How to Document the Process
So good afternoon, we are here on a segment three communication and information, so we're going to start out with how to document the process. So this is really about having to put the information down as to how your product is made, and we're going to get a couple more of the studio audience up. I'm going to go through their product and understand kind of the key industry elements that need to be put down paper if you're looking to really outsource or looking to kind of scale up or just get someone you know, a friend to help you make, basically so this is kind of a mater of mine preparation prevents poor performance. It's actually, this is the four pieces actually five fees, but because this is a this is life, the one of the the words I can't put in, so I'm keeping us for but I'm a firm believer of this, um, really preparing for anything that you do, whether it's sourcing your materials where, whether it's getting you workroom ready, getting everything said is going to give you a bett...
er performance, going to get you a better product. So I'm all about the preparation, sometimes over prepare, but, you know, I would rather be kind of overpaid than under prepared how many people are created cooks ok that's a good one to kind of throw and the czech jeremy yet catherine straightaway yeah I'm again if I hover between kind of following a recipe and and kind of like mixing up a little bit but it's even if you're kind of mixing up a little bit in the kitchen is good to keep a very rough record of what you you do when you're making a meal like this so you're making a product writing things down whether it's the ingredients or whether it's the process that you're going through really help you replicate that experience and that's what we do when we put together style packs I call it star pack or technical pack or technical sheet any kind of information which documents a process which enables you to do a repeat production on repeat item is going to help the consistency of your product so the kind of question really is what kind of information do you need on on a document of this kind and again it's like how long is a piece of string? It could be as simple as complicated as you need I've worked with organizations and products where where the technical pack is about fifteen pages deep when you talk about you know the construction the seems the materials finishes what else the size specifications um I'm trying to think different sketches detailed sketches, detailed images I've also worked with companies where the cynical pack is one page it's a simple that I've worked with with some telly, eh studios, where they take a hand drawn sketch of a designer and they make a sample straight from that, which is which is genius. As far as I'm concerned, it's just it's unbelievable, but it really as long as the information gained can be passed over to the person who's making, as long as they can understand and interpret that's that's his deep in his details, it needs to be especially if you're working with with a craft product. So what I wanted to put together was a couple of examples of a star she in a technical sheet that I would put together for my scarfs for for a very basic scarf. I'm gonna start off just kind of going through this very basic style, she gonna give two examples of style? She and also the technical shape, then I'm going to get you guys up, and we're gonna work through a product and replicate the same thing to see how you can replicate it. So going to the board here going to the screen, this is that the information that I put down and remember, these are just kind of principles, he's just labels that I've put down here, you can drop your own information in it's a very simple template, so I just normally I'm not showing you can you can help me out on this if you name certain products sometimes if you're it's a certain name of a scarf so this could be um and you know, actually scarf because maybe it's you know it has a print on it every item that people produce sometimes they put a name on it it helps for promotional purposes for this case I'm just calling it a basic scarf because I ran out of imagination when I was putting this deck together the material I put the composition so this is one hundred percent silk you're jet which is which is a tight it's a quality of silk that I'm determined I'm going to use the code which is a reference code that my manufacturer would give me um or might my silk producer would give me the quantity that I'm goingto purchase which is one yard of fifteen dollars the color it's color black the reference number is the color reference from the supplier they give me this color the thread and the color the label so this is this is my label this is my brand label which I'm going to sew on there's some kind of technical terms here logo end fold uh h s I'm trying I'm trying what a check why put a chest for um hand so there you go I thinking high shine high sheen sorry that sir embarrassing jonas salk spaces okay, so handsome because I want that going back to my vision statement on mission statement I want everything to be luxury so I want to have that really nice hugely labor intensive hand stitch of the label of the little kind of label on the edge the construction I've indicated here this is I'm no good illustrator this is the best I could do for a silk scarf but it kind of luckily I picked a product which was thirty seven by thirty seven square so the construction, the packaging and the hang tak okay, so look for the construction this is the construction information it's very, very basic as far as I'm concerned it's machine hemmed, which means it's not I'm not going to like hand stitching I'm going to machine stitching have a main label which is this logo enfold hand stitched the edges and I have a wash care which is a care composition label she tells me whether it's hand wash which is also going to be hand stitched, that the reason