In the fashion industry, implementing efficient apparel quality management systems in your supply chain leads to high-quality products, lower costs and increased ROI. This formula sounds pretty easy, right? The problem is that many retail quality managers are under the impression that to improve their product’s quality, they need to increase their costs.
This common misconception has caused many brands to allocate less money towards quality management in an attempt to save on costs. Unfortunately, this approach is ineffective, especially when trying to satisfy today’s demanding customers who want high-quality products and won’t settle for less. Think about it for a moment; you too are a customer in the consumer market. Would you purchase a product that is of poor quality or has visual defects? The answer is a plain and simple no.
So what should you do?
If you want your brand to gain an advantage over your competitors, you need to implement working quality management systems in your apparel supply chain. There is no way around it. Higher quality products will set you apart from your competition and build loyal customers who know what to expect from your brand - quality.
This blog will now take a closer look at how apparel quality management systems save you money, starting with a brief look at the Cost of Poor Quality.
The Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ)
The COPQ can often be misunderstood. It refers to the money factories need to spend on garment inspections, quality personnel training and the cost of labor to repair products that don’t meet the acceptable quality standards. In other words, it’s the costs associated with NOT improving quality management systems, which is evidently more than the cost of improving your quality management systems. Having a high defect rate will cost your brand more in the long run as you’ll need to cover additional costs such as:
- Re-inspection and re-testing after failure
- Discounts that are given to customers
- Redesign, scrap, and rework of faulty products
- Safety hazards
- Product recall, delay in shipments and disruption of production planning
- Loss of customer loyalty
These internal and external failures cost far more than the cost of enforcing an effective quality management system in your supply chain. By rushing products through the production process in an attempt to reduce manufacturing costs and keep up with industry trends, your brand results in losing quality, value, loyal customers and therefore revenue.
The last thing you want to do is risk making headlines for poor quality and gaining a bad reputation.
Outsource your apparel quality management systems
Improving your textile quality control without increasing costs is a lot easier than you think. Whether your quality management needs to be done on a small or large scale, all brands small or large will benefit from outsourcing quality to textile management professionals. Smaller brands often struggle with conducting quality inspections and laboratory tests on garments as they do not have the workforce or capital. And even though many may have an internal quality control manager or small team, the team often lacks the skills or equipment to ensure that efficient quality management occurs throughout the supply chain. Working with an apparel quality provider also allows smaller businesses to gain a competitive edge over smaller companies.
Larger brands may have a bigger in-house quality team which is expensive to uphold as money is spent on continuous training, salaries, employee benefits such as pension and medical aid, equipment, flights to the factory etc. There are many hidden costs involved when managing quality internally. We understand that the decision to outsource quality is a strategic one that involves weighing the cost savings benefits against the consequences of bringing a third party on board. However, the benefits of outsourcing quality can’t be ignored.
Some of the benefits include:
- Cost effective
- Textile quality partners know the industry inside and out
- Save money on infrastructure and equipment
- No internal or personal conflict as all HR factors fall under quality partner’s responsibility
- Increased internal focus as time is freed up for core business processes
- Location advantage allowing for around the clock business operation
- Increased overall efficiency
For a full list of the benefits of outsourced textile quality management, click here.
If you could get work accomplished at a fraction of the price than what you would usually spend, would you do it? Of course.
Saving money is always an attractive option for any brand owner, but understanding where to allocate your spend is where the real cost savings difference will come in. There is no doubt that enforcing apparel quality management systems in your supply chain will save you time and money, better yet if these systems are outsourced.
Do you work with an apparel quality provider? Do you have any questions with regards to apparel quality management or the apparel industry in general? Please get in touch with us by leaving a comment below. We’re always happy to hear from you!