Here at Purnaa we all work together to produce beautiful, sustainable garments, but the Project Manager Team is especially crucial as they represent the needs of the client to Purnaa’s production staff. Project Managers are the eyes, ears, and voice of Purnaa’s clients here on the ground in Nepal. This means they do A LOT of work to gather and communicate all of the details of an order and ensure the best outcomes for our Production Partners. Last month they received the ‘Team of the Month’ award for all of the great work they do for our company.
1.The project managers work with production partners from their initial sample inquiry to the shipment of finished products. After partners submit a “tech pack” with all the details of their designs, project managers work with our sourcing manager to find the right fabrics and materials.
2. Once the materials arrive, the project manager works with our sampling team to create patterns and salesman samples, ensuring they match the specs given by the client. Throughout this process they send photos and get real-time feedback from the designers.
3. When the final sample is ready, it is mailed to the client for approval. Once approved and a production order is placed, the project manager then collects the rest of the necessary information, such as quantity per color and size, and packing and shipping instructions.
4. During the production, project managers work with our sewing teams to answer questions and keep clients up to date throughout the process.
Currently we have four project managers; Mary, Taylor, Mitch and Anish. We’d like to introduce you to all of them.
Mary is the team leader of the project managers. When asked to describe her ideal production partner she responded, “We have great production partners and I’m thankful to each of them for choosing to build their business in a way that gives hope and dignity to the people who make their products. ‘Ethical fashion’, ‘environmental sustainability’, and ‘social enterprise’ are all wonderful concepts, but can sometimes just be nice buzzwords. When it comes down to it brands will always receive pressure to offer low prices and will need to make choices about whom they work with and how they treat their suppliers.
It takes courage and a lot of hard work to build a brand that is truly a part of the solution and which educates an audience about the real issues. I think an ideal production partner is committed to their enterprise, is organized and strategic, gives attention to detail, orders many of the same style product at one time, is able to send reorders our way, and approaches their work with Purnaa as a partnership, not just a transaction.”
When I asked Taylor what his favorite part of his job is he responded, “A really rewarding moment is when the shipment of an order is ready to go out. At that point, the project manager’s job is finished and there is a sense of satisfaction knowing that we are (hopefully) delivering a product they will love on time. That’s a really rewarding moment. Additionally, I just really like working at Purnaa in general. As an ethical business, it is inspiring to look out across the factory and see lots of people working in their different roles, whether it’s cutting or sewing or sampling and just to see how well everything works together, everyone working in unity. That’s really neat to see.”
I asked Mitch to tell me about a funny thing that happened to him in his work and he said, “As a project manager I was trying to encourage one of our production teams to hit their targets and do well. One of the team members said, ‘We will get 20 pieces done today!’ I said, ‘Your target is lower than that and you have less time, that will be hard for you to get that goal, but if you do, I’ll dance for you.’ I showed up at 5:20pm, 10 minutes before the end of the day and they had 20 pieces done! So the next morning I got to do some dancing for the team. That’s probably one of the funniest things that has happened to me here. They really enjoyed it, I almost got the guy who challenged me to dance with me, but he was too busy filming me. I think it is important to encourage the production teams to help create a fun atmosphere and build camaraderie and community among the staff. I like encouraging the teams because it allows me to be a positive part of someone else’s day.”
Anish is our newest project manager and has only been working here for a few weeks. He said, “This is a new thing for me. I am excited to learn all of the processes and to meet new people as well. Right now I am learning what roles the project manager takes in the company, but I am excited to actually help everyone, to know them, and to get more information on how they work.”
All of our project managers do a lot of work to help our production run smoothly and we are thankful for everything they do. They definitely earned the Team of the Month award.