why I do these two reasons why do hand stitched in this case for the main label I want a luxury finish I want that kind of like oh someone has taken the time to hand stitch this label on I must pay more money for it that kind of impression and the reason why hand structure awash care is the first thing that a lot of people do is they cut the wash care off a silk scarf because they I don't want to kind of a label sticking out at a right angle in a few hand stitched on is easier to stick to take off without damaging the scarf so that's that's from personal experience in number of scarfs I've ruined by trying to take a label off and it'll unraveled and it's yeah, there's been tears and tantrums. The packaging information is going to be folded in tissue paper on the hang attack is going to be limped through the label. So we talked a little bit earlier when we were looking at the trims about whether ideas a pin penn was a consideration. I'm going toe loop it through so I'm going to basically thread it through I get rid of the pain situation, so this would be a very basic style sheet for for a product, but it's only basic because it it looks like a very basic construction. The information on here is pretty detailed there's a lot of information bearing in mind that my product is reasonably simple at this stage this is something that I could make and just save and re import the anything I need to change is potentially the color uh, and maybe the sole quality the other things stay the same. So this could be a template that I make and I just drop, you know, different sketch in and change the material time. Okay, if I were to follow this up with a technical sheet, the technical, she really gives a lot of information about the construction. It's the small, really small details that I know in my head right now, but let's, just say I was I was taking I found a manufacturer in, uh so more of the mission, which is the district's in san francisco, that I wanted them to kind of replicate this experience, then this would be invaluable. They would tell him exactly how the size, the location and the type of stitching that I wanted on this scarf, so if we take it from the top so that the information is the same as before it's a basic scarf, I have the fabric composition and the code, and it went to when it comes to construction. I have a kind of a much bigger image of the scarf, and I've also indicated whether its underside or topside, so every fabric and every material has has I'm guessing I'm making a huge generalization here has another side in a top side toe fabric, especially so if I haven't put this, then the maker also wouldn't necessarily know where to put the label. They may put it on the top side, which is not my intention, so sometimes it's the most obvious things that you need to articulate in a technical pack I didn't have uh again, I'm terribly illustrator, I can't do it s oh, I didn't know how to do a kind of a rolled hand stitch, so I thought the easiest way rather than me having to kind of explain it verbally to this manufacturer was to take an image of the rolled him that I want them to replicate and rolled hands on on silk scarves a pretty standard it's you could do a handle, you could do a machine wrong, so I got a new image. I got one of my scars, which has a nice hand rolled hedge and I took a picture on it and I stuck an arrow. It's, it's it's kind of uh I won't say idiot proof because nothing is idiot proof but it's very, very clear it's giving a really clear indication at the same time, I noticed that it had a great label or the wash care label of brand label in the top left hand corner, which gets a location shin as well, so these are both kind of location. And construction images which I have shown which will if someone is picking this up in the document there go okay okay so watch care up there and this is how the stitching should be so there's a few kind of keynotes but I put down here again just to validate some of the information that upon here things that need to check the finnish scarf is thirty seven inches by thirty seven that's finished so when you're talking before you when you cut fabric it has a roar edge and it will always be bigger so it may be thirty seven and a half inches in this case so by the time you rolled it in is to finish thirty seven which is why I put the finished scarf to make the exact measurement it used to be hand rolled us the image care label at the top right corner of underside of scarf it's kind of like a big old sentence of information top right corner here of underside of scarf and then I have it underside here I've literally got it this is what I'm saying this is what I'm indicating I'm saying it again it's a very clear I feel and you can tell me if if it's fight uncle here in any way said of set of directions I could I could comfortably hand over to someone and they should be up to replicate this if only in a proto if we go back the information so that this information could be kind of against saved a document and use with formulas to kind of run through it like the name and also the material. But once you make one of these at the beginning of life developing a new product or thinking about new product it's almost it's there it's a template that then you can pick up and use again change some of the elements, so the key I think is to is to really figure out what information you need to transfer and write it down in the simplest of way, documenting it with images wherever possible, because if you if you're working with people where you know english isn't there first language, you have to be extremely clear and using using images toe identify the areas you need to focus on is the best way of doing it in my experience. So so with this in mind, looking at these two elements that the basic style she and the technical shane I'd love to get some kind of more product a pond just understand how you guys document your process right now on def, you