What Questions Should I Ask a Manufacturer?
Before making contact with any potential manufacturer, make sure you must read their website thoroughly. Most professional manufacturers will have the frequently asked questions “FAQs” section, although it is important to ask specific questions to make sure they are a good fit for your new brand.
Below are some helpful questions to ask:
1. If not already stated, what is the minimum order quantity?
Some manufacturers will have their MOQs listed on their websites, however due to the custom nature of bespoke product, it is understandable that you might need to tell the manufacturer a bit more about your items before they can tell you what the MOQ is.
2. What are their specialties?
Not all manufacturers will be able to produce every item of your collection. Most manufacturers have specialties which they will stick to, so be sure to check their website and ascertain what items they specialist in or just contact them to ask.
3. Do they produce just specific item mentioned on their website? Or any relating products?
Some manufacturers are unisex, however, sportswear and work wear apparel manufacturing requires different skill sets, so it is understandable that they may only specialize in one or the other. Same goes for the casual and formal wear.
4. What services do they offer?
Most manufacturers will make the services they offer clear on their websites, and whether they are a CMT, FPP or POD manufacturer will affect this. However, some FPP manufacturers may offer designing services and others may not. POD manufacturers do not all offer relabeling services. Be sure to check out what services they offer via contacting them or visiting their websites.
5. What are the estimated time frames?
When it comes to custom manufacturing, time frames could vary depending on your quantity and your specifications. Manufacturers might be able to offer general lead times, but usually, until you have provided the all of your designs, they will not know exactly what is involved in producing your items and will not be able to give you an accurate lead time.
What Not to Do
In order for your enquiry to proceed as efficiently as possible, we have compiled few things not to do when questioning a manufacturer. Being a fast paced industry, it is easy for a manufacturer to disregard an enquiry, so take note of the following to ensure they do not overlook yours:
1. Do not approach until you have any design
Manufacturers are generally happy to answer the general questions or to explain the process to you, however without a design to work with, it is hard for them to be able to offer any specific advice. In order to get best response possible from a manufacturer, with most accurate answers to any questions you have, always wait until you have at least a design brief before contacting them.
2. Do not ask for average pricing on custom designs
When creating the custom products, it is not possible for manufacturers to be able to give ‘average’ or ‘standard’ pricing, since every element of your design is unique. A manufacturer will need a full breakdown of the specifications including material composition, dimensions and printing types in order to give an accurate quotation.
Without a detailed specification including things like material choice, mock-ups, and details on the branding required “whether it be print, embroidery, etc.”, it is very hard for any manufacturer to be able to assist at all.
Have a realistic budget
Without any realistic budget in place, it will be impossible to create your product, so one of the best things you can do, is let a manufacturer know of what kind of budget you are working with in the initial stages of your contact. Manufacturers will be happy to discuss what you can afford and let you know, if your budget is the realistic.
Edited: Sourced By @Howthorninc