Updated: Feb 2
You have a great product idea that has a potential to be a huge success in the market and you are out looking for a manufacturer that you can partner up with to make this success come true. With so many manufacturers promising you the same thing, you are not sure how to find the right partner for your project and it can be somewhat overwhelming to start, especially if you are a small business owner.
The following are the simplest, most basic steps that you can use to find the right manufacturer for your project:
Research the type of products the manufacturer is specialized in
First, you need to do a research on what kind of products the manufacturer produces. Try to get in contact with manufacturers that are used to creating similar products to the one you are developing. It is also worth noting that the longer the manufacturer has been in the market, the more experiences they have. This is extremely helpful when you’re developing a new product since there are a lot of insights that you can get from a more experienced manufacturer. As an example, we have been in the car mount OEM/ODM business for more than 25 years, it makes us know very well the ins and outs of this industry. So, when we notice a possible problem, we can remind our client that some ideas might not be able to be implemented and offer a better solution.
Get some samples
If the manufacturer that you are looking forward to work with is located far from where your business is, the best way to verify their product quality is by getting some samples sent to you. Some manufacturers, such as COMART, can provide some free samples so that you can see whether the product quality can fulfill your project demand or not.
Check the services provided by the manufacturer
Depending on the design of your product and the demand of your project, sometimes you will need to customize other elements of the product such as packaging or user’s manual. Describe your request as detailed as possible, including the design and the kind of material you want to use. Some manufacturers have their own trusted regular suppliers so you might not need to find your own supplier for every part required to complete your product. At times, it can also help to minimize cost, since most OEM/ODM manufacturers work with their suppliers in big quantities, and of course under special cooperation agreements. So, understanding what can be done through the manufacturer can help you streamline the process and even minimize your cost.
Discuss your R&D cost
Your idea is great, but it can be costly to fund a development of a product from start to finish, all from your own pocket. If your market is relatively small and you don't mind letting the manufacturer sell your product in some markets, you can communicate with your manufacturer to see if they are interested to co-develop the product with you. Inquire the possibility of such partnership to the manufacturer. Both you and your manufacturer can benefit from such cooperation.
After you agree on the product development cost, you need to also check if the cost to mass produce your design aligns with your budget and your expected market price. Production cost is also closely correlated to the price of raw materials and labor.
Set the payment term
Cash flow is a very crucial element in developing and manufacturing your product, therefore it is very important to make sure your cash flow doesn’t hinder or slow down your product development. Discuss the payment term early to guarantee that your manufacturer’s terms suit your own accounting policies. Usually for delayed payment request, you will need to prepare related documents to let the manufacturer assess the risk of granting such credit proposal and take the necessary measures in case a default happens.
Check the lead time to manufacture your product
The production time needed to complete a cargo differs from factory to factory, it’s also influenced by various factors, such as product complexity, materials, peak season, etc. Make sure the lead time provided by your manufacturer can meet your project timeline.
With the above basic steps you can quickly evaluate whether or not the manufacturer can be a good candidate to be the partner of your project.