communicate with your factory

How to Communicate with Your Factory

How to Communicate with Your Factory


Welcome to part two of our three-part series on Successfully Working with a Manufacturer. Part one covered how to find a manufacturer, and now we will discuss the next step: communication.

One comment I get whenever working with brands who have explored domestic factories is that they find communication to be disjointed and difficult. Many factories are quite busy and do not focus on guiding their clients through the process, they expect them to already know how it is done. Sure, it is efficient and fast when you know, but with so many startups launching these days, we are on a mission to help!

It is important to make sure that your manufacturer works well with you and that you understand if they are a good fit.

Communicate with your factory

How to Communicate with Your Factory

When you meet with a factory representative, ask these big eight questions right off the bat:

  • What are their minimums per SKU (style in each size/color) and total number per style?
  • What are their usual lead times?
  • What types of fabrics and garments do they specialize in and prefer to work with?
  • Do they require tech packs, patterns, prototypes, or do they require these steps to be done with them?
  • What do they need in order to generate a production quote?
  • What are their payment terms?
  • How do they conduct their quality control?
  • What are their procedures for mistakes or poor quality?

The answer to these questions will allow you to understand if this factory is a contender for your work.

Once you do start working with a factory, it is essential that you STAY ORGANIZED.  Lay out your product development and production path, write down when each step should be complete, and stay on top of it. Remember that you need sourcing done first, a tech pack done next, then pattern, sample, fitting, grading, size test sampling, and then when you are approved 100%, you can go into production.  Knowing this order and sticking to it will eliminate problems and confusion.

Ultimately, the most important tip I can give is to KEEP CALM. This may seem like a no-brainer, but when your dream is coming to life, things can get stressful. The least productive act is to lose your cool. Everyone wants every job to be successful and tension only hurts matters, so keep it professional!

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