don't document it, how could you document it and just have a kind of a little bit of a brainstorm session? What would be good to find out chris in the chat room is how do people document that their products and then we'll kind of come back to that after kind of working with these guys on but you'll be first up you're gonna be so proud of me be taken the slips up I do you know I do a lot of this already oh yeah yeah great all right let me switch which is funny to me I need to be at my age you don't know I'm just getting even so donald was going I've been sitting down all day and just lazy ok so talk me through what you do first of all well so I am design and creates letter press screening cards okay stationary but for the for the process and specifically so from start to finish no so how do you document if you if you're creating a new card or a new idea so I start with catches okay I started sketching it out yeah and then go to my prototype which would be just printing it out ok from your desktop okay seeing how it works proportionally do you have do you have anything written down at the stage where you literally it it's a kind of of the big old creative process and work bagel creative process okay, okay you'll be happy at the end when I tell you how it all ends oh yeah e thing this building that building it up I won't I will never let you down so it goes through that process prototype it out pulling you know printed out make sure it all works and then I created a sheet similar to what you have but all based on paper stuff so is everything from what type of paper okay do you give a stall a neighbor yeah so there will be a name for the line of the car ok still like these ones they're called nursery rhymes okay so that I have a name and then it will have a skewed number to go along with it okay to differentiate between because each line usually has between five to eight cards okay within the line right so on my she like yours I have um I have the type of paper that I use I lift out the fonts okay I'll list out the color of the ink by pantone number okay um list out if it's printed front and back all this off if it's printed inside or out most of my cards if not all are blank inside I will list out what color envelope it has okay the size sorry if I'm going too fast now I like speed writing okay the size of the pre press sheet ok pre press a pre press she is is the sheet that's going to go through the press ok and then the cut sheet is what happens after I'm finished printing it ok so I have the size of the sheet. I need to put through the press and then the cut down size. Okay, which is the final size? Right with the pre fresh sheet? Yeah. I also have a column where it says how many pre press sheets I can get out of a parent sheet. Ok, so that I'll have the knowledge of I need to order so you can figure out basically a raw materials. Yes, I can. I need order x number of hand. She in order to get the quantity that I need to yield. Okay. And I also work in access for waste. I have a rough number through the years that I figured out. Yeah. And the other things that I put on there that I'm not great at doing yet, but is in my grand scheme of things is the date in which it was printed. The quantity yeah, that was printed and by whom? It was printed. Okay, so that there's an accountability and a record. Yeah, so that I can track. You know how many I should be printing next if I keep reprinting this one design? Yeah. Why? You know, and maybe I can up the numbers and how do you, where is this information held is is it in? Eso has it in your favorite software. You know, I actually have a filing cabinet. Okay. With the's really handy. Docket can that have little grommets and then gotcha and inside that this sheet goes right completely filled out along with when your letter press printing you print with plates, right? So a plate goes in there. The film that was used to create the plate goes in the docket. So this form the films, the plate and a sample of both the printed finished piece on the envelope. Okay, is it possible tio digitizes it'll? Yes. The information. Do you have it also? Kind of all everything. All this kind of thing template is digitized. Okay, so I could, in fact, put all of the information in the computer, right? I just happen to have written it out by hand. Ok. Okay. My idea is that a monkey and I could hand in this docket. Yeah, and the monkey could make me my card. That's that's. Exactly. The purpose of doing this. Yeah. Um, do you have many monkeys? I don't have anyone, keith yet, okay, really loved up monkeys. Any monkeys out there way have any monkeys in the china, is I'm interested in you, so this this essentially all this information goes into the dock it and then you have actual examples in the plates in the film. So this is kind of one stop shop. Yes. Okay. So you do each of you do one of those for, uh, each line or age eight scare, depending on the line. So this line is a one color line, right on dh it's, all the same paper and it's all the same envelope disease can all go in the same docket. Okay. Because there's no difference. Oh, and also on the docket form any sort of post production by injury type things. If it's a new book, any of that kind of thing also goes in there as long as as well as the packaging. If it is anything more than just a selo sleeve. Ok, because they tend to just come and fell asleep rights. But if there's a label that goes on it or any of those things, dunn also go on the docket. Okay as well. So any of it. So you do know books as well? Yes. Ok. So how limited. But yes. All right. So the process the you go through for the notebooks. I don't this is the whole thing because I think probably a lot is is similar but do you have the film in the play in the samples well yes ok so it's exactly the same process yes, the only thing the difference is that there is on the docket it says like finery so within their it would say whether it was y road