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Now that you have registered and you know what you are watching for when purchasing, you now need to find a system of tracking those components and purchases (this tracking doubles for safety compliance and tax compliance).

Effectively, you want to be able to know exactly when and where you obtained a component so that if the supplier puts out a notice of a recall, you can comply with the recall AND know which of your sold products are affected so you can do your own recall. In the reverse, if a customer of yours has an issue, you want to be able to know exactly when and where you obtained the faulty component so you can seek a remedy for the bad component (thus saving money!).

So how do we do this? My personal preference is to use spreadsheets (Google for the win!), but many prefer a good ol' notebook or binder. Honestly, I do love those systems too. They are more tactile and definitely easier for someone that is a hands-on person. The key is to find a system that works with your creative flow, so don't stress if it doesn't work right away. As the Boy Scout motto states:Do Your Best.

First: You'll need to track your purchases. Essentially, you want to know the 5 W's (Who, What, Where, When, Why - & How). Who did you buy from, what is it, where'd you get it, when'd you get it, how much did you get, how much did you spend... It is also good to know things like the SKU, fiber content, country of origin, and care information. Each of these pieces of information play into creating a solid tracking system to reduce energy and resources should something go awry.

Second:You want to track your finished products so that you know exactly what you used in them. As I previously stated, if the component supplier has an issue, you want to be able to take that information and know what you need to recall as well. Likewise, if your customer has an issue, you want to be able to seek a remedy for the problematic component as well as recall all other affected products.

Reference# is a code given to your components as you purchase and inventory them.

Serial# is the Reference# strung together (this is basically an ingredient list for your finished product)

Batch# is the code put on the tag (typically easier to put on the tag than the Serial#)

Date of Manufacture is the date finished, typically month/year. Sometimes this is added to the Batch#

Model# is for your Certificate of Compliance. Some like to have this on their spreadsheet so they know exactly which Certificate the product corresponds with using both the date of manufacture and the model #. Many ignore this as it just gets confusing and mundane since most of the items can easily be determined just by the date and reading the description in #1 of the certificate. 


Tracking Components

The basic information to have on your spreadsheet or your cards for tracking components will be:

  • Component Name
  • Identification/Reference #
  • Where Purchased?
  • Date Purchased
  • Purchase Price (include any shipping, taxes, or fees paid)
  • Qty Received
  • Fiber Content


Tracking Finished Products

The basic information for your finished products will be:

  • Product Name
  • Date Created/Finished
  • Code on Label ("Batch Code")
  • Components Used (list by identification/reference #)