12 Money Murdering Mistakes No Clothing Manufacturer Would Dare Tell You Ever!
"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make all of them yourself."
- Sam Levenson
Building a successful clothing label is very difficult. But ThinkTank team of Billoomi Fashion Pvt. Ltd. has come up with this awesome collection of tips with aim to make things easier for you! This is the finest collection of those mistakes which are directly related to your money and you must act on it immediately! This will redefine the way you approach a clothing manufacturer and get your collections made. After reading this, you should be taking better informed decisions!
During our more than 10+ years of running garment manufacturing factory in India, we have come across several clients throughout the world and have gained priceless observations. Our team has tried to collect best piece of suggestions which generally clothing manufacturers do not share to their clients and due to that the client (you) loose the money at times.
It is like giving back to the community and helping them with sheer objective to grow tother!
Let’s jump into it!
NOT HAVING THE TECH PACKS OR A DOCUMENTED DESIGN DETAILS
Tech pack is important. If you can not afford it, then please take the print out of desired design (drawing or image) and write down over the print-out what exact change you want. How and where things (every component) needs to be in actual piece of garment as per you. Specify the measurement of each part of garment e.g. sleeve, length, inseam, shoulder etc. All it means, you must have very detailed design sheet which can explain to the manufacturer how your dream piece should look after making; without having verbal conversation with you. If anything is not mentioned in your tech pack, then it must not be the part of your design brief.
You must not pick a google image (or someone else design image) as it is; and send the manufacturer asking to develop the sample based on verbal changes. This is not a good practice.
Tech pack and / or a detailed documented design helps to achieve right piece of sample faster and avoid any misunderstanding between you and your manufacturer. This saves lot of time and money at both end!
NOT NAMING TO YOUR DESIGNS OR CODE RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING
You might be thinking - is it so important? But from the manufacturer point of view, - YES! This is.
What you need to do is that, you should give either a name or a code number to each of your design / model / style right on the tech pack so that manufacturer and you speak about the same design if required.
Not having a style code or name of your design sometime lands you up in big trouble where your manufacturer develop one similar style whereas you were expecting the other one.
If you are the one who thinks time is the money, you must organised your designs with name.If you’re a small business, it may not bring much difference at beginning, but once you grow enough to deal into hundreds of styles at a time, then it will help you a lot. It is good to adopt good practice right at the beginning!
You can simply give any name or Season Name + Year + Code
SELECTING A MANUFACTURER BASED ON SAMPLE IMAGES SEEN
What is the authenticity of image being shown by a manufacturer? How will you check their claim that those designs are made by that very manufacturer only? Also this is a breach of confidentiality when a manufacturer share other buyer’s design with you or anyone. If that is the practice adopted by the manufacturer, there are the possibility that your designs too will be shared with someone else (may be your competitor) in the future.
What to do then? How to check the fitment or compatibility of manufacturer viz-a-viz your design?
The one best solution is that, ask the manufacturer to develop one rough sample based on your any of designs. If you’re happy with the sample, you can consider that manufacturer for your rest of designs.
DECIDING THE FABRIC THROUGH IMAGE
One costly mistakes are being done by several clothing label owners that, they decide the fabric based on the fabric image received by the manufacturer. This is not a good practice. The touch and feel of fabric can never be examined by looking at its image. There are billions of fabric and each fabric family carries 100s of different variations. A minor change in lycra % or other content, the hand-feel get changed. Hence this is always wise way that first to collect the fabric swatch from manufacturer and choose out of all the options you got.
The common reasons behind deciding the fabric through its images are that, clothing label owners usually try to save the money which usually incur as shipping cost of bring the fabric swatch from manufacturer. Please you do not do this otherwise this may prove very costly at later stage!
NOT HAVING OWN COURIER (SHIPPING) ACCOUNT
Opening a courier account with DHL or UPS or FedEx is free of cost. They will bill to you on weekly or monthly basis as per the negotiated price you have with them. This is a must have thing if you’re planning to get your collection developed by an overseas clothing manufacturer.
If you do not have your own courier account, then there are the chances that you might be charged higher for the same weight and size of packet by your manufacturer. In absence of your own courier account, you basically pay the shipping cost to your manufacturer in addition to the price for sampling or/and production. You basically unnecessarily paying to third party (the manufacturer) whereas you can save some % of charges by paying directly to the courier company.
At time of bulk shipping, you may not get the same price what your manufacturer use to have from the same carrier since the manufacturer use to send big size shipments frequently. Hence you must compare your shipping price with your manufacturer’s offering at the time of bulk shipment and save several bucks!!
TAKING QUOTATION ON FALSE QUANTITY
This generally done by new / start-up clothing label enthusiasts. They usually think that, the manufacturer pay high attention if they are asked to quote on higher quantity. The problem arises when at the time of actual order placement, they expect same price although actual order quantity goes lower than the quotation they take.
If there is any limitation / minimum applied on your design, your manufacturer will let you know well in advance and you can prepare accordingly or you will search the right small batch clothing manufacturer for you. In case you’re not sure about your quantity at the beginning, then take the price for different quantity rather.
