The Life Cycle Of A Custom Product

Work with a knowledgeable supplier and follow these five steps to ensure your client’s custom product has a smooth ride, from overseas to their front door.

Custom products generate high profits for you and high impressions for your clients. When creating a custom product, work with a global sourcing partner that can provide a clear process so you can manage client expectations. Remember to prepare your client that they’ll need to provide timely feedback to keep orders on schedule. Follow these steps:

1. ALLOW FOR A CUSHION
When all goes to plan, orders take about 90 days from pre-production samples. Ideally, build in few extra days, especially if you’re ordering around the Chinese New Year, which occurs late January through mid-February. Many orders are delayed during that time because businesses close to observe the holiday. A lot of customers also try to rush orders right before the holiday.

2. SHOWCASE SAMPLES
Present clients with examples of finished goods for inspiration. Perhaps it’s a knife. Do they like a particular style of handle? If it’s a garment, ask if there are retail brands they want to emulate. Creating a custom product means you’re getting the best details of multiple samples in a single knockout piece that can’t be undercut in a pricing war.


Creating a custom product means you’re getting the best details of multiple samples in a single knockout piece that can’t be undercut in a pricing war.

3. ALWAYS GET PRE-PRO APPROVALS
No order should go into production without your client’s approval of a pre-production sample. On a shirt, double-check things like the sizing, color, decoration (for example, check if the spelling is correct) and quality (for example, are the seams straight?). A professional global sourcing partner will have already double-checked the pre-pro sample for you, but the more eyes, the better.

4. SHIP WITH A PRO
Remember when dockworkers went on strike and West Coast ports were clogged for days? It’s an example of what can go wrong when shipping from overseas. An experienced importer will have a plan B – rerouting freight down through Canada by railroad, for example. Advanced global sourcing partners also use the latest technologies in worldwide shipping for more efficient and transparent delivery.

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