1. BUYING ON PRICE RATHER THAN QUALITY...
Regardless of your budget or time frame for delivery, you should never take short cuts when it comes to quality. All too often customers are convinced in to buying a product that is not suitable to their needs. Why? Simply because the apparel supplier tried to sell on price and not on what is best suited to the needs that you have. The old saying is true in dealing with suppliers.... "You get what you paid for". Cheapest does not always mean best for the long run. Generally speaking cheaper products are made from cheaper fabrics. Cheaper fabrics are not necessarily treated to last as long which means that you will have to replace the uniforms sooner which in the end, costs you more. Here at PLANETT, we offer both price competitive and high quality products but we will seek to supply the most appropriate product based on your needs and not on the dollar.
2. NOT RESEARCHING YOUR POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS BUSINESS HISTORY.
One of the greatest errors that customers can make is by not asking a couple of simple questions to a potential supplier. *How long have you been in business under your current trading name? I state this first as i see it time and time again where a clothing business opens and closes faster than a politicians promise. Over our 20 years of trading, we have seen it! Customers do not check on the potential supplier and buy blindly. The supplier closes down and takes their money with them. The apparel industry is a tough industry as legit businesses have to compete against Back-Yarders with no infastructure and no clue.
3. NOT RESEARCHING YOUR POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE...
We have seen time and time again, a mum and or dad wake up one day and decide that they want to start up a clothing label. Just look at Instagram! Every day a new clothing brand starts up... Without any experience and without any clue, they find someone to sell them tees and then they find someone to print them. Then from their arm chair, they start to look for customers under the guise of a new apparel supplier. A business mentor once said... "A bride would not get her makeup made by a clown so why would people buy branded apparel from businesses with no experience and no machinery"
If you are intending to spend your hard earned money, find out from your potential supplier their history. Dont worry about their future as this can make a great sales pitch based on dreams. Find out what experience that they had in the apparel industry before starting their business. You would not open a Mechanics business without first doing your apprenticeship! Find out where they worked and why they decided to go out on their own. If they can not answer this, i would suggest spending your money elsewhere.
Our next issue with potential suppliers is that they may not even know how to operate apparel based software. Put simply, they have not been taught or they have not got the experience in dealing with graphic art work programs, apparel sizing software and more.
4. NOT RESEARCHING YOUR POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS INVESTMENT IN TO THEIR OWN BUSINESS...
One of the most important questions you should ask your potential supplier is, "Do you own your own machines?". MOST will answer.... "No but we out-source to a mates business who knows someone that supplies him the clothing!" Personally, i would never order my branded garments from a business that does not have the facility to do the branding of the garments in their own factory. Why? If a mistake is make on your embroidery or printing, they can wash their hands of it. They will say it is not their fault as they out-source everything, that you were made aware of the fact that they outsource and that they only sell the clothing. You are now left with garments that you can not wear.
If the potential supplier has not invested in to machinery.... run! They obviously do not value their business enough to invest in to it ... so why should you!
When you call a potential supplier, ask if they have their own machines and even state that you want to come in and see them. IF they say that the machines are kept at a different factory, then the machines most likely are not theirs. We have invested heavily into having our own machines on site. We are 100% responsible for your job. If a mistake is made, we fix it at our cost and not at yours.
Frequently our industry is flooded with new suppliers that have not even stepped foot in to the factory where their outsourced apparel is made. Our biggest gripe with this is that if they have not been to the factories, how do they know what chemicals are being used to manufacture the fabrics which their customers will be wearing against their skin or worse yet.. against their childs skin. Businesses and clubs are liable should they be providing apparel to members or to staff that are not safe.
At the end of the day, who is REALLY handling your logo..
5. NOT CHECKING TO SEE IF THE POTENTIAL SUPPLIER IS A FULL TIME BUSINESS OR AN AFTER THOUGHT FROM A FULL TIME JOB.
This point is so true. A number of potential suppliers do not even operate the business as a full time business. Instead they will attend to their customers and jobs after having worked at a full time job, after having dinner, after putting the kids to bed... then they might get around to your job.
You should be able to call up and speak to each employee relevant to your job as you need and for businesses, this is during working hours. Find out from your potential supplier if they in fact operate a full time business or if it is a side business. Customers that are spending their hard earned cash, deserve proper attention at convenient times to them and not the supplier.
6. TOO MANY OPINIONS AND NOT ENOUGH DECISIONS...
One of the major hassles for committees, clubs, teams, schools, businesses etc... is trying to keep everyone happy and this is ever true when wanting to order new apparel for your organisation. Apparel is personal. It is worn by the person and clothing is part of a persons identity. For this reason, everyone feels that they have a right to have an opinion of the direction of any new uniform. Once this happens.... too many opinions and not enough action will occur.
It is important to understand the needs and requirements of those that will be wearing the apparel but it is also important to assign a person or small group of people to be in charge of the decision making process. Often we see it when organisations seek everyones input that they get so tired down with opinions that they fail to act. To ensure a smooth process it is important to put people in charge of making the final choices and then backing them.
This is our industry. This is our full time job. This is where we have invested well over a million dollars in the past 20 years in to our business, machines, infrastructure, software and so much more... to ensure that we meet the growing needs and expectations of our customers.
You work too hard for your money to just spend it with any business. Research them. Ask questions of them and at the end of the day, you simply can not buy experience. Finally we want to stress, if a potential supplier has not invested in to their own business... THEN NOR SHOULD YOU.