Scaling a Tailor Shop into a Mega Factory — a naive approach

  • Supply MGMT
  • Maintenance
  • Employee MGMT
  • Assembly Line Design and MGMT
  • Generic Representation of Garments for sewing
  • Fitting

I’m incredibly naive about sewing, and most of the above topics, so feel free to not take me seriously.

Our Goal

The goal is clearly defined. A customer needs to be able to walk into the shop, order a dress made, and get it in 24 hours.

  • Customer Experience
  • Planning
  • Material Sourcing
  • Cutting
  • Sewing
  • Ironing
  • Pickup

The Customer Experience

Let’s begin with the customer experience. A customer today, typically walks into a tailor’s shop, describes the clothe they want, gets measured, gets a date for collection and leaves.

Planning

Say I walk into such a shop to sew an Agbada. Typically, I’d explain what I want to my tailor, and they’d show me examples of other Agbada they have sewn, for me to choose from. Then, they’d take my measurement with a tape rule, write it in their notebook, and so on.

Image Source

Yes, a regular tape rule can be used here. It doesn’t take very long, and I didn’t find any alternate means that was worth its cost.

Materials for each section will have to be picked. Just like is done today, images of previously sewn dresses can be used to provide inspiration.

Material Sourcing

This is a really hard one.

  • Not manage an entire supply chain, which comes with its own challenges
  • Not spend extra money and time on transporting materials from the market
Image Source
  • Do you employ Runners, whose job is to scour the market, to find the materials you need?
  • Do you provide inventory mgmt tools for all your suppliers, so you can easily know who has what?

Cutting

With the materials and cutting design provided, a team of cutters can get to work on cutting the materials and labeling them.

Screenshot from Tailornova

Sewing

With the labeled cutlets and design provided by the previous team, a team of tailors can join the cutlets in the right sequence (to be determined).

Ironing

This is a problem that is already being solved by high capacity laundries. A good team of workers can straighten out the output from the Tailors.

Pickup

The customer is informed via Notification when at every point of the process. A progress bar will be very helpful, but a simple (2 of 7 steps) will do if not possible.

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I’ve learned I don’t know anything. I've also learned that people will pay for what I know. Maybe that's why they never pay.

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Ikechi Michael

Ikechi Michael

I’ve learned I don’t know anything. I've also learned that people will pay for what I know. Maybe that's why they never pay.