Yes, using contract manufacturing for your new lingerie line can be very profitable. Like fashion, the lingerie industry can be very brutal. The lingerie world is known to be very competitive, saturated, and exhausting. Although it is a smaller section of the fashion industry, it has witnessed massive growth and the demand for faster turnaround rates and cutting-edge products are as high as ever.
Owing to that, and also to attain success in the market, a good number of lingerie businesses are leveraging the expertise and technologies of contract manufacturers. There are many reasons why working with a contract manufacturer when starting a lingerie line is a very viable option. For one, these experts help businesses to decrease costs.
Also, note that they allow lingerie businesses to benefit from lower overhead expenses and/or greater economies of scale for the operation they are hired for. Aside from the cost, other reasons for contract manufacturing include access to new technology, quality, capacity, faster lead times, expertise, flexibility, and better return on resources.
Also, note that they can provide all kinds of underwear and have independent customer warehouses. Additionally, the underwear they make is most often uniformly inspected for quality before shipment, and they can guarantee a high-quality underwear supply.
They can also provide customized services and can provide you with all kinds of customized underwear. However, just as with any business option, there are both pros and cons associated with this idea, and you must consider them extensively before making this very crucial decision.
Pros and Cons of Using Contract Manufacturing for your Lingerie Line
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More focus on selling activities
Truth be told, contract manufacturing helps lingerie businesses to focus on the most important areas of the business. Have it in mind that selling products is a gigantic task, especially owing to the competitive and exhausting nature of the lingerie market. Note that a lingerie line through the outsourcing of its production activities can get more opportunities to focus on other activities.
This is, without doubt, one of the most important benefits of using contract manufacturing. Have it in mind that they help to increase the profits of the lingerie business. Note that by outsourcing manufacturing to a contract manufacturer, your lingerie line can then focus on a particular set of tasks and seek ways to maximize each for the betterment of the business.
Also note that contract manufacturing can give your lingerie line unrestricted access to technology, new skills, and expertise that you, ordinarily, do not have the option to utilize. This will lead to improved productivity and quality as contracting with a manufacturer with formidable expertise can guarantee advanced manufacturing practices and better economies of scale.
It can be quite challenging for a new lingerie line to scale its products and designs with restricted resources at hand. However, since contract manufacturers boast of more resources, they will make it possible for you to scale your product.
For one, contract manufacturers can quickly scale production to meet your business needs and demands. With these adaptable measures, you can take your product to new levels and also be in full control of demand fluctuation.
Delay in delivery
You need to understand that contract manufacturers are experts in what they do. It also means that they cater to the needs of not just you but other lingerie companies. These businesses are also known to carry out production activities on a very large scale, and owing to this workload, they will most likely be unable to produce their products on time.
Most often, when lingerie businesses seek contract manufacturers, they aim for those in developing or low-cost nations. Have in mind that these countries have various traditions, languages, cultures, and lead times. Also note that the quality of the products might not be as high as you want it, and the working conditions in these factories can also be unregulated.
Lack of Control
When you outsource your lingerie production, some aspects of control in your business are lost. While this may not always be noticeable, it can become a serious issue when something goes wrong. However, one viable way to mitigate concerns about a loss of control is to only work with a manufacturer that is very easy to contact or visit face to face.
Lack of flexibility
Just as with losing some aspects of control, you also lose the ability to react to market conditions. Have it in mind that the lingerie sector of the fashion industry tends to constantly experience fluctuations in the market concerning the demand for underwear.
Note that businesses that don’t have direct control over production activities may find it hard to influence their supply chain, and this makes it quite challenging for them to satisfy their customer’s demands.
How to Find Lingerie Manufacturers
Finding a reliable underwear manufacturer is without doubt a very challenging task and can be more difficult if you are seeking one as unique as a custom lingerie manufacturer. Although there are numerous clothing manufacturers, finding the one that aligns with your needs and business budget is a daunting task. However, here are platforms to leverage when seeking lingerie manufacturers for your business.
One very notable way to find a custom lingerie manufacturer is to use online platforms that help to connect you directly to them. Numerous website directories list manufacturers, suppliers, clothing line agents, and more. Note that they most often let you filter out your options and choose the most viable choices for your custom lingerie manufacturing needs.
The contact information of these companies will also be made available in the website directories and it then falls on you to reach out to them directly for inquiries. However, remember to be careful especially since fraud and coordination problems are still relatively prevalent.
This is genuinely the traditional method of finding suppliers and manufacturers. In trade fairs, you will most definitely find a manufacturer for your custom lingerie product. However, one notable issue with this route is that you have to be patient and willing to go through the process of visiting each manufacturer’s booths one by one.
Have it in mind that the numbers can be staggering, the busy atmosphere can be tiresome and people with small quantities are most often not attended to. Howbeit, you get the opportunity to talk to them personally and directly inquire about their services.
If you intend to work with local manufacturers, then you should consider reaching out to government agencies covering the local manufacturing industry. These government agencies tend to keep a list of all manufacturing companies and suppliers operating within a particular area.
They may also direct you on the exact company to contract based on the company’s reputation. Note that these should be good standards to follow when selecting your custom lingerie manufacturer.
You can also choose to work with manufacturing agents or contact them to do the task for you. Note that these agents tend to have solid contacts with factories and suppliers and they can easily sort out their contacts depending on the type of lingerie you intend on making.
While this will cost just a small consultancy fee, you will most definitely find a custom lingerie manufacturer without having to stress yourself by going to a trade fair or doing an online search. Note that these agents can be found on social media channels such as LinkedIn. You only have to type in your product’s keywords coupled with the word ‘agent’ and you will find a lot of them.
The only disadvantage of working with agents is that you won’t be able to directly communicate with the manufacturer or supplier because the agent will serve as a middleman. You won’t also be able to negotiate on the service fees since there is no direct contact with the manufacturer.
Indeed using contract manufacturing for your new lingerie line can be very profitable; however, you must find the perfect fit for your lingerie line. The first thing you need to do to determine if your manufacturer is the perfect fit for your business is to verify that they make the sort of lingerie you need. Note that the right manufacturer for your business should be an expert in what you need.