Welcome to Day 5 of the Get Set for Manufacturing Challenge!
Day 5 – Collating your information
Today it’s all about putting together everything that you’ve learnt this week and presenting it in a format so that you are ready to meet a manufacturer.
So to recap, in the last 5 days we’ve looked at:
Before you contact a manufacturer here’s a checklist of what you should ideally have prepared:
- Products – Designs and descriptions of any products you want to make, including any technical terms
- Materials – The details of any materials you want to use.
- Trims – These can have long lead-times so plane ahead
- Target Selling Prices – Based on your market research
- Target Cost Prices – Includes manufacturing costs, materials and trims costs, labels and packaging
- Quantities – How many of each item you want to make in your first production run
How do you put it all together?
That very much depends on the type of manufacturing you are looking for.
Some, particularly smaller sample makers, will be happy for you to take all of the above information, along with some sketches or photos, and they will work with you to create first samples.
Other manufacturers may ask for something known as a tech pack or specification sheet. The two are slightly different but in my experience they are often used interchangeably.
– A specification sheet is a single document that contains a flat line drawing with all of the measurements on for that particular product.
– A tech pack is often used by the fashion industry and has a lot more detail on it. Not only will it include the design sketch, materials and trims, but it can also include swatches and other details. A spec sheet with measurements and grades (the measurements for each size) is also included.
What do you do if you’re not a designer or you can’t draw?
Don’t worry. It’s a myth that you have to have great drawing skills to get your design ideas across to a manufacturer.
There are many ways to do it, some without even putting pencil to paper. You could use images from magazines or on the internet or samples that you have found that have the shape or details that you like.
And sketches that are basic outline drawings are just fine – honestly, they don’t have to be works of art!
Do a Google image search using the words ‘tech pack’ and the name of your product as defined on day one, and see what comes up.
Don’t get to worried if you can’t find anything, just move onto the next type of product you have on your list. The main aim of this task is to get you familiar with what a tech pack or specification drawing looks like.
Think about the details you might put on a tech pack for one of your products based on the research you’ve done so far this week.
You don’t need to do a tech pack at this stage – just have an idea of what one is, so that you are informed if a manufacturer starts talking about them.
All you need at this point is enough information to be able to confidently contact a manufacturer and be clear about what you need.
How to find the information
It is important to do a Google Image search, and not just a normal Google search.
Perform a normal Google search and then at the top you have the option to select just images.
If you can’t find what you need Pinterest is also good for tech pack and specification drawing images.