or saddle stitched right how many pages and what the interior pages are ok whether they're digitally printed or not um that the idea too is that when an order comes in and I have my stock and I can fill my order and then whatever is left that isn't filled I can go then open up my cabinet pull out all the dockets and hang them from a um what's the board with all the holes I can't think now hey board said little hooks and I can hang on my docket tell me pegboard right and that's my printing list okay for my orders to go out that sounds great uh theory I thought did this of all visits with it's a system that you involved from evil from the beginning or has it no ok ah hot meth okay, I kind of got me there right? I also worked for printing I took a job as a printer for a large printing company in the city to learn from them and see what works for them and they have the dockets and I thought it was brilliant because in there within their printing industry or whether they're printing business they had all different forms of printing letter press foil engraving digital and so I would be working on a big giant job first a tiger woods new golf course and my part of that job would be foil stamping this little emblem on their business cards and then after that was done I would have to get it signed off and handed over to the digital press right so they need to know where the guiding gripper is they need to know all of this information and obviously I can't stand there for an hour and explain it to them so that docket is like the perfect solution for everything right right okay this great is a genius way of doing it and I kind of like the uh um I like the different processes like the list but I also like the kind of the one stop pack basically that you have everything to work with so this this process obviously works for you and it's something that's kind of evolved and you can use it for all the different product yes is there anything that you would change about it um I would just be better about keeping up on when I printed in how many that I definitely lose track of that and I think it's such valuable information so and then my kind of my backup for that is fresh books right? So that I can go through and look through fresh books and see how many have I sold yeah what's left in my ben you know as far as my stock that I had there and kind of make some comparisons but keeping up on inventory is a lot more difficult than it would be if I just took the extra step to write down I just printed one hundred fifty finish yeah, it also would help keep track of what was yielded versus what I actually printed because there's waste you know and then being able to work that into the cost right so it's figuring out a system that's going to work for that as well ray cooperated okay that's this is great I love I love the process that you go through um so let's kind of switch out between how do you wantto can you come up now when we talk about some of your jewelry I want to switch this out thanks. And of course thank you. Ok, so tell me about the process you used to document your development and use your styling as you're working through it. Um I work with a lot of photographs, okay, um try to photograph things at each stage um and when I say to stage I mean like um fresh out of from being casted or it's still kind of rough and I'm finished on and, um prior to that were like using ah, we're working with wax to carve it into the shape that I want um okay, so, first of all, it's the wax uh, how would the wax shell now? It's? Not really a shell, is it it's so it's basically like a log with a hole in it? Yeah, that goes like a cylinder. Um and you can get them in different shapes and different sizes and thicknesses. But you take that law than the new slice the thickness that you want on often them from there, you start carving into it or filing into it and bring it to okay. An actual design. Okay. Ok, then. It's, can you take a picture of the casted when it's still rough and take a picture? The wax picture of the they casting once it's once it's done, um a lot of times I go through several different prototypes. Okay, so, um, once you're done with the wax, um I don't know how to say the finished version or the most finished version that you could get, um then you take it to somebody to make a mold or you make a mould yourself, right, um and that person could be different from the person who is actually going to cast it or if you're going to cast it ok it's good to get a really perfect mold right um so then at that point um once aah mold is finished which is like a day or two you pick it up you look at it um sometimes you might change it aa lot of times I'll go in further and change the design even further and that the state these stages when you're taking the photographs where do you physically hold him? Do you keep them in in one document is kind of label this is with the style name so you have all the history of the development yeah, I usually have once the design is actually, um finished um like once I've taken it once I picked it up from being, um from having the mold done then that's what? I'll usually come up with the name right and then name a folder on my desktop okay? And then it will be the name underscore prototype ok. And this is this is really the starting point for documenting everything relating tio this item and what stage do you stop documenting it when it's is completely finished? Deal do you mean do I actually never stopped documenting it because, um a lot of times I'll um just think of something new to add on to it or to change it in a way, or a different medal or a different finish where people have suggestions. Also with when you're working with, um, you working with precious metals. So much of your design is determined by the weight of it, right? So a lot of times, you end up taking more metal out. Then you had originally intended because it's just too expensive, right? Ok. And do you, this