Before you become an OEM clothing manufacturer, you need to have a garment or clothing supplier you can work with. Garment manufacturing is a long and complex process and you cannot do it all alone.
You need to have partners such as manufacturers, marketers and more importantly, suppliers. Manufacturing supplies vary from one supplier to another and you need to be on top of all the price calculations and business model before your OEM clothing manufacturing business kicks off.
Finding a good supplier is quite a challenge. There are many ways to find them such as trade shows, factories, the internet, contacts etc. But finding the right one for your business is the toughest part.
You need to have a supplier that goes well with your terms and conditions and most especially quality and standards. Here are a few questions you need to ask your potential garment supplier in order to shortlist them for your final choice.
Questions to Ask a Potential Supplier
1. Are they open to new customers?
Suppliers are sometimes overbooked with clients which makes them impossible to take on new customers. You don’t want to be on queue when working with a supplier. Partner with someone who puts you on priority.
2. Can they provide your needs?
Ask them if they can provide the supplies you need for your business such as fabric, trimmings and other miscellaneous items. Sometimes it is impossible to have a single supplier for all your garment manufacturing needs and you may need to work with different supplier for different items.
3. What companies are they working for? Past and present.
This will give you an idea of the quality of their materials since you can research on the products they are currently producing and the ones they have supplied for in the past.
4. Are they operating with third-party suppliers?
Some suppliers outsource some of their materials from other suppliers. Most of them keep this information as confidential, but if they say so, then might as well check out their source to have direct access and save a few bucks.
5. Ask for a price quote.
You need to know what you are paying for and this should include a breakdown of your orders along with their respective prices accordingly.
6. What are other services they can provide?
Clothing suppliers sometimes offer other services aside from supplying materials and accessories. It would make the actual production work easier if the clothing supplier you are working with can take on tasks which can lift off workload on your end.
7. What is their minimum quantity order?
Clothing suppliers often have minimum quantity orders and if you happen to be a small up to mid-sized OEM clothing manufacturer then this factor should be a big deal. Your orders are most likely minimal when starting out, so you need to know if your placed order passes the supplier’s minimum standards.
8.What is their maximum capacity?
If you asked for the minimum quantity order, then you should ask for their maximum capacity as well. You want to work with same supplier in case your garment business succeeds. Might as well assure your supplier is in for the long run.
9. What are their payment terms?
Ask for the payment methods including the terms available to pay for the clothing supplier’s services.
10. Do they have any certifications?
Certifications are evidences which proves your potential supplier is reputable in the industry. This can be a guarantee you are working with a good business partner.
All of these questions need to be asked if you want to land the perfect garment supplier for your garment business. If any of the answers to these questions fail to meet your expectations then it could easily help you decide whether to work with them or not.