In our previous blog, we explored the benefits of outsourcing your textile quality management. Now, we want to help you determine what you should be looking for to achieve the very best quality results for your brand. Finding a suitable quality partner who meets your brand’s quality expectations and requirements can prove to be a difficult task for many quality managers.
In the apparel industry, you have your fair share of quality providers to choose from. But, when outsourcing your quality management systems, finding the ‘perfect fit’ may not be so easy if you don’t know what you should be looking for.
Taking into account that each brand has it’s own specific quality management requirements, this blog will now discuss what you should look for in an apparel quality provider.
1. Quality of Resources
The quality of resources will directly affect your success rate and you need to determine whether these resources are fit to meet your quality standards. Are they generalists or specialists? Do they have enough technical capabilities and resources to get the tasks done that you require? These are the types of questions you need to be asking yourself before selecting a quality partner to work with. In addition to this, other targeted questions you could ask are:
- What is your level of knowledge and expertise in the apparel industry?
- What will happen if any quality issues arise?
- Do you have a track record of proven service commitment?
- How do you measure customer satisfaction in terms of the services you provide?
2. Time Zone
One of the benefits of outsourcing quality is the time zone advantage that the location provides. In a favorable position, working with a quality partner located in a different time zone allows you to implement an around-the-clock business operation which leads to quicker turnaround times as your inspectors and QC staff are already in the right location. However, if the time zone difference is too big, you could be dealing with delays in communication and frustration regarding synchronization of overall business activities.
3. Outsourcing Experience
Outsourcing your quality management has many benefits for your brand. The years of experience your quality provider has in the bag is a factor that can’t be overlooked. Ideally, you want to work with a partner who has had time to make mistakes in the apparel industry and who has been able to learn from those mistakes to provide you with expert quality services. You want to work with a partner who knows what they’re doing, who are specialists in what they do and who knows the industry ins and outs. Your partner should have excellent communication skills, be able to provide solutions should problems arise and should work towards achieving your aligned business goals. All this comes with experience.
4. Equipment and Infrastructure
The hardware and infrastructure of your quality provider is a major point of consideration. In the event of unexpected equipment failure, what procedures will be followed to prevent any setbacks or failure regarding quality? If your brand requires certain services such as textile quality audit solutions and textile laboratory testing, will your apparel quality provider be able to meet your requirements? These type of questions are necessary to answer to give you an idea of whether your potential partner will be a good match. In addition to these, other questions you could ask include:
- Do you use the latest equipment and testing methods?
- Do you have your own testing lab?
- How will your equipment and infrastructure meet my quality needs and expectations expectations?
- What preventive maintenance procedures are followed to prevent any unplanned downtime or equipment failure?
5. Consider Reviews and Feedback
Lastly, it’s important to take some time to investigate your potential quality provider thoroughly. Find out what reviews have been written about them and what their customers are saying about them. Who are their partners, who have they worked with in the past, do they have any international certificates and how are they involved in the apparel industry? All this information can be found on any reliable textile quality management provider’s website. If you struggle to find any useful or relevant information about your potential partner, you may need to reconsider.
It’s important not to rush into a decision to avoid the disaster of working with an unfit partner. Rather, take your time to identify a suitable quality provider who will play a memorable role in the success of your brand. Satisfying today’s educated consumer with the best balance of style, price and ethicality is crucial to surviving in the apparel industry, and it can’t be done without quality.
What is your experience when working with apparel quality providers? What factors did you consider before choosing a partner? Drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!