kind of method of really kind of documenting the stages and then kind of dropping all the history until folder? Is that how you work with with all the products? Yeah. And if you so have you used that that process from the beginning and that's, why this kind of tends to work with with the product and how you are all I something that evolved. I think the reason why I do it based on photographs is because, um, it's just really easy to refer to it. It's. Nice to see, sort of a progression of where the designers come from and as faras like, just social media and sort of explaining your your process. People really like to see that kind of thing, but also it, um, I use square space, and it's all about uploading you know lots and lots of photos so yeah it's just nice to be ableto kind of like a pool from one spot, right? Is there anything you would change about your process right now? Is it just kind of locked in? It seems a rather really locked in and really works for you. Yeah, it works pretty well so far. I think, um I think, like I said, the only thing that would help me a little bit more is to, um, have somebody else doing more of the actual like, admin side of things so I could get to the creative stuff, right, um but, uh yeah that's it yeah, that's pretty much it ain't broke don't yeah, I'm here that's great. Thanks so much for sharing that senate seat back down. Chris, what do we have from the chat room? Anything on kind of process or documenting in product everyone's different. Some people are doing some of the old fashioned way of keeping track of everything by hand. Other people are using software gems of joy design says that they have all their descriptions of their products written on index cards, and they transfer those tow word documents sassy seamstress use a spreadsheet, track sales and then she has graphs attract the trends and in which he's been selling other people are really just using etc is kind of a way to keep track of everything that they have in etc but that also sparked a discussion about people being a little hesitant to have everything and that seeing relying too much on etsy just in case it goes down or if there's ever an issue with that so it seems like everyone has a different way of approaching it okay great a sweet kind of go through thiss segment be good to get more information about how they kind of document the process if people have a I struggle to kind of pass information on toe other manufacturers because as we've seen everyone is different of how they work with the process this is this is a kind of a unique I'm more of this way of working in this kind of structure for may but I fully understand the benefit on appreciated benefit really documenting with photos especially when you're working with jewelry. So it's it's an interesting exercise I think the key take away one of the key takeaways is is really having some kind of structure in place and having some process in place that you can you can replicate it's so important to be able tio really continue making the product with same level with the same finish especially if your whole selling you're selling out to other people um yeah you're basically making it easy for someone else toe to help you with the product and as we've been talking over the last couple of sessions this is this is often the kind of challenge when you doing everything yourself and you wanting to be able enable another person to come and give you a hand, so using a spreadsheet to list the materials will also help you with ordering this is something that I found kind of along the way, so we talked a little bit about use the kind of the all the requirements of the products really breaking down the wrong materials looking every single element a useful tape of putting all these elements into a spreadsheet will help you when you're ordering materials as well. Another interesting thing to throw out is like water that one of people's tips for organizing uh organizing all the information we looked at the style she threw looked the technical packs people are also talking about other matters as well be great to get since and some good feedback on that. So I put my collection plan and in a slightly different format so the collection plan I had yesterday which was kind of the multicolored decided with a pyramid of blank then we had all these colors going down I've transferred into a collection plan which is more useful for more kind of less of development more of production so being able to look at it in a slightly different way and the reason why I've done this is I wanted tohave focus on when I wanted to order materials exactly what I was going to be ordering and what color so it's using what I find with development and production is you have the same part of information all times, but you're you're manipulating into different sheets and different tools to enable you to do different processes whether it's ordering materials, whether it's handing over to the manufacturer whether it's making a technical pack with style she every all this information is the same it's just place in a different way so just to walk through this really quickly is it is a key tool really we have the product the material code I mentioned before I've made up the supplier I don't think there's anyone called f silk it's just a random you know mites my creativity coming out yield is one yard this is the end color notice I say in color it starts off as white and the end color what I wanted to be is this yes it's going to be died the polk order quantity as this is the number of ah yards I'm gonna be making all together so I already have an idea of how many scarfs I want to make the book start date is the first of july and if you remember on my time in action I was having my book production in july and august to finish end of august, so I'd have the month of september was wiggle room. My selling date is the first of october, so a lot of this information I already have