Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or an established business, the release of a new product is exciting news. This a chance to enhance your business reputation and bring in more revenue.
With so much riding on the success of your idea, you need to understand how to get a product manufactured efficiently. The first step is finding a high-quality supplier who can mass-produce it.
There are plenty of manufacturing facilities to choose from, both here in the U.S. and overseas. You need to be sure you work with one who can accommodate your needs and offer a good price.
To help you out, we’re going over some tips for choosing the most suitable facility for you.
Decide Between Domestic or Overseas
You may feel inclined to find a supplier who’s located near you. However, there’s a chance an overseas supplier could present a better deal. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons.
Opting for a domestic facility typically results in a higher quality product. This is due to labor standards and the materials used.
Furthermore, many people have a positive association with American-made products. You’ll be able to use this in your marketing efforts.
The primary downside to domestic manufacturing is the cost. You’ll likely spend more to have your product mass-produced here in America.
Opting for overseas manufacturing means you’ll have more choices as to which facility to work with. You’ll also pay less than you would in the U.S.
The downside is you’ll have to wait longer for shipping. In addition, many people perceive overseas products as poorly made, even if they’re not.
Research Is Critical
Once you’ve decided between a domestic or overseas supplier, it’s time to do some research. This is a crucial step you can’t ignore.
First, take a look at each manufacturer’s website. Check out their background and portfolio. You want someone who has experience manufacturing products similar to yours.
If you find a manufacturer who looks like a good fit, dig a little deeper. Search for any evidence of past legal issues or claims of poor business practices. You may also want to learn more about what constitutes legitimate manufacturing practices.
It always helps to read customer reviews of every facility you’re considering. Don’t work with anyone who has frequent negative reviews about quality, timeliness, or financial issues. This helps you avoid hitting snags in the manufacturing process after you’ve already signed a contract.
Ask for Referrals
A great way to connect with a reputable manufacturer is through a referral. This approach cuts down on time spent looking and gives you peace of mind you’re working with an honest company.
If you know someone who sells their own products, ask them who they use. When doing so, inquire about their experience with the manufacturer to ensure they operate in a way conducive to your needs.
If you’re not having any luck with personal referrals, social media is a good resource. There are now countless online groups where you can interact with other businesses and entrepreneurs in your industry.
Manufacturers can also provide high-quality referrals. Let’s say someone refers you to a facility, but it turns out they’re not a good fit for you. There’s a good chance they know another manufacturer you’ll have better luck with.
Tour Potential Manufacturing Facilities
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices of potential manufacturers, you’ll need to tour their facilities. This is another step you can’t ignore.
Touring a facility allows you to get an in-depth look at their operation. You’ll be able to see the equipment they use, the condition of the facility, and the strength of their workforce. This all impacts the quality of their output.
Visiting a facility will also give you the chance to see the products they produce. Many manufacturers have showrooms where you can examine the quality of their work.
Even if you’ve opted to work with an overseas supplier, you need to take a trip to visit their facility. The last thing you want is to start doing business with someone and find out they’re guilty of bad business practices.
You’ll need to ask for quotes from every manufacturer you’re considering. Make sure you get pricing from several businesses so you can find the best deal.
Don’t forget to ask about sample pricing. This is what you’ll have to pay to have the facility make the initial sample of your product. You’ll inspect it to ensure it’s correct before placing a large order.
Some manufacturers give discounts on samples or even provide them for free. This all depends on the complexity of your product and the manufacturer’s terms.
When getting quotes for full orders, discuss all the conditions involved. Make sure you’re aware of potential fees, shipping costs, and timelines. Going over these details in advance prevents complications down the road.
Asking the Right Questions
You’ve done all your research and gotten quotes from several manufacturers. Before deciding on the facility that’s right for you, you’ll need to ask some final questions.
First, ask what the turnover will be for your product. This detail needs to be in the contract before you sign it.
Ask if the manufacturer has a minimum order you’re required to make. Some facilities won’t produce small orders.
You’ll need to ask if they outsource any of their work. If they do, ask who they outsource to and what the process entails.
Find out what your payment options are. Ask if they require a deposit and if you can set up a monthly payment plan.
Finally, inquire about how they address delays in the manufacturing process. Make sure there’s a clause in the contract that details how missed deadlines affect the pricing structure.
Find a Facility That Knows How to Get a Product Manufactured Right
The success of your product largely depends on the quality of the materials used and the way it’s manufactured. Find a facility that knows how to get a product manufactured to the highest possible standards.
Use the tips discussed above and find a manufacturer you can trust.
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