Should you put all your eggs in one basket and go with a nominated supplier? Or should you divide and go direct to local manufacturers, or perhaps both? The question of so many fashion and retail branding buyers and purchasing departments today: shall I go with a nominated supplier?
For all you buyers out there who have been toying this decision for a while and probably still can't decide, here is a list of pros and cons of nominated supply. We can't promise it will make the decision for you, but it sure will help you see the benefits and also the disadvantages of nominated supply.
Every brand is different. Perhaps you are just looking for simple ways to reduce your trimming costs, but love your current supply chains? If so, then take a look at this e-book on 10 different way to reduce your trimming costs without even impacting the design or quality of your branding.
Perhaps you would like to have a finger in both pies. Give some of your branding ranges to a nominated supplier and still go direct to local manufacturing with other ranges. Many brands do this. It does, however, reduce some of the advantages full nominated supply can bring - such as consistency.
The advantages of Nominated Supply1) Consistency
Every brand strives for consistency across their ranges. This strengthens your brand identity and communication of your brand values. A nominated supplier brings all your collections together under one roof ensuring quality and design looks and feels the same consistently.
A nominated supplier woud typically have excellent quality control procedures in place to ensure all your branding meets the agreed standard. Having your branding consistent across all your collections immediately increases the value of your company in the consumer's eyes.
2) Complete brand management from design to delivery
You can literally reduce your resource requirements in your buying team when you go with nominated supply. They can work directly with your designers, or you can even use their designers if they have available. They would work with your team to cut out the need for you to do research, negotiation and sourcing.
3) Global Stock Holding wherever You Require
Most nominated suppliers have multiple warehousing facilities right across the world. This means you can stock hold your branding trims locally to your garment vendors. This ensures reduced import duties, trading in local currency and fast deliveries. It also gives you the opportunity to make agreements with your supplier for efficient stock management meaning you can order larger quantities, benefit from better price rates, and hold in stock not at your own cost. Win win for your brand!
Flexibility for a buyer with no effort on your behalf? Definately a huge plus brought by a nominated fashion branding supplier! A nominated supplier would already have many contacts and experienced manufacturing bases set up meaning they can cater exactly to your requirements without you having to do any of the leg work. It's all ready and set up for you.
As with anything, there is for sure to be a downside or two. No kidding, nominated supply does have its disadvantages.
Reasons to avoid Nominated Supply
1) They cost more.
It's pretty general knowledge that a nominated supplier is more expensive than a local factory. They are the middle man, after all. Great service does make up for this, but if you don't have the money in the first place, then nominated supply is probabaly not for you.
2) Longer supply chain
They are the middle man so it does lengthen your supply chain which therefore can impact your delivery leadtimes. Then again, with the established clout a nominated supplier has, they can actually shorten leadtimes for you! It's a good idea to find this out during decision stage as to the capabilities of your nominated supplier.
3) Risky just going with one?
Yes, putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. What if they went bust? What if all your branding trims were handled by one supplier and the chain broke? We suggest you do your research thoroughly before deciding on your nominated supplier. Be sure they are stable and you have back up agreements in place. Just a precautionary measure but they can come in handy!
Going with a nominated supplier is definitely recommended. It provides you with a good communication base where you can have greater predictability of delivery, consistency through your ranges and secure management of your branding requirements.
While you're thinking about this, we have a few tips for you on ways you as a buyer can save money without compromising your design or quality of branding. Here are 10 ways to reduce cost on branding and the design department will still love you!