Did you know there are roughly 569,902 manufacturing companies in the US? If you have a great product idea, you will probably need to reach out to one of these manufacturing companies. However, with so many companies to choose from, picking the right one can be hard.
Below, we’ll explore how you can go about choosing a manufacturer for your product. If you have a fantastic product idea, these tips will help you find a manufacturer that’ll bring your concepts to life. Let’s begin!
1. Make Sure You Have Specifications
Before you think about speaking to a manufacturer, you need to have specifications for your product. If you don’t take care of this, you will run into lots of problems no matter how good your chosen manufacturer is. That’s because your manufacturer will not have a clear sense of what you want. Following this, they might make an incorrect version of your product, which will cost you time and money.
If you don’t currently have a product specification document, you can start by creating a rough sketch of your product.
Additionally, you should note down some of the unique features your product has, that might not be visible to the naked eye. You should also describe the materials your product will be made from as well as its dimensions.
If you need some inspiration, you may want to look at existing product specification documents. If you Google ‘product specification sheet template,’ you should find some relevant documents.
There’s also the option of working with a specialist that knows how to create product specification documents. These people will walk you through the process of creating a product specification, thereby making the process a lot easier.
Working with this kind of person can be expensive, but this cost is often worth it. That’s because a good product specification document will lower the odds of an error during the manufacturing process.
2. Should You Go International?
When trying to find a factory to make your product, you might think you need to work with an international firm. However, it’s worth noting that you don’t always have to go down that route, as you can also work with domestic firms.
One good thing about working with a domestic firm is that you can save money on shipping. After all, they won’t be shipping items over huge distances, and so you don’t have to pay the high fees associated with international shipping.
Additionally, if you work with a national company, you don’t have to deal with a language barrier. This can make it easier for you to communicate product specifications, which will help keep errors to a minimum.
If you work with a national company, you’re also less likely to run into a situation wherein someone infringes on your property rights.
There are stories of people that have had their international manufacturers rip of their product. This is generally because other countries have intellectual property laws that aren’t as strict as the laws in America.
Thus, if you work with an American company, the odds of you running into this problem are a lot lower.
Additionally, if a national company manufactures your products, you can use this as a selling point. That’s because some people will often choose one product over another if the product in question is made in America.
Of course, one of the downsides of working with a national manufacturer is that the costs can be higher.
Also, depending on the product you’re trying to make, you might not actually be able to find a suitable domestic manufacturer. That’s because most manufacturing is now done overseas, and so you don’t necessarily have a lot of companies to choose from.
3. Finding an International Manufacturer
In some cases, you might find that it’s better to work with an international manufacturer. If you want to find international manufacturers, you can do so with the help of Alibaba. That’s because this website is kind of like a database of global manufacturing companies.
When you visit Alibaba, you need to search a keyword that’s associated with your product niche. In doing so, you’ll discover some relevant manufacturing companies that’ll help you make your product.
One of the good things about Alibaba is that you can see pictures that highlight the past work of a given manufacturer. If you review this earlier work, you can quickly determine if a given manufacturer is right for you.
Manufacturers on Alibaba also have a ‘star-rating’ that’s based on the experience of past customers. You can use this rating system to weed out the manufacturers that will not be reliable.
If you find a promising manufacturer, you can message them on the Alibaba platform. In this message, you might want to include your product specification document. After a certain amount of time, the manufacturer will get back to you, and they’ll ask you if you want a sample.
Note that this sample can be costly when compared to the eventual ‘per unit price’ you will face. That’s because the sample price is associated with the extra work that goes into making a new product.
If you want to save time, you might want to contact multiple manufacturing companies at the same time. In doing so, you will then have multiple samples that you can review side by side, and this will make it easier to identify which company is the best.
Choosing a Manufacturer: Will You Make a Mistake?
If you have a great product idea, it’s vital that you don’t make a mistake when choosing a manufacturer. After all, if you get this bit wrong, your product may never turn out the way you want it to.
Note that aside from their technical abilities, you also want to pay attention to how they communicate with you. That’s because manufacturing a product is a stressful experience, and it takes a lot of collaborative effort.
Thus, if you find that a particular manufacturer is difficult to work with, you may want to move on, no matter how good their technical abilities are.
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