Updated: Jul 2, 2020
by Alex Berryman
Our #1 recommendation for a smooth manufacturing process is to allow enough time each step. Market research, finalizing designs, sampling, sustainable sourcing, ethical sewing production, all take time if you want to get it right. If you rush through your production process without care for the details you will likely end up with underdeveloped designs which may result in poor quality products. If you do not allow adequate time for sourcing the materials you want to use in your designs, you may have to compromise and go with what is available quickly.
In order to avoid these problems and to get products that you love, it's important to have a clear understanding of the process and the normal timelines. Here we share the industry-standard process and the timeline for a production run. While it can differ between manufacturers and can vary somewhat based on the product complexity, this will give you a general idea and help you start planning for your *successful and smooth* production run.
Step 1: Submit Design Ideas (1 week - 1 Month)
Whether these are photos or a tech pack, your manufacturer will collect details on your design to understand what steps and components are necessary to construct your product. The more information you give them the faster they get to work! To create a tech pack, check out this link for a comprehensive guide!
Step 2 : Developing the Product (1 month - 4 months)
During this step, your manufacturers will begin sampling your product and sourcing your materials. Leadtimes can fluctuate based on the complexity of the design and where the sample materials are coming from, some materials must be imported and have a longer lead time.
Sampling is your opportunity to establish aesthetics and functionality as well as a time for your manufacturer to confirm they understand your idea. At Purnaa we also use this time to explore with clients the most efficient ways to make their products, developing strategies that can save time and money in production. Once a final sample is completed, consider requesting salesmen samples to use for creating excitement around your product while production is underway.
Step 3: Prepare All Materials (1 week - 3 months)
With sampling complete, the materials for the production run will be ordered from the suppliers. Depending on the material supplier's lead times and types of shipping, it can take up to 3 months or more to receive all the materials.
Step 4: Production (3 weeks - 3 months)
Once all the materials arrive, production is ready to begin. The fabric will be cut, graded for size, printed, and sewn. It's great to ask your manufacturer what quality standards they follow, and to establish a clear quality standard so you can ensure no surprises are headed your way. Learn more about the industry's quality control standards here.
Step 5: Production Finishes ( 2 weeks - 1 month)
The last item rolls off the line and will be packed for shipping. Check-in with your manufacturer to ensure they facilitate exporting and see what is necessary on your part to import the product to your country. Because Purnaa is located in Nepal, our clients are able to benefit from special trade preferences given by the USA and the EU. You can read more about American trade preferences here. We suggest you explore if your manufacturer can offer something similar. It may help you save big on import taxes.
Step 6 - You Receive and Process Your Amazing Merchandise
All your hard work has paid off, you now have your product in hand, ready to wow your customers!
With production runs being so time-sensitive, it's important for you to find a manufacturer who will be a true partner and advocate. At Purnaa, we see that our success is linked to the success of the brands we serve and the people we employ. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through our manufacturing process, presenting strategic options at each step, establishing efficiency in production, and ensuring that both you and your customers will be delighted with the products you receive. As a member of the WFTO and the Freedom Business Alliance, your production run will also contribute to creating fresh starts and fulfilled lives among marginalized communities in Nepal.
To explore if Purnaa is a good fit for your production needs, inquire here.
How long does sampling take? Sampling is a creative and problem-solving process that takes about 30-90 days from when we receive your tech pack. If you have produced the design before or are using common materials you can expect a shorter sampling period. If you are still “tweaking” your design or want materials that need to be sourced then a longer sampling time is required.
Ok. Let’s say I have my sampling process finished. Then how long will it be from the time I submit my Purchase Order and down-payment until my products are delivered? It takes about 90-150 days depending on order size. From the day we receive your purchase order it usually takes about 60 days to order and get the production materials. Then production, packing, and shipping can take between 30-90 days
What if I have a larger order? Will that affect my delivery times? Ordering large quantities may take more time in production BUT… Large orders are a great way to reduce your per piece cost! Most manufacturers, including Purnaa, can ship large orders in batches to allow you a head start on processing and selling.
Are there seasons when manufacturers have more free time and my designs are more likely to be accepted for manufacturing? Yes! Many manufacturers are more willing to accept your designs if production lands outside of the busy season of August through November. See the above Timeline 1 to help plan your production for the off-season (Dec-July)
What else should I think about for my production? Sales traction. Are your products selling well or do you need to build up demand for your items? We see that it often takes 6+ months for brands to develop a customer base and generate excitement around a new product. For this reason, we would suggest new companies get their products delivered earlier rather than later. However, if yours is not a new product and you already have a strong customer base familiar with your items, you will have more flexibility in delivery times.
*The timelines above were developed from what we have experienced at Purnaa after being in business for 7 years and working with many different brands. Feel free to check out more specific blogs that go into our process more in-depth such as