfer information, files and documents, pictures with e-mail.
But when merchandiser deals with the well-known or international buyer then merchandiser must be aware of e-mail protocols.
Some important e-mail protocols
- Include a clear, direct subject line
- Use a professional email address of the organization.
- Think twice before hitting ‘reply all.’
- Avoid using shortcuts to real words
- The mail should be self-explanatory –include the Style Number, order details.
- Start your mail with a greeting like Dear Dr.Suresh, or Mr. Shyam
- Use standard spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
2. Telephonic Conversation
The benefit of telephonic conversation is – quick response from a buyer for an emergency case. While the disadvantage is- merchandiser doesn’t have any proof of conversation, hence it may be risky for merchandiser.
For a formal talk, this is the most effective mode of communication, and direct interaction happens between buyer and merchandiser. Merchandiser should follow basic etiquettes while talking with international personalities, in order to maintain a good relationship with the buyer.
3. Formal Meetings
When a merchandiser wants to convey a message to a group of people then Merchandiser conducts formal meetings. A group of people may include people at different stages of order processing. This is a very reliable source of communication, this ensures a quick response. This is a very effective method of communication as the merchandiser can see facial expressions, body language, and attitude towards a particular situation. Also, a merchandiser can judge the situation, and decisions can be made at that time. A pre-production meeting is a good example of a formal meeting.
In the apparel industry especially for the product development department, the most important aspect of communication is a courier, where physical samples and documents are sent via courier.
5. Video Conference
Video-conferencing allows individuals in distant locations to participate in meetings on very short notice, with time and money savings. Video-conferencing uses a combination of audio and video telecommunications. This brings people from different sites together. It helps in eliminating the disadvantages of both telecommunication and actual meeting. Video-conferencing makes point-to-point conversation between buyer and manufacturer. Video-conferencing technology helps to share documents and information on whiteboards which is very reliable and time-saving also.