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.
- 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.