Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Like with anything else, preparation in fashion production is the key to success. A well-thought-through production plan is an essential part of this preparation. There are many other benefits to a carefully planned production schedule & we provided 10 typical mistakes to avoid when planning a garment production
- Reduced shipping and delivery costs
- Increased efficiency due to minimised overheads costs
- Consistent quality
- Timely deliveries
The fundamental concepts of production planning are
- Where to produce
- When to produce
- How to produce
It is simple yet challenging to achieve due to the complexity of the fashion supply chain. It will take years to master the skill of planning; I don’t intend to cover this subject in one blog post. Here, I aim to give easy to follow tips to help you with forward planning. I want to prepare you by letting you know about possible pitfalls and delays along the way.
Ten Typical Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Garment Production
Below is the list of 10 common mistakes:
There is not enough time allowed for raw materials strike-off.
When ordering raw materials and trimmings, we usually allow enough time for shipping and production but never enough time for sample approval. Consider that you might need to request a strike-off more than once.
There is not enough time allowed for the delivery of labels and trimmings.
A widespread perception that labels and trimmings are less essential components is damaging. Fashion brands direct all the efforts towards placing fabrics orders, neglecting labels and garment tags. Be aware; your manufacturer wouldn’t be able to start working on your garment production until all the components are delivered. Make sure all the components, including labels and tags, are provided to the clothing manufacturer at the same time.
Raw components sent to the manufacturer without prior checks
Efficient production planning relies on you to check the quality of raw materials. Run tests and identify any shortages before sending raw materials to a manufacturer.
Correct raw materials are not supplied for a pre-production sample
Ensure that pre-production is made out of the production material with the right linings, interlinings and labels.
That will give you an ooportunity to check the correct usage of the components before commencing garment production.
A pre-production sample is missing brand and/or care labels
Have all the labels attached as your clothing factory will do it for the production. Avoid any garment labelling confusion from the get-go. Bonus Tip: If the labels are not ready at the pre-production sample stage, use any odd label and write the correct information on it with a laundry pen.
There is not enough time is allowed for a pre-production sample approval.
Avoid a tightly-knit schedule; you might need to see the second or third sample, alter patterns and correct a tech pack. Bonus tip: If the budget allows, make samples for each colour or fabric variations.
Garment patterns are sent out for grading without having patterns trialled with bulk materials.
We suggest only proceeding with pattern grading when you are 100% sure that the style fit is correct. All the fabric shrinkage or stretch must be taken into account. Bonus Tip: Do not forget to allow enough time for the grading nest check.
Proto-sample is not available at the pre-production stage.
Make a proto sample available to the manufacturer together with all the components for the pre-production sample. Agree this time in advance with your sales or PR team. The missing sample could cause delays, wasted time and money.
Holidays and weather conditions are not taken into consideration when creating a garment production schedule.
Be aware of any holidays and closures. Check the possible holiday dates with all your suppliers involved in the process well in advance. It’s impossible to forecast weather conditions, but a commom sense might suggest that frequent disruption with delivery services in the wintertime are possible, because of poor weather conditions or Christmas mail overload.
Human resources are tight or not skilled enough.
Production management is a demanding task. Ask yourself two questions: “Do I have the necessary staff and skills to complete the task?” and “How can I feel my knowledge gaps; should you hire a production manager? ” When answering, be honest with yourself. Please, avoid: Leaning on the job could not only damage your relationship with the suppliers but have a deferential effect on the success of your brand.
There are many other components to the successful road map; one of them is the garment production schedule or critical path we will cover in our next blog post. If you need help with your production planning or have any other questions regarding managing your production or sample development, we will be happy to help. Find out more about our support packages here.
To find out more about an extencive range of proven and tested templates that will help you to manage your manufacturing processes follow this link.