Did you know domestic manufacturing in the USA makes up a third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
Even with the rise in international manufacturing. There are as many benefits to manufacturing on home soil as abroad, so this often confuses people.
So, where do you begin? Let’s take a closer look at five key tips you can use on your quest for finding a manufacturer!
- 1 1. Know What You Need From A Manufacturing Company
- 2 2. Domestic or International Manufacturing?
- 3 3. Understand The Manufacturing Process
- 4 4. Find Suppliers That Best Fit Your Needs
- 5 5. Know What Finding a Manufacturer Entails!
1. Know What You Need From A Manufacturing Company
Before starting any search, know what exactly you want from a manufacturer. Here are some initial considerations that you need to make:
Suppose you plan to spend less than $10k per year on production costs. Then, an inexpensive local factory might work fine.
But if you expect to spend over $100k per year, you should consider looking into larger factories. This way, you won’t have to worry so much about cost overruns.
Legalities of Manufacturing
There are plenty of reassurances and set systems in place for safe shipping. But, for some industries such as pharmaceuticals, it’s a much tougher challenge. For these businesses, going down the domestic route is often the way forward.
Ethics and Moral Practices
There are also ethical issues involved in manufacturing abroad. These include things like child labor laws, environmental protection standards, and human rights. Make sure that you understand the implications before deciding to move forward.
Failing to do so can result in a detriment to your business model and reputation with your customers. Be aware of any concerns your buyer persona might have, particularly in the country where you locate your manufacturing facilities.
2. Domestic or International Manufacturing?
One of the most important factors is to decide whether you’re going to manufacture home or abroad. There’s no right or wrong answer.
But, there are plenty of factors to consider if you’re debating between the two. So let’s take a look at a couple of reasons and see how we can distinguish between the two:
The answer here depends upon where you plan to sell your product. If you intend to sell at home, then domestic production may make sense. But if you plan to export, international production makes more sense as it’ll be cheaper to ship.
There are many advantages to exporting products overseas. These include lower costs, better quality control, and greater flexibility.
Value of Manufacturing Location to the Brand
Value is important for companies charging a premium for authentic products. For example, take Fender Guitars. The difference in branding between Chinese, Korean, and Mexican models is often over $2,000.
Thus, there needs to be an understanding of value before choosing your manufacturer.
Value also comes in the form of quality. In most cases, domestic sourcing offers higher quality and labor standards.
Plus, you’ll have faster shipping times. And, you’ll find you have more streamlined work processes and a reputation to go with it.
That said, overseas sourcing can reduce costs because there’s increased competition.
That’s especially true if you’re looking for mass production on a global scale. The sheer number of industrial manufacturers to choose from makes it the perfect choice.
3. Understand The Manufacturing Process
Once you understand what type of process you need, take note of your production flow from start to finish. That includes understanding the different types of processes used. Then, you can begin narrowing down potential suppliers.
There are many elements of consideration when looking at their manufacturing capabilities. For example, Do you need a large quantity? Are there certain features or products that are essential to your product line?
It would be best if you answered these questions before beginning your search. If not, then you may end up wasting time. You’re looking at companies that do not have the capabilities needed by your business.
Visit https://prototechasia.com/en/what-is-the-overmolding-process for a case study understanding of what’s required in industrial manufacturing.
Quality control refers to the procedures used by an organization to improve quality. It includes everything from the design process to final inspection and packaging.
Suppose you don’t already have one in place. It would help if you considered implementing one during the early stages of development.
This step involves sourcing materials needed for production. You will need to determine how much material you expect to use.
Also, you will need to source raw materials. These often include metals, plastics, glass, ceramics, wood, leather, or fabrics.
And, consider where the materials are coming from too. It’s all well and good to save money by using a facility in China.
But suppose the materials cost too much to ship in. You may need to consider a factory closer to home. In doing so, you’ll find one that allows for cheaper import and export costs of raw materials.
4. Find Suppliers That Best Fit Your Needs
After determining what you want out of a supplier, you now need to determine who best meets your needs. There are many factors to take into consideration, including:
Product Line Experience
Do they specialize in producing similar items to yours? Have they produced other products like yours? How long has this company been around?
Also, consider their track record when it comes to delivering orders on time. These are all valid experience questions. All these questions help you gauge if they are capable of meeting your expectations.
It’s also important to check how flexible the manufacturer is with last-minute changes. For example, does the manufacturer offer custom designs? And can they produce samples at speed?
Health and Safety Practices
Safety practices are another area worth considering. They include things like fire safety, worker health and hygiene, and even food safety. Check to ensure that the factory follows industry regulations.
