We have been in the fashion industry for more than 2 decades and while experiencing the glamorous side of it, we also learned so many things along the way. We tried and failed and tried more and succeeded and just like with any other sector, there are certain indispensable factors that affect the efficiency of a project, one of these factors is trust and reliability.
As a brand, working with factories and suppliers means understanding that they are a major element that cannot be overlooked.It is important to establish good relationships with your factory in terms of security, trust, and understanding so that you can ensure your project is going to be efficiently delivered.
When a good relationship is established between a fashion brand and a factory, it can contribute considerably to the working relationship and can make way for great collaborations and projects.
To make sure a factory believes in your brand, takes you seriously or prioritizes your offer, there are certain guidelines you have to follow.Here is a list of some tips that can help you establish yourself well in the eyes of a factory.
Be prepared and Speak clearly
It is important to be prepared for the meeting. Do your research. Ideally, you should know basic details about the factory you’re meeting with so that you can ask better-equipped questions and do not waste time asking basic questions. Try to see if you can find information online, their history, competition, also do some basic research about the fashion product you want to produce so that you know what to expect and where to start your negotiations from. Also know about the techniques and services offered by the factory, that way you know if what you need aligns with what the factory can offer and if there is any room for innovation in the manufacturing process. When a brand contacts a factory, it’s important to look professional and come prepared with all the materials like designs, tech packs, etc. Take notes during the meeting to remember all the specifications but to also appear organized and serious about the collaboration.
Factories see opportunities, not styles
A brand needs to understand that you cannot present yourself to a factory in the same way as a fashion wholesale/retail store or fashion journalist. With a factory, it is more important to establish that trust, and the factory needs to be convinced that you are serious and looking for a stable and preferably long-term partnership. Explaining your creative journey, story, concept, inspirations can be a good point of conversation but will not really help when it comes to gaining the approval/trust of a factory, To a factory talking about your order quantities, techniques and establishing that general vibe that you are serious about this commitment is more important. A store or journal might probably be more interested in your USP, creative journey, concept, etc but a factory is more interested in the technical and strategic aspect of your brand.
At Deepwear we have long-established connections and communications with a majority of our factories which helps us establish trust very easily which then allows us to get access to better prices, better service, and more reliability. Also, the fact that we are there on the ground with the factory during the process also helps establish better communications and send regular updates to our brands. Us being there also is a comforting factor for the brands we work with because we are their eyes and ears on the ground.
Factories don’t believe in promises.
Factories are usually very busy and need some sort of assurance of reliability to establish a collaboration. Just verbal promises or concepts might look attractive but will not be efficient enough for a factory to take you seriously or to not mess with you. It is important to professionally present yourself well for better deals, negotiations, and to avoid being scammed or overpriced.
Don’t go with a single product, always go with multiple products or a collection.
Unless you have a single product with a really high order quantity, Always go with multiple products or a collection when approaching a factory. Factories are extremely time-sensitive and prefer orders and fashion brands with more products within a single production run because it ensures more efficient power usage. It is important to understand the kind of factory you are dealing with or going to deal with. If the factory accepts only large order quantities it is extremely unwise to approach them with a smaller order.
Always follow up
Once your first meeting is done, always ensure that you send a follow-up email or message with all the necessary details discussed in the meeting like notes, presentations, docs, follow-up steps, etc, or if none of those apply, you can simply just send a thank you email.
All these small things prove your seriousness and commitment to the project but also show the factory that you respect their time and work. It also shows that you are prioritizing the project and in turn also prioritizing the factory.
Sending out updated points of discussion after the meeting also gives the factory a perception that you are really sorted and clear about your expectations. It shows a more responsible side of your business.
We at Deepwear ensure that there is a prompt follow-up with both the brand and the factory to ensure that we are all on the same page. We also make sure that all necessary information is relayed responsibly to ensure production happens without any errors and confusion. We are also there on the ground throughout the entire process which provides a means of control and security for both the brand and the factory.
While searching and establishing great trust with Factories is important, We understand that it is also a time-intensive process, and we are here to help you. Deepwear can help you throughout the entire Fashion manufacturing process right from the conception of your ideas/concepts till the final product is produced and delivered. We can help you efficiently source and contact factories, and can also take over the inspection process and follow up with factories you have already contacted, we are here to make fashion manufacturing more transparent, safe, efficient and easier for you. To know more about our services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here