This article covers the 10 most important questions to ask a clothing manufacturer in 2022. These questions will help you get the maximum information from your potential clothing manufacturers so that you can make an informed decision about whether to work with them or not.
Top Questions To Ask Your Potential Clothing Manufacturer Before Working With Them
Here’s the list of the most important questions to ask clothing manufacturers. Asking these questions will help you set clear expectations of what you are looking for from the beginning. You will also be able to know if the potential clothing manufacturer will meet your requirements or not.
Q1. Are they taking new customers right now?
The first thing to ask your potential clothing manufacturers is whether they are taking on new customers. Make sure that they are not overbooked and have the capacity to fulfill your orders. If they are overbooked, you can check with some other manufacturers. Or if they are busy at a given time, you can check with them if they are open to partnering in the future.
Q2. Can they provide what you are looking for?
This question will enable you to establish clear and effective communication where you can transparently discuss your niche with your potential manufacturer.
Ensure that the manufacturers have expertise in providing the type of fabrics, trimmings, and garments that you sell. Sometimes, manufacturers accept orders for items that they do not make and contract out them to other manufacturers as a single manufacturer can't fulfill all your garment manufacturing needs.
This brings in intermediaries in the supply chain, which may result in increased costs and reduced efficiency. Working with third-party suppliers can sometimes be more challenging to control and it can bring about delays and misunderstandings.
Q3. Do they speak your language?
It would be difficult to communicate with the manufacturer if you don’t have at least one language in common. Overcoming language barriers can be frustrating for you as well as your potential manufacturer. Thus, if you plan to move ahead with an overseas manufacturer, make sure that the representative who will be handling your order, has a good hold of your language, both spoken and written. This will ensure that you have smooth and clear communication with no hassle.
With a trusted network of suppliers and factories in Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and more, Zilingo serves businesses globally in countries, such as the USA, India, and the UK. Our team of experts ensures that fashion brands connect with domestic and international manufacturers with no linguistic barriers.
Q4. Which other clients are they working for?
Asking clothing manufacturers about other brands they are working for or previously worked for will give you a fair idea of their services, quality of items, and dedication. You can also ask for some references to find out more about their workmanship, punctuality, and cooperation.
Q5. Ask for a price quotation.
When you plan to work with a manufacturer, you would want to get your orders fulfilled at the best price. For this, you need to ask for a price quotation. Share exactly what you want and need with the manufacturers in written form so that there’s no room for confusion.
If you want them to make a formal shirt, you can share the fabric you want, pattern, collar style, sleeve length, sizes, fit, colors, etc. Based on these details, you can ask the manufacturer to make a prototype and provide with you an estimated price for the product.
Q6. Do they have any certifications?
Check if the manufacturers have any certifications. If your brand follows certain sustainability and ethical standards, then this question will ascertain that they are reaching certain standards and assure that you are working with a good business partner.
Here is a list of sustainable certifications you can look for while
finalizing your potential manufacturer.
Q7. What is their Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)?
MOQ or minimum order quantity is the minimum amount of product or units that the supplier requires a customer to buy at one time. For instance, if a manufacturer has an MOQ of 100 units, it means that you will need to purchase 100 units or more to do business with that manufacturer.
Small businesses that are just starting out may want to place an initial order of only 100 units to determine if their product is selling. If they like the quality, they can go ahead with ordering bulk production. On the other hand, large businesses may want to place an order or 1000 units at one time. They will need to ensure that the manufacturer will be able to match their MOQ requirements for bulk production.
Q8. What is their maximum capacity?
You must ask manufacturers about their maximum capacity to ensure that they are scalable. Even if you are a small business that wants to order small MOQs, knowing the maximum capacity will ensure that the same manufacturer is suitable for the long run when your business grows.
Q9. What are their terms and conditions?
Here, you can ask about payment methods or any other conditions. You can ask for the terms available to pay for the items. Every manufacturer works differently, so it is better to ask them in the beginning – whether they want the full payment in advance or you can pay in parts. Do they want any advance payment to be made before the work has begun? These questions will help you analyze your options before you enter into any contract.
Q10. Ask about their lead time.
Lead time refers to the time taken to fulfill a request. Ask your manufacturer the whole timeline from the date of receiving the order till the day it is shipped.
There are several factors involved in custom clothing manufacturing, including the type of clothing being produced, availability of materials, production line efficiency, etc. All of these factors determine the lead time in manufacturing garments.
Ask your manufacturer to share the estimated lead time so that you can plan your clothing business accordingly.
So, these are some of the important questions that you can ask your potential clothing manufacturer. Once you get all the information from your potential clothing manufacturer, you need to verify their claims. Also, ensure that you document all the verbal interactions through an email. We hope these questions will help you find the right clothing manufacturer soon!
Looking for a clothing manufacturer? Get in touch with us
Depending on your requirements, we find the right set of manufacturers with supplier certifications and compliance transparency – who can produce your product even during peak seasons and serve the required MOQ. Our team of experts will provide quotations from multiple manufacturers along with full transparency from RFQ to shipment.