I have been working for a very big company and have been in charge with „sourcing for denim“. Sourcing means in this case:
- finding the fabrics and production units,
- setting up a fabric library,
- development of all denim styles,
- assuring a buying price which allows the company to create a certain profit,
- making sure that the producer will be able to deliver in time.
With the exception of some kids garments, everything was produced in China, which appeared to be very risky as the prices went up, the margins tended to become ridiculous and the quality of the products and the fit consistency showed room for improvements.
Another big part was bought at vendors which produced wherever it suited them.
This was the situation when I was asked to develop some ideas to increase the quality of our pro ducts and brush up our denim business.
First I checked with how many factories we are working and how many fabrics we are using. The same was done for all our vendors. The result was awful – too many suppliers, much too much fabrics and an average order per supplier which was ridiculous.
Together with my boss, we visited all our suppliers and as well the countries where we thought, we must find production facilities. We visited as well factories and laundries of vendors. The result was as expected. We produced in horrible places or in factories which don’t match our needs. But we found as well factories which could solve all our problems. All factories which we visited have been rated.
Like this we created a pool of informations which helped us to decide, what we want to do in future and how we can increase our performance.