Selecting the Right Supplier to Partner - Sustainability, Quality & Reliability
electing the right factory and supplier partner is key to delivering a good quality product on time and to the right price, regardless of the industry. Here at Studio 104, this process has been fine tuned to enable us to deliver high quality luxury uniform which is consciously and ethically sourced.
Below, we have outlined just some of the factors that are considered when selecting our suppliers.
The first factor to consider, is to evaluate and finalise what is required from the new partner. What product does the factory specialise in, and which other luxury brands do they work with? It’s also worthwhile looking into if they have any testimonials from current clients.
This is a great starting point, and given how small the industry is, there are often common associates and colleagues who have worked with the supplier previously to ask their thoughts. This then links on to the second consideration of good communication.
Building the relationship with the account manager is vital to enable a thorough understanding of what will be required for production. This works two ways, with both the brand and the supplier having to be clear on what is expected to build the relationship successfully.
The next step is to then visit and carry out the initial factory audit. This is a standard process which covers all aspects of their business to ensure they are the right partner. Employee conditions for both safety and standard of working are reviewed, and a thorough check of the production facility is carried out. The audit also incorporates environmental aspects which are paramount to a long term relationship. In-house recycling, waste water treatment, and a renewable energy supply like solar panels are huge plus points within the industry, and encouraging our suppliers to embrace these practices is imperative.
Once all initial discussions and checks have been carried out, small runs of sampling can be started at the chosen facility. Regular visits and video calls are key in maintaining a high standard of production and a happy working relationship.
The above is just a brief outline of the steps involved in finding new partnerships within manufacturing. As with any task, good communication from the outset is key, as well as a clear understanding of what both parties are required to undertake.
Written by Sarah - Chief Operating Officer
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