I already thought about in another way, but for this collection plan and it can also be called in order plan if I wanted to kind of keep track of what I needed. Is this another way of pulling the information together so I can see straight away that if I'm making an order from f silk, I need to consider fifty yards, and I need to also make sure that I have these thinks this would probably be on another column of, you know, how much ink I need to order how much die rather to reach these so so you can see it's just everyone has a different way of doing ordering and kind of like planning things out. This to me is a good tool it using the same information I've used before, you can even link it by formulas on some of these different aspects here of the material codes of the colors, even yields as well, but it's a useful is a useful tool to put all the information together company thing all this. On aa lot of the stuff we talked about yesterday as faras the assumptions go right like your launch you're launching your new scars and so you're making all these assumptions based on how you think you're going to d'oh and your and then so all these numbers that we're looking at ims you know, somewhere living in a hopeful area of like I think that's full but not overly successful this is just exactly but this is just it's our point or right thing to do is I know I know yard is going to make me a scarf thirty seven by thirty seven that that's a definite it's not there's not an assumption if I want to sell in a if I want I wanted if you produce stock and have it ready then these air the quantities that I'm pitching for right now um, which would, which would give me a total of fifty yards I'm working on the assumption that I can start bulk on these times I think these are fairly safe assumptions to make the only thing that I would really check and cross check is the quantities I want to make because I wouldn't potentially want to make that amount of quantity straight off without proving my concept I would do a much smaller I wouldn't want to be left with that much just in case no one bought my scarves and I was heartbroken you more of the stuff we talked about before, as far as knowing your competition and knowing where you fit and what you bring to the market and it's also it's also highly linked to the business model. I want to follow what kind of business model I want to follow, which doesn't right, but it doesn't follow on with this a tall so it's a little bit of a curve ball just to kind of see here in wake after lunch, but it's, because I want to go with a custom method I want only make only produce what people purchase, okay, so I would probably make a set of samples show those on on my site were on, etc, and then I know I figure out my turnaround times and then make it to order and allow a week to two weeks to basically produce. If I wass then confident, and I only wanted to make the mid on the high level of the pyramid that the top and the mid ast custom and I felt confident about my bottom layer, then I would go into making cannabis a stock level probably wouldn't be fifteen or ten, I'd probably keep it five five of each color um, or at least just get the materials right, so I had enough five because of the material in itself. Is the most important aspect so I would probably get the materials in I would keep it untied I'd make sure you have the dies in hand so that if I kind of like there was a crazy rush on scarves all of a sudden in mind with the only site left up on etc then I would can imagine how cool that would be a keep keep channeling that thought then I would have the raw materials in my hand but it's definitely all this right now is his on assumptions, but I feel I'm not making so many crazy assumptions and not thinking so far in the future that I can't you know really listen because I can do my own production in such small quantities but in the concept of this diversifying your product line the other things that I'd like tio I can't do myself so yeah that's helpful to kind of think about those quantities you're kind of studying myself up I went being able to do that type of thing without it becoming overwhelming. Yeah, I would definitely you know on the side of caution on really just test the market don't know ever commit to a huge production run until you know that that your product is needed valued on dh you know, desirable and, you know, produce a bill that would be that would be the starting point, so go I would you know, not everything can be custom, but really go with a very agile way, very lean way until you know that the product has a place right, then I mean, I think actually that's the stage your eye right now and you've been making everything you've had some great feedback and great response and now it's taking it to the next level, so it's, exactly the same way, but it's the same, I would recommend that if you're starting with a new product line always, it may be a really overly cautious way of working, but you know, if you're starting here starting with very little money on dure, putting everything out there on on a kind of like keeping both fingers crossed, I think it's the best way to do it, I would I would certainly do that. So, yeah, coming back, it's all about assumptions. Yeah, definitely that's where these all clicking s o making your collection plan in spreadsheet really helps you to start ordering your materials that use everything in place. This is the key thing when we're talking about documenting your information in a style sheet or a technical pack, or even putting in a spreadsheet is keeping in one place is easy to pass over to someone else. So going back to chat room raises question a little bit earlier. How do you document your products? Try creating a simple style sheet for one product using the layout that we showed we've already had. Some great feedback from the audience here, remember, and for team are about how they really kind of document.