Vendor Compliance Handbook 2

Continuing my review of The Vendor Compliance Handbook from part one:

8. Testing And Fabric Standards

  • Pros: A listing of standard tests applied to fabrics, finishes and seams.
  • Cons: The first part listing all of the available tests to run is Bee Oh Ar Eye En Gee, B O R I N G! I resent having to have reviewed it! Where’s my donations dammit!? It’s only pathetic twisted souls who enjoy traipsing over to AATCC, ASTM and ANSI to get the dirt on processing standards. Seriously, few small companies will have the resources to test their inputs to the extent detailed but the text provides guidelines. Geared towards large firms, the text didn’t mention how and where to acquire the standards. Also, it would have been helpful to have had more guidelines as to which processes should be applied to given product types (e.g., children’s wear, use these ___).

9. Workmanship Standards

  • Pros: Spanning 60 pages, the price of the book is validated by this chapter alone. The illustration and detail is exemplary, the standard by which technical illustrations should be measured.
  • Cons: Spanning 60 pages, you’ll still want more. The author could write a book on only this topic.

10. Garment Inspection Standards

  • Pros: The chapter opens by explaining quality auditing standards, specifically Mil-Std-105. This is the boring part of it. I warm to the topic once the definition of defects are detailed in part via “zoning”. I have never quantified the weight of given defects although intuitively we all assign grades of major or minor to them. This section will give you parameters to define non-compliance which will give weight to any disagreements you may have over product quality with a contractor. For example, a zone four defect may be equivalent to a 10% discount in retail price, giving you a grounded basis for an appropriate discount with the contractor. Otherwise, you’re pulling numbers out of thin air.
  • Cons: A nit picking detail; the AQL standard Mil-Std-105 was canceled prior to this book’s publication. You can use a dead spec as a starting point to write your own but caution must be exercised -in general- against continuing to use a dead spec because corrections are, by definition, not included. That said, I think Mil-Std-105 will continue to be the defacto standard in spite of its demise and burial.

11. UPC Labels

  • Pros: This chapter supports the entries that Miracle had written previously on product labeling and fullfillment. Honestly, I only scanned it long enough to determine it’ll require careful adherence step by step.
  • Cons: It’s not geared toward entrepreneurs who need more information on getting their own upc codes, software, printers and bar code readers. Granted, it’s beyond the scope of this text to provide that since entire books are written on the subject, but it would have been nice to get a recommendation for which source to read.

12. Packaging And Shipping

  • Pros: This covers the mechanics of preparing your products for shipping, and order fulfillment. Should you ship folded or hung? If folded, did you realize products are folded to spec -and even depends on size? You know pins are stuck in men’s shirts, do you know where they’re supposed to go? It’s all illustrated here. The chapter also includes copious detail on shipping documents, package labeling and commercial invoices. Useful!
  • Cons: The folding accoutrements like CF plastic butterflies aren’t readily found via google so proper names or parts numbers would have been useful for sourcing. Again, the text is aimed at large firms which have components already sourced.

13. Chargebacks and Irregular And Overrun Purchase Policies

  • Pros: Anything that will prevent a chargeback is useful. Interestingly enough, the chapter includes information on how over runs and irregulars should be processed via specified label destruction. The latter is of interest to people in the off price market. Who knew that if labels were cut in a certain way that it meant something specific? Miracle was a clothing broker, I guess she would.
  • Cons: Too short, only seven pages.

14. Forms and Data Templates

  • Pros: Forms are rarely useless.
  • Cons: Essentially filler; most of the forms were included within the various sections. Another potential pitfall lies with forms that are already filled out such as those detailing grading specs of which some measures made me shriek. There’s always the danger of an example becoming a standard through implication and everyone adopting it and then wondering why they have so many problems.

15. Glossary

  • Pros: Even though Secul does a good job of defining key terms throughout the text as they appear, I wouldn’t consider this filler. Call it key word central.
  • Cons: None really but in spite of an author’s best efforts, the word you’re looking for isn’t in there.


  • Pros: This is a required text and I don’t say that often. Don’t even dream of selling to a corporate entity without having read this book. Like I said before, I’m not going to feel sorry for you otherwise. Even if you’re not selling to large concerns, if you apply the standards from this that you can, you’ll be leagues beyond other competitors selling to independent retail buyers. Because you’re organized and efficient, their decision to reorder from you versus someone else who may even be more innovative than you, is very easy. The illustrations are clear and very well done. The book’s design is excellent, providing plenty of space to rest your eyes but not so much that you suspect it was designed to increase the page count. This is a very good value.
  • Cons: The book isn’t particularly well written and some of the content is not well organized within its given space of text (some redundancies create confusion) although from section to section, it is very well organized. Having written a technical book, it is extremely challenging to do that when you have so many little things going concurrently. What we think of as literary quality is not why you’re buying it. It’s a workbook. It doesn’t need to be a literary masterpiece to get the job done.

You can purchase the title from the publisher (Fashiondex) or Amazon.

