Tens of thousands of items fill the shelves of retailers with a “Made in China” label. At one point or another we’ve probably thought to ourselves, “Is there anything NOT made in China nowadays?”
While working with an overseas manufacturer may not be favorable to everyone, the fact is, if you’re running a consumer product business and fulfilling large volume orders, there are major advantages to getting goods produced in China.
However, the key is finding the appropriate factory…and that is not an easy task. With so many factors to consider, entrepreneurs and business owners who have little experience working overseas continue to struggle to find the right one.
The following are key elements you should think about when looking to find a manufacturer in China to produce your goods:
Competitive Pricing: Cost savings is still a key motivator for sourcing goods in China. If you are manufacturing in volume, you can save substantially in tooling, molding, unit cost, packaging and other steps necessary in the development and production of goods.
Quality: Although cost savings is one of the primary reasons for sourcing and finding a manufacturer in China, you should obviously not sacrifice the quality of your product. Make sure you work with a manufacturer who provides a good combination of competitive pricing and one that can build to your quality guidelines.
Manufacturer Capabilities: Over the years, manufacturers in China have significantly improved their manufacturing capabilities. Working with a factory that has more sophisticated development, production and logistic capabilities would be an advantage to your business.
Factory Compliance: It is critical that the factory you select is in compliance with all government rules and regulations. This is also especially important when working with major retailers as they will make sure you meet all quality and safety compliance requirements before doing any business with your company.
Reliability & Trustworthiness: Having a reliable and trustworthy manufacturing partner is critical to your success. Unfortunately this is very difficult to assess especially for new companies. Make sure you get good referrals and recommendations prior to working with a manufacturer.
Payment Terms: You should look for a manufacturer who is financially stable and offers agreeable payment terms. Make sure you work with someone who does not except you to pay in advance for your merchandise.
Speed & Timeliness: When working with an off-shore manufacturer, you need to account for longer lead times in getting your goods to its final destination. Having a manufacturer who has the capability of getting your goods produced and shipped as quickly and efficiently as possible is key to your success.
Delivering orders to your customers in a timely manner is critical to your business’ success, so make sure your partner is reliable and manages and delivers your expectations.
Ability to Communicate: One of the challenges in working with an overseas manufacturer is the language barrier and cultural differences in business practices. It would be in your best interest to select a manufacturer who has the ability or resource to clearly communicate with you while doing business with them.
Value-Added Services: A manufacturer that offers value-added services such as an in-house package engineering & design support can be extremely beneficial during production.
Factory Location: One important thing to consider when selecting a manufacturer is the factory’s physical distance to port. This is important so you don’t incur significant truck charges from the factory to the port.
Keep in mind that not all items are good for overseas manufacturing, so assess your needs with caution and prioritize your business values and objectives. If you do decide to produce off-shore, there are many reliable companies who can help you find the right manufacturer.