Whether you’ve recently broken into the fashion industry or already established a well-known brand, the quality of your products can make or break your brand.If you’ve manufactured a piece of clothing that is trendy, the perfect size and material and is considered a season ‘must-have’, but you’ve failed on meeting the quality standards of the industry and your customers, you may be left with irreversible damage to your brand.
There are many options and benefits available when looking to hire the quality services of a third-party agent but the question is, should you hire a specialist or a generalist? Would you prefer a partner who specializes in specific quality control solutions based on the type of products you manufacture, or someone who has a broader more generalist focus? There is no straightforward answer to this question. It’s important to ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:
- Are your quality needs broad and generalized, or specific and specialized?
- Are the quality management services you need standardized or specialized?
- Are there any risks involved?
Continue reading as we explore the difference between specialized textile quality providers and generalists and discusses various benefits which you can expect from each.
The Specialized Textile Quality Provider
Specialized textile quality providers can use their great depth of experience and knowledge to focus all their skills and energy into specialized services in the apparel industry, such as textile laboratory testings, textile inspections, QMS audits and more. Textile quality specialists have specific industry expertise and knowledge of various testing techniques, modern technology, applications or particular tools used for quality management in the apparel industry.
Partnering with a specialist quality provider who works with a team of highly skilled professionals allows you to count on cross-training, support, knowledge transfer and sharing of experience between your brand and your partners, which aligns your brand’s goal and makes your team stronger.
The benefits of working with a specialized textile quality provider are:
- With many years in the industry, their work process is streamlined
- They are experts in quality management solutions
- They know the industry inside and out which allows you to meet your brand and industry set quality standards
- Specialists are precious to a brand as their greater knowledge in the industry is difficult to come by.
The Generalized Textile Quality Provider
A generalist in the apparel industry is a professional or agent who focuses on developing skills that are widely applicable. For example, a quality inspector may have knowledge and expertise in an array of products such as soft goods (garments, textiles bags, shoes, etc.) as well as hard goods (furniture, home goods, toys, etc.).
Generalists are good at doing many things and providing many different services, but they are unable to provide the same expert level services as specialists. They choose to offer a broad spectrum of quality management services within the apparel industry, and in some cases, some may not have had the opportunity to gain the necessary skills and become experts in textile quality management services. Generalists are well-rounded quality testers and inspectors who understand the core principles of quality management but aren’t as narrowly specialized in one service or tool as specialists.
The benefits of working with a generalized textile quality provider are:
- Their broad peripheral knowledge is more advantageous to individual clients
- They can generate additional work by offering more services to current and past clients
- They have the ability to quickly add, remove and update service offerings to match their customer’s requirements
- With their knowledge in a range of services, they’re able to see deeper inside this interconnectedness and find solutions to quality problems.
Ultimately, when choosing to enlist the services of a generalist or specialist quality provider, your decision will depend on the needs of your brand. You may already have an internal quality management department, but require an expert to do a textile technical advisory of your products. Either way, working with specialists will help your brand overcome many quality management challenges.
Did you find this blog useful? Do you have any questions regarding specialists vs. generalists? Feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!