In part two of this four-part series, Patrick addresses quality.
Q: What are apparel manufacturers’ worst fears?
A: There are many, including any that have a direct relationship with the factory’s bottom line. For instance, some common fears include:
- Lack of orders for the current or next season
- Loss or potential loss of customers
- Air shipments due to late delivery and/or poor quality
- Customer claims or returned products
Q: Most of these issues are a result of poor quality. Do apparel factories normally track statistics related to quality problems?
A: Most, if not all, factories collect defect data on an hourly and daily basis. But, many do not sufficiently study and use this data to drive quality improvements.
Unfortunately, quality is often not top of mind for factory leaders, and they rarely have quality data fresh at hand. And, even the factory leaders that do utilize this information sometimes find it difficult to sustain an improvement plan.