How to Make Purchase Order (PO) for Garment Sourcing?

Purchase order is a written document that includes specification of product, Product Price (FOB), Total order quantity, size break-up, packing instruction and shipping address etc. Purchase Order is known as PO.

Garment buyers and garment sourcing agents follow a standard formats for purchase order. Each of those PO includes above documents and also includes additional information as per buyers requirement to explain things in a better way. For export orders, buyers sent specification sheet, construction details during sample development.

When you are first time planning to source garments and manufacturing done by garment manufacturers, you might required to know few basic information that need to be included in your PO. If all necessary details are not found in your PO, supplier will ask you questions for many things. You might not understand most of their technical terms. You can do one thing, surrender to supplier for details what they asked you and ask supplier to provide best option for particular things. Suppliers asked for such information as because, they are habituated of seeing a set of specified information in the PO sent by buyers.

Again, if you are first time placing an order with a garment factory, suppose for school or college uniforms, you don't need to go through that long process of sample development, approvals, size set, salesman sampling, PP sampling etc. You need to provide as much information as required to make your product. If you are a small retailers or individual who need uniforms for a group, you can follow the following instruction to make your purchase order. Most easy thing that you can do is pick a garment from market and send it to supplier asking to copy for design, construction and whatever you like to keep similar as the sample.

In the following table list of information are included those are found in a PO.

Product/Style nameMention the name of your garment. Is it a T-Shirt order or Shirts or Polo or Sweat shirt or else?
Product descriptionAdd text that describes your style. Like Half sleeve T-shirt, full Sleeve Shirt etc. If you have image of the product you can add that  image also.
Order quantityTotal number of pieces you like to source from the supplier. For uniform order you can calculate order quantity just by count heads of group members. If you are a retailer, you can decide order quantity based on your sales forecast.
Size break-up in orderYou might need to source garment multiple sizes, based on wearer. If you are going to order for college uniforms or uniform for your employees, you can check with wearer who wear what size of garment and make a list. Send the summarized size break-up. 
Fabric Details
  • Fabric type: For knits fabric GSM, Single jersey etc. If your design have different types of fabric mention details of all fabrics.
  • Fabric color: Specify color or colors for multiple color orders.
Print and Logo designYou want a design in your garment? Send the design and logo that to be printed on the garment. Also clearly mention the placement of logo or print designs on the garment.
Washing DetailsAdd washing instruction if applies to your order.
Measurement sheetIn case you developed one spec sheet, send it to the supplier. Otherwise you can ask supplier to use standard measurement for your design based demographic. 
LabelingAdd what all labels you like to attach to your garment like care labels, main label and size label or else.
PriceAgreed price that is finalized with suppliers. 
Packing detailsProvide folding and packing instruction.
Tags detailsIf applies to your order you have to mention where to attach hang tags and means of attaching hang tags. This applies for retailing orders. Supplier normally don't design or develop tags (price tags, hand tags). You have to develop tags and provide supplier.
Shipping AddressComplete address where you want supplier to send finished goods.  
OthersAdd what  other information supplier asked from you prior to order confirmation.

An Example How I Ordered for T-Shirt Uniform.

I made one purchase order with following information. And it explains everything that I needed in our T-Shirts. For measurements I followed standard measurement chart. I didn't have design of the T-shirt. So, I asked supplier to submit one sample and I approved that for my order.

Product Name: Crew neck T-shirt (Half Sleeve).
Order Quantity: 200 pieces, Size: Medium only
Fabric Details: 100% cotton Single jersey 160 gsm. Neck rib – 1X2 ribs matching gsm, Back neck tape – Self fabric
Color: Solid Blue Pantone#19-4052 TPX
Printing Details: Logo print on chest (Logo design attached in a separate sheet and also send separate image file)
Measurement (Size chart): Send a standard size chart.
Packing Instruction: Single piece packing.
Price: As confirmed in mail.

I hope now you can make PO for your garment orders.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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