I want a price – for whom and why?
I want a price! Help me with a garment costing! From the perspective of the person asking this question, this is one of the easiest questions about doing business; on the other hand, it is also one of the more difficult questions to answer.
A similar situation prevails in Baltic Intertex. Due to each offer being relatively unique in its nature, one must commit to the process, because “just doing it” is not really my strong point. There are times when the company can receive 5-6 inquiries a day and periods when no such emails are sent to us.
Since I like to find logical explanations for why things happen, I started to pay attention to the reasons for such ups and downs in the number of inquiries sent to us, and I did come to find a certain correlation between the time of year and the number of inquiries being sent.
How can one distinguish between school assignments of students who want to pass their subject more easily and all the other possible customers?
One of the more interesting correlations, surprise-surprise, is the time of spring graduations and coursework! During that period, inquiries flood the mailbox – we receive them from Finland, Denmark, France, Sweden, and so on. At a time when I couldn’t see such a connection yet, I used to work like crazy making offers in response to such inquiries, but for some reason, there was always dead silence after the prices had been sent in response! Over time, I began to realize which inquiries it made sense to answer and for which ones it was practical to just provide a couple polite of polite practical questions – “voila”, the person sending the inquiry vanished into thin air!
How can one distinguish between school assignments of students who want to pass their subject more easily and all the other possible customers who work with a real garment costing?
- Lazier students will not even bother sending the inquiry from their personal e-mail address and instead, they will ask for a quote using their university e-mail address.
- See, if the person has already registered a company.
- Ask a specific question and you will very quickly understand how serious your pen pal really is.
Some funny stories…
A few fun stories come to mind in regard to schoolwork.
I received an e-mail requesting to receive garment costing calculations for their fashion collection. The file included ~30 model drawings, when I however asked about the material for the top layer of the fabric, the other person responded that it was not important for them right now. Of course, the choice of that material is what the choices of auxiliary materials and technological solutions used for the model depend on. Bingo – one student just got a little smarter!
e were asked for the garment costing calculations for the production, together with proper model drawings. We also received technical documentation also nicely presenting the washing instructions with the composition of the material. If the other party still assures you after several e-mails that the composition of the material must be 95% cotton and 10% elastane, then it is not worth taking such an inquiry for receiving a quote very seriously, because everyone knows that the fiber content must always add up to 100%.
Just recently, I received a phone call from somebody who wanted to know how much it would cost to make samples of nightwear and design the cuts. Then, when I asked the caller what kind of nightwear this would be, then the answer was “simple, one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece pyjamas with as many details as possible”. When I expressed my wonder at how pyjamas can be in three pieces and how the product is both simple and detailed would really be possible, I was told that he has the drawings and the collection is ready, but that a price would still be needed from me first.
Dear students – this is not how to do things! Please contribute your own effort to your schoolwork, but you are warmly welcomed to contact Baltic Intertex for mentoring or coaching. Every unpleasant question I pose to you will actually help you improve yourself.
Here are just a few tips for the designer
The other season coincides with the time after clothing fairs. This too has a good reason, because either novice designers have received positive feedback for their collection, or they have been inspired to develop their next collection. In the first case, the designer has a real need to find a suitable production partner. In the second case, the people want to develop the new collection on a more professional level.
Often the need for a partner also arises due to the fact that if the quantities of the first collections were suitable for independent production, then with the number of orders growing, it is just necessary to find a partner together with whom to grow and develop.
This kind of growth together with a partner is actually very nice because then we are able to apply the knowledge of Baltic Intertex’s professionals and provide the designer with confidence that the products will fit well – this is ultimately a delight for both the end consumer and both of the parties.
Here are just a few tips for the designer on how to make the process of asking for a quote from Baltic Intertex smoother and less time consuming:
- Send us a model drawing with strategic dimensions (total product length, sleeve length, the width of the bottom edge)
- Let us know the production volume and scale of the planned models
- Add information about different fabrics and colors to your e-mail
Such data will allow Baltic Intertex to offer an approximate price for production and the time required to model the cut. We will provide the specified price offer after preparing the samples. We guarantee that our garment costing calculations covers all needful fields needed for the later production.
Over time, Baltic Intertex has developed a practice requiring a minimum number of 50 pieces of the model to be produced with at least 5 different sizes being marked on the measurement scale. It is often not possible to meet our desired minimum quantity of products for all models. However, this product may be an important part of the collection, which can be not produced just because of the small number of products. In such cases, Baltic Intertex uses additional coefficients for small batches in which the production volume of the models is less than 50, this leaves the designer with a choice to produce the product or decide against it.
…small batches as sustainable production
We see the production of small batches as sustainable production, with which Baltic Intertex, in cooperation with the designer, is reducing the size of both companies’ ecological footprints. First, there is no need to order surplus fabric that just stays in stock one way or another or to produce products simply to meet the manufacturer’s quota for the minimum quantity of products being ordered.
Proper pricing is the key to business success. Be smart and calculate carefully or just ask help from Baltic Intertex
I find it important to mention that Baltic Intertex bets on designers who need professional product development support and the assurance that prices in terms of the quality of the product which they are selling, they are able to confidently compete with world-renowned manufacturers offering their products at premium prices.
We will be very happy if you think that this story could be of interest to your friends.