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Texprocess 2013 to help find new apparel producers
01
Dec '12
The buyers of today on the hunt for price competitive production sites must take more than just price and the ability to supply into account: sustainability is needed in all aspects of production including the local working conditions, whilst manufacturers must also be flexible. In the world of today, as the requirements of consumers in terms of price, quality and design have increased, buyers, production managers and quality assurance experts are just as globally active as they were before – in spite of digital networking. Procurement – also called ‘sourcing’ – must take account of disparate needs.

Every company focuses on different aspects. Anyone in search of new manufacturing companies or countries should visit Source it at Texprocess from 10 – 13 June 2013. In regions with a low level of industrialization, the clothing industry is regarded as a pioneering sector of the national economy. Sewing machines require minimal investment and people can be quickly trained to perform simple sewing tasks.

In what is termed ‘outward processing’ the client provides everything, the materials are cut to size, the appropriate number of sewing threads, buttons, zip fastenings etc. are supplied and prefinanced. The manufacturer’s only responsibility is for the sewing work. As a result it is possible to also keep wages low. However, as the ability to carry out complicated sewing jobs increases, material is procured locally, tailoring is done in-house and products are graded according to client specification, the prices increase. Insiders call the procurement of finished clothing ‘full service’; the producer does all the preparation work and takes the risk.

Philosophy of total process control

To have traceability back as far as raw material production – what is called green labelling – involves a lot of work and such control costs money. The budget for this can be allocated to your own employees or alternatively also to external quality control organisations (Öko-Tex; Zürich, is the one of the most well respected institutions in this segment). These costs are reflected in the price of the product. Whether production is carried out in-house or by external suppliers is in the first instance irrelevant. Another option for total process control is the fully integrated businesses that cover all areas from the production of textiles to the manufacture of clothing.

Some of these companies run their own power plants to produce electricity; some have treatment plants to clean their waste water as well as having their own chain stores and fleets of vehicles for sales and distribution. Besides process control the advantage is to avoid the profit margins of upstream suppliers – the prices of the finished products can be kept low. Having your own companies abroad, local joint ventures with foreign companies or equity investments is a third way of achieving in-house process control. One thing is clear: if you want to buy quality – however you wish to define it – you need to exercise control through your own or external staff.

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