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  1. Milena says:

    Thank you so much for giving a review on this book. I just ordered it off the publisher’s website. I really appreciate the advice.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I’m curious how many people bought this book from the publisher. Supposedly, I get a commission because I’m giving him ad space for his books. So far, I’m only recording two sales for any of his titles in the past week. One was on tuesday, the other was thursday. I see Milena says she bought one from the publisher on the 28th but I didn’t get a confirmation from the publisher for that (not doubting you Milena).

    I’m just rethinking how this ad thing is working out. I took down the Amazon ads because Fashiondex was paying a higher commission but it’s not a deal if my account isn’t credited especially since my Amazon commissions are down by 20% since I gave the space to Max…

  3. Milena says:

    Ya, they charged my credit card for it, so the order definitely went through… but I’m not sure that I linked from your website or not. That makes a difference, right? I will write to them and find out, and make sure you get the credit for it..

  4. Sharon D. says:

    I just ordered this book from the publisher, and it killed me to do it. Many months ago I purchased this book from the publisher at my first sourcing trade show. I read the whole thing but somehow lost it.

    Why did it kill me to buy a second book? Here’s my story:
    (Oh, a little background first, I work in the commercial wallcovering field and am familiar with product engineering, manufacturing mindsets etc. but this is an entirely NEW field for me. I am still in the design phase of our new product, and haven’t jumped into any manufacturing yet.)

    I had just finished reading Kathleen’s book, so maybe that spoiled me. On the plane ride home I started the VCH, excited to learn more about the nitty gritty. I tend to read these books starting on page one: read, digest, contemplate, move to page 2, etc. Within the first few pages I was already confused. I started marking the pages with questions. By the time I was done almost EVERY pages was covered with questions and I was in such a panic I was ready to quit the whole project. There were so many procedures and forms that I now knew existed yet I was missing one or two vital pieces of each puzzle.

    Perhaps if a person is already familiar with industry terms, this book makes a little more sense. But if the book is written to help newbies as well as industry vets, attention should be paid to terminology and clarity. I found the author using different terms for the same form, or idea. The information seems not be organized well, information on the same subject jumps from page to page amongst other info. Even the layout of the pages boggled me. It makes me wonder how confusing the first edition of the book must have been. Was this book EVER proofread by someone unfamiliar with the industry?

    Now I’m at the point where some of his forms, (and most of his info, were I able to understand it) is needed so I’m buying the book again.

    I am sure that the author meant to be helpful, but I am wondering how many other newbies he has scared off with this book.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Without a doubt, bar none, the finest pre-pattern technical package I’ve ever gotten was from Sharon (the above comment). It was amazing. Being proprietary I couldn’t show it to anyone but I was sorely tempted.

    I’d agree that some of the marketing for David’s book is a little ambitious (“best book, all you need to know to start manufacturing”) but it’s still very valuable once you sort through it. I agree it can be a little challenging but in manufacturing, when you have so many things going on at once, it’s difficult to portray the information linearly. His book really doesn’t explain processes as well, it mostly provides the paper work and tracking of the structure or foundation which it assumes you have. Since most DEs are really small, they often don’t have processes aligned to a foundation or system being that they are “it” in its entirety. I also mentioned this book is an ambition, describing standards of practice one could aspire to. If one persists in wanting to sell to department stores, this is, like it or not, something you’ll have to wade through.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I’m guess these are the same. Do they cost the same?

    At the time I ordered this book, the forms were not included but I paid in advance for them. In spite of a few phone calls and emails, I never got the forms on CD. I’m thinking he didn’t want me to have them for some reason -like I’d pass them around for free? As if. Point is, if he didn’t want to fill the order he should have given me my money back. But I digress.

    The description says these forms are in pdf. It doesn’t say whether the forms can be used on screen. If you have adobe pro, you can add fields yourself and customize it somewhat. If not, you’re reduced to recreating the forms in excel or whatever. If you have to recreate the forms, you don’t need to pay extra for them since you can copy from the book itself. I presume they are the same. In summary, the answer is “it depends”.

  7. They are $4.00 difference on the direct site, with the “Forms and Templates” version being the more expensive of the two. Amazon has them for various prices around that depending on if they are used/new/etc. That stinks that you got the feeling the author held out on you, especially after you paid! You definitely should have gotten your money back.

    Do you get credit if I buy through a specific site? Is so, let me know which one and I’ll do that. :)

  8. Kathleen says:

    I get something like 5% if you use the Amazon link regardless of whether you buy new or used. Actually, if you enter using one of my Amazon links, I get a percentage of everything you buy in that session whether I linked to it or not. It adds up to maybe $50 a month but sometimes more. Thanks for asking.

  9. Paul says:

    I was looking through the archives to see if there was any information on fabric specifications numbers like 40*32*143*90 when I came across this entry. When I clicked on your link I wasn’t taken to Amazon but to Fashiondex. Are there any other books that you would recommend?
    Thank you for the information.

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