Please remember, working out the prices is not a guessing game for a professionally run garment manufacturers. There are several things used to bring into consideration before they calculate the price. If you change the quantity at the later stage then the whole equation gets disturbed. This simply waste quite a lot of time at both end. Hence be honest as much as possible!
EXAMIN THE SAMPLE(S) THROUGH IMAGES RECEIVED FROM FACTORY
As a common business practice, once the sample is ready the manufacturer first use to send the images of sample before the physical sample can be sent to you. The images are sent to you so that, if you have any comment then you can share it with your manufacturer and the possible amendments can be done before sending the physical sample to you. This saves lot of time!
But please do not examine the sample just seeing the image unless you have the physical sample in your hand and you try it on your model. You need to check three things once the physical sample reaches to your hand - (01) Fabric quality, (02) Fitment and (03) Workmanship
Please do not compare the manufacturer’s sample image with your model shoot image. Manufacturer do not do professional / model photoshoot since the purpose of sample shoot is not to sell the product but just to give you an idea how your design has to come out.
Hence at sample image sharing time you need to do only two things - (01) give your comment (if fault found) or (02) the direction to ship the physical sample to you. No third thing and no more time wasting.
WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON SCREEN SHOUD LOOK GOOD IN REALITY
Take the learning from the successful clothing labels. They get sampling of 100 styles for example but place the order on 60 to 70 styles only. They reject / hold for re-do almost 30 to 40 samples after making and the reason behind that is simple - they find that the sample did not come out as they thought of; or they think that design can be more sellable after certain amendment(s) into it.
Every design first takes place in the mind of its designer / creator. Then they appear on computer screen as illustration. But when a manufacturer produce it, the desired look does not come out as the creator thinks. The reason is not because there is a fault in manufacturing, but there could be several other reasons - imagined silhouette is not compatible with the fabric nature or placement of some component may be technically wrong or design is not production friendly and so on!!
Always recommended to check in case there is any technical error in design which is noticed only after the sampling. At first go, the manufacturer follows the design details and there are the possibility that on practical ground there may be some error not in the making but in the design which lead incorrect sampling. With the help of your manufacturer you should do the necessary amendment in design and make your design practically acceptable.
NOT BEING FLEXIBLE WHEN IT COMES TO MINIMUM
In order to save the time and money, you need to be flexible. For example, if you’re looking for custom printed fabric but your quantity is smaller then instead of insisting your manufacturer for custom printing fabric only, you should check the available stock print fabric options. This will save your lot of money! Unless it is digital printing, you need to have a specific quantity and that is the limitation of machines. If the manufacturer manufacture or print less than the required minimums then that is just not possible.
Besides fabric printing, in terms of trims and other hardware of your design you must be very flexible unless your quantity is good enough that meets the minimums of that set up.
If you’re not flexible enough then you will keep moving one manufacturer to another and your dream to launch your design may get delayed or difficult. Always seek the option if your manufacturer say sorry due to minimum.
SCHEDULE PHOTOSHOOT WITHOUT HAVING PHYSICAL PRODUCT
Sometime an attempt to be pro-active may be costlier. Do not schedule product photoshoot or any event without having physical product in hand. It is noticed that private label clothing owners use to schedule such activity in advance just considering the deadline they receive from the manufacturer or after calculating the arrival date based on lead time they discuss.
There are several uncontrolled factors which may take extra time to finish the sample or production. Besides that, if the goods have to cross the boarder, you have no idea in case it stuck at custom and you need extra 1 or 2 days to go through the paper works. In such cases your efforts of advance planning may hamper you
For photoshoot we recommend to use pre-production samples and for trade fairs or PR we recommend to use salesman samples. Billoomi Fashion offers FREE salesman samples!
NOT GOING DIRECT TO FACTORY AND SEEKING MIDDLEMAN / SOURCING AGENT
We highly recommend not to involve any buying house, or sourcing agency, or middle man, or any commission agent while you connect with any garment factory. Going through any such middleman will unnecessarily increase the cost of production and there are the chances that, these middleman may not ask any commission to you directly but they may add on their commission on the factory quoted price. Or these middleman may influence the price with factory in order to get benefited.
For quality inspection you may bring some party agency to step in if you’re not sure about the factory. But so far price or design discussion goes, keep direct connect with key persons of factory.
As a policy, Billoomi Fashion does not involves any middle man / commission agent or buying house. We prefer direct communication with our client be it the matter related to price or design development.
NOT DISCUSSING THE PRICES OF OTHER NECESSITIES
You need to remember that there are several components of price - sampling price, production price, price of packing, price of label and tag, shipping, bank transaction charges etc.
Hence before giving approval on the prices, please do check whether what other charges are involved besides the making. Also do check if you can get your sampling price adjusted at the time of production or not.
You may get the quotation of production, but later on your manufacturer may put additional charges in the name of other things. Hence please beware!
Billoomi Fashion waive off the sampling charges if we get production in same style with minimum 100 pcs per style (mix sizes).