Planning Branded Uniform Programs
There are 5 basic steps to planning uniform programs. Distributors will outline the project based on the first conversation with a buyer. It helps to have a questionnaire with the 5 Ws (plus 1) at your fingertips. Who, What, Where, Why and When? The final question being, “What is your budget?” After the first contact provide a written confirmation of the answers in the questionnaire to your buyer. This will serve as the “skeleton” of Step 1: The Brief.
5 Steps to Planning a Uniform Program
Your client may give you a very detailed brief that answers all of your questions but more often you will help the client put the brief together during the first Q&A session referenced above. The brief will be shared with the manufacturer as soon as it is ready. The distributor and manufacturer go over it in detail to make sure all information needed is there.
RESEARCH & SOURCING:
Manufacturers and distributors work together to gather swatches and images of existing products that fit the brief while the design staff begins sourcing samples of anything that may not be on hand like special fabrics, trims or notions for samples. Executive Apparel has an extensive pattern and sample archive to source from plus a talented design team. Many designs exist in our archive and can be slightly altered for a different variation if needed. If a design isn’t in our archive our team can make it fast. Distributors will deliver swatches, photos, illustrations or existing source garments to the client for approval. During this process costing is introduced. The cost remains fluid until final sourcing decisions are made.
Once all of the approved fabrics and pattern work are gathered the design team takes over and begins sewing samples which will be delivered to the client and approved or revised per their directions. The cost of the project is revised as final decisions are made. When the client is happy with the final samples and signs off on the cost, the project goes into production.
The manufacturer will have chosen production factories during the research phase of the project based on the client’s deadline, the quantities of garments being produced and factory capabilities. Fabric, trims and notions are ordered and shipped to the appropriate factory along with samples, patterns and technical notes. The manufacturer communicates with the factory throughout the production process.
When the garments are finished they are loaded on shipping containers and head back to the manufacturer. Products arrive and are thoroughly quality-checked. Embroidered blazers or garments that get patches are sent back out for embellishment. The order is reinspected when it comes back to our warehouse and quickly packed for delivery to the client.
Reorders, Referrals & Partnerships
Distributors who follow these guidelines are sure to provide excellent value for their clients and benefit from the additional projects, reorders and referrals that come from a mutually profitable business relationship.
If you are a qualified promotional apparel or uniform distributor and would like to learn more about Executive Apparel’s products and services click here. Buyers who would like to be connected to one of our distributors click here.
Head to our Pinterest page for a handy infographic for planning branded uniform programs.