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:
Give super simple and basic instructions. For instance, if I gave the design instructions to a 2nd grader, they can figure it out.
I walk through the samplemaker through the project slowly. If they are overseas I do video calls.
I respond to any and all emails and calls immediately. Wasting time is money!
I check in with my samplemakers almost every day.
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.
I hope some of these basic tips help you the next time you are doing samples or just get you to start your project.