Critical path analysis is used in all types of project management, including construction, aerospace, military, software development, research, product development, engineering, plan maintenance, garment merchandising, and supply chain management.
Any project with interdependent activities can apply this method of mathematical analysis. Since it was first designed in 1957, the critical path method has become an important way that business owners or project managers can oversee large undertakings.
It encourages efficiency by dividing complicated efforts into a series of small tasks with costs and resources associated with each, and its development allows managers to see where potential breakdowns might occur and what resources are available to deal with them if that happens.
The benefit of using the critical path method for the project manager is that it’s an effective way to see which delays can be handled with built-in slack time — the “float” — and which will cause a project to fall behind schedule. Since there is no float on the critical path by definition, if a deadline is set in stone, it means that the manager has to take steps to get everything back on schedule. In some cases, activities can be pruned or performed in parallel, which is known as “fast tracking,” and in some cases, added resources shrink the amount of time needed to complete tasks along the way, known as “crashing.”
The critical path method (CPM), or critical path analysis (CPA), is an algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities. It is commonly used in conjunction with the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). A critical path is determined by identifying the longest stretch of dependent activities and measuring the time required to complete them from start to finish.
start to finish. We can use this method very well in many areas of our garment production. Some of them are described below:
Time management and execution of all tasks on time is an important issue in the readymade garments (RMG) industry and garment business, as every order is handled focusing on a festival, Holiday, special day, weather, Season, location and event. And in this social media-driven era, fashion changes at an incredibly fast rate. Expensive items from well-known brands and original designs are copied and put on the market the following week. Many companies re-release identical designs at very low prices with minor changes. Fast lead time management acts as an important controller to meet various challenges.
Fast lead times mean delivery is within a very tight schedule from the day of order received. Critical Path Management (CPM) is the only effective way to manage shorter delivery dates. Critical path in apparel manufacturing business is a great at A to Z plan that outlines all activities, as well as who will complete which tasks when and which tasks are dependent upon one another. By analyzing each of these types and compiling the results into a straightforward table, it is possible to determine which task is the most challenging, when the task is actually started, and what the lead time is. This is basically to complete the work by doing critical path analysis.
Role of critical path analysis in merchandising
A dedicated merchandiser, working in a reputed buying house or in a vertical factory handles almost 30/40 styles every season and orders come in three/four seasons a year. All those seasons must be worked on concurrently.
In between, team management, factory correspondence, answering all e-mails on time, customer visits, Different Failures, running to supplier factories, shipment hassles, and delays from sewing floors etc. have become routine matters. We have to take on different roles every day to handle all these situations and complete each task smoothly.
The speed, nature, type and management of all type of tasks done by merchandiser will remain the same because, all of the tasks have dependencies on each other and are inextricably linked with one event. For all interdependent tasks, merchandiser must establish priorities, taking into account the most time-consuming problems, the most challenging materials to obtain, and the tasks with the longest lead times.
We usually use a time and action calendar to manage the ordering and delivery of a few critical materials. The rest of the stuff is sent either on WhatsApp messenger or in email and some is written in diaries and whatever happens outside of that is in the minds of individual team members.
Then it is realized that we are not using the proper method, and thus our work is not completed smoothly. We don’t learn to use the system, so we have to run on Fire Fighting every day. Learn about critical path analysis. Its practice should be spread among team as well as all other concerned departments.
When everyone is involved in the establishment of this culture, these problems will gradually be solved. The solution to all the above problems lies in proper management of critical path analysis.