Saturday, 2 March 2013

Indian Ethnic Fabric Buying- Evaluating Vendors -2

Traditional techniques used by a particular vendor also make him important in terms of buying. Traditional techniques make the vendor unique among others and make him valuable in terms of planning as the techniques demand more lead time and quality checking. It assumes more importance if the vendor belongs to the same region which is the origin of these techniques. For example vendors supplying Dabu, Bagru, Ajrak, Bandhni, Lehariya and Patri from Rajasthan are rated higher as they are using the traditional techniques in printing the fabrics. For similar reason block printing vendors are rated higher than screen printing vendors and vendors using handloom are rated higher than those using powerloom.
Exclusivity of the vendor for a particular company makes him valuable. As the vendor is not supplying to any other company, the possibility of desgins and language leaking to ther other compaies is obviated. Also obviated is the fluctuations in supply as the whole capacity of the vendor is planned when ordering fabrics or garments. 
Percentage of quality rejections is one of the most important factors in evaluating the vendors. More quality rejections will not only throw a question in the vendors' ability to supply a particular quality of fabric, it will also throw question on the viablity of bulk produciton of that traditional techniques.An example of this is very pertinent here. A retail organisation traditionally does Milspun x Khadi yarn in one of its most selling garments. When they tried to do it in Khadi x Khadi yarn, the number of quality issues become so high that they have to abondan that design using fabric.
Price is a very important factor in evaluating a vendor. A vendor traditionally supplying goods at reasonable price are rated higher. However, in traditional textiles, low prices have their own social and envinornmental costs. In handloom weaving for example the production is distributed by traders to the weavers at a pittance in order to keep down the prices. Similarly the traditional prints are sold at lower costs because the printers still have not heard of affluent treatment plants and the affluents are simply  added in the rivers or canals. But high prices are also no guarantee of the quality of the merchandise. I know a printer who does excellent block printing in terms of design. Every year the prices are raised in order to save the block printing and the printers with the result that his prices have become inordinately high.
<-- To be continued-->

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