When starting a business that supplies a product, one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make is how to produce the product. You’ll need a reliable and affordable manufacturing partner to assist you, otherwise, you won’t be able to produce a large enough quantity for your business to grow. But picking a manufacturer isn’t easy, so you won’t want to rush through it. Here are some things you’ll want to consider to help you find the best manufacturer for your product.
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Are You Producing a Unique Product?
The first thing you’ll want to consider is whether you are producing a unique product. By this we mean, are you creating your own product from scratch or are you adding designs to existing products? If you are doing the latter, you’ll want an eCommerce manufacturer to handle this for you. This process is much simpler and easier to do.
For those of you creating a new product, you’ll need to find a manufacturer that can produce unique items. This is a little bit harder to do, but not impossible.
Local VS Overseas
The next thing to consider is whether you want to work with a manufacturer that is local or overseas. Both have their pros and cons, so it will really depend on what you are looking for.
For instance, using local manufacturers can mean faster shipping times and an easier time communicating with the team there. On the other hand, going overseas may be cheaper and closer to your materials supplier.
When considering whether you want to go local or overseas, there are several factors you’ll want to explore. Think about where your supplies are coming from, what the shipping costs would be, and how long it would take to ship things. In some cases, it might make more financial sense to go local and save on shipping costs, and in others producing the product overseas may make more sense.
Here are some more things to consider when debating between local and overseas manufacturers.
Begin Your Search
Now you can begin searching for manufacturers. There are three excellent ways that you can learn about possible manufacturers.
The first is simply by using Google. Head to the search engine and type in the type of product you want to be made, plus keywords like “manufacturer”, “wholesaler”, or “distributor”. You may have to sift through several pages of results, but you should find a few possible options.
The other option is to head to your local library. Some libraries have subscriptions to manufacturing directories and can point you in the right direction. If your nearest library doesn’t have anything, try out some other libraries in your area.
Finally, you can ask for referrals. If you know anyone else in this industry, or who has worked with manufacturers, you can ask them for the contact information of a manufacturer. Let your network know that you are looking for a manufacturer and ask them to ask their own networks. With any luck, someone will get back to you with some options.
Investigate Each Possibility
After compiling a list of a few possible options, you’ll then want to dig in a little deeper into each. You’re trying to find the best manufacturer, not the first one you come across.
Start by reaching out to the manufacturer and asking them questions. For instance, you could ask what their standard turn around time is. Or, if you know you’ll need certain equipment to create your product, you can ask them something like “Do you have all-flo pumps available for use?” Another important question to ask is what their minimum order quantity (MOQ) is. This is the number of products you’ll have to order before they will even consider making anything for you.
Either along with your questions or after receiving some answers, ask the manufacturer to provide you with a quote. If you get a few quotes from different manufacturers, you can then compare them against one another during your decision-making process.
Negotiate Your MOQs
MOQs are a big part of a manufacturing agreement. It only makes financial sense for the manufacturer to create certain quantities of a product, which can make it hard for newer businesses who want to start small and refine their product. Luckily, MOQs are often negotiable. If the MOQ is higher than you would like, talk to the manufacturer about any possibility of lowering it to a more reasonable rate.
Don’t Rush Your Decision
Which manufacturer you choose will have a significant impact on your business going forward. Choose the wrong one, and you could be faced with product delays or low profits. Pick the right one, though, and you could be well on your way towards a successful business. So, don’t rush through the decision – take the time to pick the right manufacturer for your business.