How do i stock a clothing eCommerce store?
January 17, 2010 6:56 PM   Subscribe

How do i stock a clothing eCommerce store?

looking to launch an eCommerce store to sell clothing which will be screen printed by a partner.

Do we need to keep inventory on hand? Do we silkscreen on demand? I'm guessing most companies keep some inventory on hand so they can deliver right away, but the though of thousands of dollars of inventory sitting around frightens me somewhat.

what should i do? PS. if you know of any good resource for someone starting out with this please share.
posted by Paleoindian to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite outsource it, second service down "Private Label Printing and Fulfillment".
posted by pwally at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2010

Unnecessary inventory is waste. If customers require delivery in, say, 5 days and you can make/ship in 4, no inventory needed. How long does it take to make? Trick question. What is the total of value-added time in the mfgr process? Probably minutes. Find a "lean" printer. Stock nothing. Learn about waste reduction, process improvement and lean.
posted by bleeb at 10:21 PM on January 17, 2010

What these people are referring to is called JIT or Just In Time production. Basically production on-demand. The downside of course is that it hurts your margins since these services cost money but the thing you need to weigh are your margins versus the cost of stocking inventory.

If you are asking about how to manage all of that within a website, then take comfort in the fact that most ecommerce packages can automate that for you. Basically you just enter how many of a product you have in the backend and they manage it for you on the front end.
posted by Elminster24 at 10:10 AM on January 18, 2010

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