A look at four different apparel contractors that manufacture cycling apparel. There are many more than four but for the sake of this article I am only looking at four. This article is about cycling apparel but this applies to all product specialities, especially in apparel, footwear, and accessory manufacturing.
Each contractor I mention in this article is in a different province, county or city with a different culture and language. In addition they have a different expertise, skill set, and speciality. Most make many products and only one specializes in knit cycling apparel.
In this article I am not going to tell you which manufacture is good for what types of products or production. This is proprietary information based on many years of thinking outside of the box, and challenging the norm.
I am only sharing with you some of the variables in apparel (not only cycling) manufacturing today.
Imagine going to get your haircut, as it is on your head, you ask them to fix your teeth, or your eyesight, or your brain. It is not going to happen, but in the apparel industry many believe that they can make anything, as they are manufacturing clothing. Now for the sake of this article let’s presume that they make sport apparel, can they make all types of sport apparel? Or should they specialize? Below I will look at the products in four factories, you can decide on what they are good at from the photos and place your production.
Factory one: Is a larger factory, that has many floors of production with hundreds of workers that specialize in knit and woven products for the sport apparel industry. Thier output of cycling gear is around 20% of their business.
Factory Two: Is a smaller factory with around 80 sewers specializing in apparel manufacturing in knitwear, 80% of their work is sport apparel and 5% is in cycling apparel.
Factory three: Is a two-floor operation with one floor being knit and the other floor being woven, they have 150 sewers and their speciality is in apparel manufacturing with 70% of their production being the sport market, and 10% in cycling apparel.
Factory four: has around 60 sewers and specializes in knit apparel manufacturing with 90% of their production being made for the cycling industry.
In apparel, footwear and accessory manufacturing you need to have your eyes and ears on the ground in the countries you are manufacturing.
It is good to speak the country language but it is even better to speak the local dialect. As a foreigner I have lived in China for 7 years, I understand the basics of Putonghua but I am not fluent, but I pride myself for understanding the cultures of each country, region or county. I also have studied their body language and their history to better understand their behaviours, mannerisms, and actions.
This is a responsibility to your brand integrity and consumers. To ensure your being ethical, compliant, and manufacturing to the highest quality and standards of your brand.
This goes beyond hiring an individual or 3rd party inspection company which is on the surface to report on only quality standards. Beyond hiring a local who cannot see outside of the box and has ties to the culture and people. Who will do their job of QC and managment but will not see beyond the boundaries to report on business processes or practices which ultimately improve your bottom line.
If you need help managing your business and building brand success stories let me know?
Only the best,