Low quantity orders to boost your brand
We try to make it as easy as possible for you to start your brand with low quantity orders, so you can invest in multiple pieces or in other parts of your company besides the products you are going to sell.
It sounds all good, low quantity orders, not big investments, able to invest in a collection instead of one piece. Ofcourse, low quantity orders contribute to your success as a starting brand. However it comes with a handbook to produce in Europe (in this case especially in The Netherlands), are we trying to scare you off and set you off to the high quantity orders? No, I would like to prepare you, so that you know what to expect and how we are able to help you with this process. (And what benefits it can give you).
With high quantity orders you deliver a tech-pack and the manufacturer organises everything in-house, so what you get back of the manufacturer is a sample and after approval you receive the batch of garments, accessories or products in bulk delivered at your office front door. Great! However our experience is that you get feedback very soon after your first delivery from your customers and that sets you in a weird position as a business-owner. You are proud of your product, however you also want it to be the best version you can imagine. So after your first deliveries you know what to change and you still have to sell the rest of the bulk before you can change the design (a bit) and order it again in bulk.
With low quantity orders you also deliver a tech-pack, or an idea and we can design the tech-pack for you. The manufacturer for low quantity orders isn't in the position to make the fabrics from yarns for your order, because it has to make way more meters than will be used for your order, so we have to turn to suppliers who are specialised in selling fabrics, this means there are some restrictions in fabrics and colors that are available (there is a lot out there). After all materials that are needed have been delivered to the manufacturer, the production can begin. With low quantity orders you also receive a sample first, with low quantity order we can order as many samples as needed for going to production. After that you receive (depending on the garment/product) 10 to 30 pieces. With the sample you can already start the pre-orders and after receiving the order you can start delivering. In this case don't have to be scared of the feedback you get, and can even actively collect feedback to make your product better (and engage your customers). With the collected feedback you can make the desired design changes and you are way quicker with iterating on you existing product.
So hereby the quick summary for low quantity order projects
- More suppliers
- Restricted to assortiment of suppliers
+ Able to iterate quickly
+ Smaller investments
+ More comfortable to actively collect feedback
+ Able to get more iterations in the sampling process
+ Less work on stock management
+ Able to get monthly a delivery of stock (when you will grow)
The process of producing in low quantity
The party you are going to do business with is most likely able to help you with forming your tech-pack. So you are able to start a brand with only an idea or a rough sketch. This means that you start with a design process, the idea (or rough sketch) will be turned into a real product, during this process you will receive one or multiple prototypes, ready for fitting or testing. Some designers work with low-end prototypes. A low-end prototype is a prototype that has exactly the same form as your product will be, but is made from a cheaper material, doesn't have lining or misses some finishing touches (without zippers or other accessories).
During this process all materials that are needed for you product. Make sure that they will search for a supplier that also can deliver the fabrics for your production runs. Choosing materials that are part of a temporary collections brings a certain risk of the consistency of your own collection. This isn't a problem at all if you are creating for a unique and temporary collection.
The next step is a big one, when the design and all materials needed are approved by you, you have a point of no-return, at least not without making costs. It is recommended to ask your designer to these points of no-return. These are the points that orders are placed at the suppliers and that the designer/manufacturer is making costs for your project.
Tip: If you want to have extra control on this process you can ask your designer/manufacturer to not finance the materials for you, instead of that ask that you may pay the bills yourself. It is important to make sure you communicate directly to the designer/manufacturer when the order is paid and what the delivery estimates are.
Questions your designer/manufacturer will ask
What is the timeframe? Is there a event that sets the deadline for your collection?
How big is your team? What are the roles you envision on your end?
Is it a temporary collection or would you like to be consistent?
Do you already produce in Europe?
What quality are you looking for the product?
Most likely you will get some more questions like this from the designer you will work with. Every designer has a process of getting to know potential clients (that's you).
Questions of your own?
Make sure you have your own questions at hand when you talk to your designer, about his or her process and what you can expect during the process. Make appointments about communication during the process, and if you have a certain investment ready for this project it can come in handy to name it at the beginning before the designers makes a offer, this can help to get the project much quicker of the ground. If the offer doesn't fit you needs and demands keep communicating with the designer/manufacturer, state out the differences and ask what the next step can be.
If you have any questions left please contact us via our chat.
Good luck with your project!
We would like to keep this post as realistic as possible (every project is different of course), so if you would like to share your experience with us. We will update this post accordingly. You can leave your feedback via our chat. We would much appreciate it.