If you’re unsure about anything, ask them directly. Don’t assume that just because they’ve got a website, they must follow all necessary guidelines. After all, they could still be operating illegally.
And, even if they are operating legally, we mentioned earlier that for some businesses, international manufacturing might not be the right choice. So, always do your research first!
Check Pricing Structure and Terms
You’ll also want to check the pricing structure and terms offered by manufacturers. Some businesses prefer fixed-price contracts, while others opt for variable costs.
Fixed prices involve paying upfront regardless of the volume ordered. Variable cost structures allow buyers to pay per unit depending upon actual usage. Both options come with pros and cons.
Consider the Company Culture
Finally, you’ll want to look at the culture of the manufacturing facility. Look for poor communication skills, lack of responsiveness, or high turnover. It could show that the employees aren’t happy with their jobs.
In turn, that means they might not care about providing the highest quality work. If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right.
Differentiate Between Partnerships and Going Solo
Keep in mind that many small businesses cannot afford to invest thousands of dollars at once. Thus, look for partners who can provide you with quick turnaround times and keep quality high.
Even though you may save money by outsourcing the manufacturing work, note that you could lose customers over time due to poor service.
Suppose you already sell similar products or services. You might consider using an existing manufacturer or supplier to cut costs.
Both parties collaborate to gain access to resources they would otherwise never see. And, having someone else handle some of the logistics allows you to focus on other areas of your business.
5. Know What Finding a Manufacturer Entails!
We’ve discussed key considerations in knowing how to find a parts manufacturer to help make your products. But how do you find these manufacturers in the first place?
Well, thanks to the internet, there are more ways than ever to find the perfect manufacturer. So let’s take a look at some of the best ways to go about finding a manufacturer.
Work With a Sourcing Expert
Suppose you’re new to the manufacturing game and don’t know where to start. Outsource someone to find the right manufacturing facility for you! These specialists have extensive knowledge of not only manufacturing processes but particular countries.
A good sourcing expert understands the nuances and legalities of each country. They can also assist with paperwork such as customs documentation.
Another option is to research manufacturers online yourself. It isn’t always ideal, though. Researching online doesn’t allow you to explore the full range of manufacturers.
When searching online, you must be aware of potential scams. Some companies will try to lure you away from legitimate suppliers.
That said, if you do decide to find a manufacturer, here are some good websites you can use:
Alibaba is one of the most well-known websites online. This platform connects buyers and sellers all around the world.
You’ll need to register to create an account, which takes minutes. Once registered, you can search for specific machinery, chemicals, raw materials, etc.
You can filter searches based on price, quality, delivery date, and payment methods. If you want to narrow down your search further, you can sort listings by letter or category.
Alibaba has vetting procedures in place, too. That means you can search for fair practices. You can even check if a company has listings on local government agencies’ watch lists.
There are several directories online that allow users to post their businesses. Examples include Yellow Pages, Google Maps, Yelp, or Citysearch.
These sites provide a great way to get started. While these directories may seem like a quick solution, they aren’t always reliable. That’s because they have access to thousands of different businesses across the globe.
For example, some directories need registration fees, whereas others charge per listing. Further, some directories limit what types of products you can list.
Once you’ve found a suitable supplier, make sure to follow up soon after placing your order. A lot of times, manufacturers won’t respond until they receive the product.
Google is the go-to search for anything niche. The first step would be to enter “manufacturers near me” into the search bar at google.com. From there, you should see results related to options in your area.
To make sure they’re genuine, read reviews about the particular manufacturer. It’s also worth checking out other pages within the website. These could contain useful resources, including videos showing various parts of the process.
Finally, don’t forget to look at the contact page. Many manufacturers will let customers know where they can reach them via email or phone.
Seek referrals from anyone who knows someone working with a reputable manufacturer. Ask for a few recommendations and take note of anything special that relates to the business.
This approach isn’t foolproof, though. People tend to give glowing testimonials without thinking twice. So it pays to dig deeper.
Find out why the person recommended this vendor. Were they satisfied with the service provided?
The U.S. Census Bureau provides an extensive database called NAICS. You’ll find information here about every industry sector in America.
This data includes industry descriptions well as links to details such as websites. To use this resource, start by searching for the appropriate code. Then browse the relevant categories to learn more about specific sectors.
In most cases, you’ll need to register before accessing the full database. But by registering, you’ll have the best chance of finding what you need, so it’s well worth the investment.
Now You Know How to Choose a Manufacturer
Finding a manufacturer shouldn’t be difficult if you do your research. But remember to ask questions when necessary. And always double-check any references given to you by potential suppliers.
Keep reading our articles for more great advice on helping your business to succeed!