The selling season just ended, you got orders (hopefully more than what you projected), Congratulations! So what now? What should you do next?
This next preparation stage can help iron out and clean any possible issues before you commit to production. This is where you will need to consolidate all your orders, confirm them, make production decisions and start the pre-production phase.
Below is a detailed step by step process of what you should do next:
- Collecting - Collect all your orders, go through all the details on each one of them to make sure all the info on them is clear and complete. Many times orders are being written so quick by you or the buyers than details like style numbers, colors, prices, terms addresses etc. are not correct or simply missing. So if needed get in touch with the buyers and make sure you have it all complete
- Consolidating - Consolidate all your orders and sort them out by style. We personally like to use this Orders by Style Sheet where we have all the info related to each style is right there on one page, re: how many pieces where ordered on this style by each store, their po#, delivery dates etc. (as in image above). This will help you make decisions about production, delivery etc.
Deciding - Now that you have a picture of how many units where ordered in each style it is time to decide which of these styles will go to production and how many units to produce in each, and which of these styles don’t have enough units to make it worth producing and will need to be canceled.
**Tip: if you end up canceling a style of a colorway due to low units orders, go back to the buyers and suggest a dif style as a sub for these units, many times the buyers will be receptive to switch and this way you will not lose theses dollars.
Confirming – Once these decisions are made, go back to the orders that you received update the units on them according to what styles will be produced, make sure you have all the other info needed on the orders and email a confirmed order to each buyer. Use this Sales order sheet for the confirmation.
**Tip: Ask the buyers to confirm the orders after sending these to them, this is the time to iron out any terms, prices, and other details that might be an issue. Your goal is to know that all the orders are valid and worth producing. If issues start to show up at this stage it should be a red flag to watch.
Pre-Production – Now that all the orders are confirmed and you have a very clear view of your units for production create a calendar and budget for production, calculate and order your materials and confirm times, prices and process with your contractors