Last week I provided an insight into the Originals creative design process; the next phase is production which is a much trickier beast.
Figure 1: Production can be tricksy
Like many things in life (e.g. delays on public transportation, queuing at the Post Office etc) we become frustrated when we are no longer in control of a situation and through production we relinquish much of the control.
The first step of production is liaison with the factory. It normally helps if you have existing experience with the factory especially if you are using one from another country, in our case the factory is based in China. Research in to the factory is essential to ensure that the processes that are used and the conditions of the workers is in line with your own corporate and social responsibilities. After receiving the drawings there may be some deliberation, if there is a tricky element to the design. A round of negotiations is normally undertaken to ensure that the cost is suitable for all parties, timescales are agreed and any late fees and terms and conditions are also stated. It is then a case of sorting invoices, purchase orders and payments are made.
Then the waiting game begins.
It is always important to receive regular updates during production, ensuring that pre-production samples are received on time prior to the large order being delivered. There are still a number of elements that can go wrong, the freight forwarder can be troublesome, the factory may be late or samples are incorrect. There are many things out of control and planning will only go so far. Business relationships and your ability to handle these ‘curve balls’ is the key to minimising any impact, especially if you have a customer waiting for goods.
There is always a sense of relief when the items are correct, on time and all funds are cleared and at that point you can have a therapeutic cup of tea and start the process again!!
Here’s a viral to cheer you up on a wet Tuesday afternoon