A Note from Quickfeat Partner, Glenn Willard
With all the recent chatter about the China tariffs, and the majority of Quickfeat’s account base uncertain about what may happen, here are a few things to consider.
If one is considering sourcing simple, mass produced, high quantity garment production, and cost is the number one consideration, there are plenty of South Asia countries willing to produce these garments outside of China.
The big questions are:
- Is the factory socially and environmentally compliant? Do they care?
- What are their company initiatives?
- Is the factory partner willing to produce smaller quantities?
- Do they have a work force that can produce high quality, technical garments with lots of make or just simple styles with very limited complexity?
Additional thoughts to consider:
- Severing a long-term relationship with one of your partners’ factories may have an upfront savings, but one must consider the time it takes to set up a new entity. Are you setting yourself up for failure because your timeline does not allow you to make such a transition?
- Will you really get all the cost savings you expect after one season? Or, have they given you a good intro price, but after a season the new facility realizes they need to rework the pricing due to complexity, etc. You may end up looking for a new factory again or bringing programs back to a factory you recently departed.
- What are their supplier relationships/connections and how long have those business relationships been in place (a few months, years or decades)?
- MOST importantly, can they deliver quality goods and on time? What is their Quality Control (QC) inspection process? Remember that once shipped, QC repairs or re-production can be very costly.
- Lastly, should tariffs be instituted, the additional costs will most likely be passed on by the retailers to the consumers. The wholesalers and manufactures have no margins left to negotiate, so the consumer will ultimately pay the cost and the playing field will be equal.
In closing, keep in mind, tariffs or no tariffs, Quickfeat China has for over 30 years trained a highly-skilled work force capable of producing garments with lots of make at a fair price, delivered on time, with very few QC issues and low Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). In addition, Quickfeat (and many other Chinese facilities) have invested time and money making sure they are socially and environmentally compliant, meeting worldwide expectations and standards. If this is important to your company, asking the right questions will help you select the best partner.