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Production Delays

This is a topic I hate to talk about.


Delays. We all have them especially when we are working on a new line. Or if you are working with a new factory. Or trying a complicated new design.


As much as I try to avoid not having them, they always happen. Sigh.


For me, I always expect a delay of some sort. I am always prepared. I don’t mean to seem blase about it. But it is just from years of doing production, I am always prepared for some type of delay.


The reasons for delays are many. If I have made the mistake, the reasons are generally:

  • I have not been clear enough in my instructions

  • I should have given better drawings or pictures

  • The factory does not have the skill set to do the project

The way I have minimized delays have been to:

  1. Give super simple and basic instructions. For instance, if I gave the design instructions to a 2nd grader, they can figure it out.

  2. I walk through the samplemaker through the project slowly. If they are overseas I do video calls.

  3. I respond to any and all emails and calls immediately. Wasting time is money!

  4. I check in with my samplemakers almost every day.

  5. I give a clear timeline for the project.

If we have to do any custom work that my factory or samplemaker doesn’t do, I share my resources and try to coordinate that on behalf of them. An example would be a custom zipper puller that the factory does not do because that is done with a metal factory. So to avoid delays I usually order that for them or make an email introduction and share the artwork so there is not a delay.


Delays always happen. Rarely is something done perfectly the first time round.


Sometimes just choosing textiles can cause delays!

I hope some of these basic tips help you the next time you are doing samples or just get you to start your project.

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