It's that time of year again!!!! Pre season training has gone well, talk is of new signings and how they have adapted well to the game plan and culture of the club, new sponsors, game plan, new teams to play, (promotion / relegation) and then the talk turns to kit. "Where is it? Why hasn't it been delivered? The Players are on my back, not to mention the sponsors!!"
"Did you order it?" "No I thought you did"!!!!!! "And so the fun begins!!!!
One comment we always here is "We went for the cheapest and we are still waiting!!"
One rule of thumb is that if it's that cheap, it's for a reason!!!
In the minefield that is "Kitdesigner" we have compiled a checklist for you to enable you to prepare in readiness of brands, colours, designs, collars, etc etc.
1. Gather all your information - get your ducks lined up by pulling together all you kit requirements
Budget - how much do you have to spend?
Delivery - when do you require it for? (Be realistic. It doesnt help to get things off to a good start if you say you want it yesterday!!!)
Colours - what are your club colours? Most companies operate like Henry Ford "You can have any colour you want, as long as its black"!!
Products - what products do your squad require?
Quantities - how many pieces of each style do you want?
Sizes - what sizes do you need for each product. (A sizing session can reap dividends, and someone who is great with excel !!!)
Logos - get all your logos gathered together from your club badge, to sponsors logos.
Initials / numbers - some brands offer initials / numbers at no extra cost. You can therefore look like you have stepped straight of the pro training ground with players having there initials or squad numbers adorned onto the garments. It also prevents squabbling and arm wrestling when garments get dumped in a heap!!! Ask the company you are approaching if they can email you a squad size template.
Coming back to Henry Ford. You no longer have to settle for stock colours of black and white or navy and white. At Olorun Sports we have 16 colours to choose from, ranging from black and navy... through to hot pink, via yellows, ambers, greens and purples. So you can now have the design and colours YOU want.
2. Get all your information down in one place - most kit suppliers should be able to send you a size order template. This highlights the styles, and sizes available, and allows you to customise it to your squad, so that you order the correct size for the correct squad member. If they don't, then send them your list of requirements and ask them to create one for you. If they don't or wont, then they probably arent worth their salt!!
3. Request a visual - This covers both you and the kit supplier and saves sooooo much hassle during the production process and through to your delivery. They will ask you to confirm the primary, secondary and any tertiary colours, logos and their placements. This ensures that you are agreeing to what you want. Not them making it as simple as possible for them.
4. Pro forma invoice - All bespoke orders are usually dependant on payment up front. Your kit supplier will send you a summary of your order, by style, size and quantity, with a total amount payable. This is a final check for you to verify the styles, quantities and sizes you need. Also at this stage they should confirm the approximate delivery time for your order. This is what's known as the "CRITICAL DATE" or "DUE DATE", and is the date your supplier will look to deliver to you by. If you have a specific date you require delivery, for instance a tour or a tournament, check this is within the timescale.
5. Production stage - This is when it goes quiet!!!! This is the manufacturing time at the factory. Your supplier should keep you updated with a weekly /10 day update, just to let you know that there are no problems so far, and that your order is currently due on time. Subsequently if there are any issues, they should be proactive and make you aware as soon as possible.
6. Delivery - This is the all important time. Most suppliers should email you to confirm despatch and enclose a tracking number.
And that's all there is to it!!!!! Bespoke kit ordering can be a minefield, but if you do your homework and get prepared, find the right kit partner who is happy to help, offer advise and listen to your requirements, rather than sell you what they want you to have, it can often be a rewarding experience. And remember..... if it sounds too cheap..... it is usually for a reason!!!!!!
For further help and advice, feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1267 233 737.