One of the many responsibilities I enjoyed while working at Carter's included working with the design and art teams to prepare print artwork for sales meetings, sampling, and final production. I loved the creative process involved with print development including reviewing print layout, checking elements, confirming repeat, and insuring screens were within planned cost margins. As Child of Mine was a price-conscious brand then the standard rule was no more than 8 screens.
The print paperwork below is a small representation of the work involved with creating, selling, and producing this line. Each color in the print had to be approved both by me and the Walmart's PD teams
before we could move ahead with sampling and/or production. These colors represent a small fraction of the roughly 50-75 seasonal colors selected by design and merchandising teams and then passed to the product development and sourcing teams for development and bulk production once final approval was received from Walmart.
As product manager, I owned the print paperwork...meaning once signed off by design and merchandising, then I insured the copy on the print paperwork was correct. If not, then I needed to fix the copy. I am comfortable making quick typed adjustments on Illustrator such as fixing the style number, print number, fabrication, color name or number, etc. This skill set allows the artists to focus on...the art...and helps keep the design/development process moving.
"It takes a supply chain but I hate the word chain primarily as it neglects to acknowledge the reciprocal and symbiotic relationship required in a successful supply "chain."
Speed and accuracy is always my focus as product manager as this paperwork will be used on design boards for sales presentations, heat transferred into sample fabrics for brandwall setups, and passed on to sourcing for final production. Making sure the customer gets exactly what they want is part of my ultimate goal as I truly believe everyone (sales, merchandising, design, pre-production, production...and most importantly, the customer) wins when we keep the customer first. We create strong customer relationships which can help to grow our business.