5 Simple Questions You Should Ask A Factory Before Working With Them

Choosing a factory is hard. There are so many things to consider from their quality control programs to their capabilities, and much more. However, because the process is sometimes so detailed, you forget some of the more generalized questions that you should be asking. That’s why in this post we will be giving you 5 questions you should be asking your factory to get to know them. After all, you are essentially interviewing them.

What are your lead times?

Sometimes people get so hung up on learning the processes of the factory or their work ethic or how organized they are that they forget one of the most important questions: what are your lead times? Would it work for your timeline?

What’s your preferred communication method?

If you’re looking to find out what it’s like to work with a factory, learning how they communicate is integral to knowing if they are a good production partner fit. Ask them if they’re open to taking phone calls with you or if they prefer to communicate through email. If your factory is a bit out of driving distance, ask if they’re open to video chatting so that you can see the production process. If you are someone that needs to be a part of the process, then this is certainly a question you need to ask.

Related Reading: How to Choose the Right Materials | CMT vs FPP: What Type of Factory Do You Need? | What is Top of Production (TOP)?

Are you open to factory visits?

Do you work close to your factory? Well, chances are that you’ll be wanting to visit during production. However, not all factories are open to that — often for privacy reasons or safety. So, if you’re the type of person that would want to be there to see the process and touch the product, make sure your factory is okay with that.

How busy is the factory and when is your busiest season?

You can ask questions about their time management or the size of their factory, but the best way to find out if a factory fits your time constraints is just asking if they’re busy or not. Most factories have a busy season — usually, this is right before a season starts — so you can expect their resources to be spread a little thin. However, it’s also important to ask if they hire additional staff for the busy seasons.

When can you start?

People always forget this questions because they get distracted by lead times, minimums, etc. However, it doesn’t matter if a factory can meet your timeline if they can’t start when you need them to start. So, ask them when production would start. If not right away, then when? Are they working on another client that they would have to finish first?

There are tons of other small questions that brands forget to ask. What is a question that you wished you asked before working with a factory?


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  • http://www.5threadfactory.com/ Brian Zuckerman

    The most important question to ask, which is not on this list… is the “factory” the actual factory? Do they do the work in-house? Or are they brokers outsourcing to other factories? The #1 reason factories don’t allow a visit is because they don’t actually do the work. Safety and privacy are not legitimate reasons to deny access… just an excuse to shroud the fact that your work sits elesewhere, out of view and out of your control.