For any company that’s in the business of selling products, finding an affordable and reliable manufacturer is of critical importance. After all, you’ll be relying on them to ensure that your products can be manufactured and delivered efficiently enough to meet demand and that they’re up to your quality standards.
The good news is that we’re living in an interconnected world where a wealth of information is available on finding the right manufacturer for any kind of product. If you’re considering using an overseas manufacturer, you’re on the right track. Let’s start by looking at the benefits of choosing to manufacture your products in another country.
Of course, the make-or-break factor for most companies is the sheer difference in production costs between America and countries like China and India. This is especially apparent in labor costs. While American factory workers are paid an average of $12.70 per hour, those in China are paid $3.60 per hour.
This is largely due to the drastically lower cost of living in these countries. There’s also the automation factor. China is becoming less reliant on blue-collar workers and more on machines to manufacture products. In a fully autonomous factory, your labor costs are little more than zero.
Faster Production Initiation
Asia is home to thousands of factories that specialize in certain production methods. Because of this, overseas production is historically known for faster lead times. If one factory doesn’t suit your needs, you won’t have to wait through extensive setup times like you would when manufacturing locally.
Most overseas factories deal with international clients in a highly competitive landscape. They often have large teams of experienced sales reps who are enthusiastic about bringing new clients on board and ensuring that operations run smoothly. If you have a good relationship going, your manufacturer will go above and beyond to keep it that way.
Now that we know why you should choose an overseas manufacturer, let’s take a look at how.
The last thing you want to deal with is a self-proclaimed manufacturer that takes a deposit and disappears, never mind one that doesn’t end up producing the product you asked for. You need to protect your business and ensure that you’re working with someone reliable who can meet your expectations.
You can do this in a number of ways. One of the best things you can do is conduct a site visit. This way, you can see exactly what the factory looks like and how operations are run. You may also want to enlist the experience of a legal advisor to run through the manufacturer’s paperwork and ensure that everything is above board.
Any good manufacturer should be able to provide financial statements. Reviewing them will provide you with a much better perspective on whether they’re sufficiently equipped and capable of turning a profit because if they can’t, chances are they’ll disappear without a trace.
Finding an Overseas Manufacturer
There are many websites that will provide a good basis upon which you can start your search for an overseas manufacturer. One of the most well-known is Alibaba. Here you can find countless listings across hundreds of categories. Since most of the content is Chinese translated to English, looking around might be a bit challenging at first.
Bizbilla is another popular option in this category, with a broad range of listings for manufacturers and agents. If you’re looking for manufacturers based exclusively in Hong Kong, China or Taiwan, HKTC is a popular manufacturer listing website to consider. Finally, there’s MFG, which is known as the largest manufacturing directory in the world.
If your search is to no avail, it might be a good idea to start doing some browsing around the type of manufacturing process you foresee yourself using. This is because most reputable and established manufacturers have a blog on their website where they post information about the manufacturing processes they specialize in.
For instance, if you’re going to use injection molding to produce your products, there are articles about injection molding on this website, which also happens to be a specialist in this manufacturing process. RapidDirect offer a wide range of injection molding and rapid prototyping services and are based in China.
Using the web to find information is by far the best method, as you can easily get a clear idea of what the manufacturer offers and the type of services you can expect. This also negates the costly and time-consuming process of making countless calls, which can prove especially frustrating when there’s a language barrier.
By considering these suggestions, you’ll be able to find the right overseas manufacturer with little time or effort. Keep in mind that finding the right supplier is only one step in the process. It’ll take a long-term effort of collaboration and persistence to keep your products in peak condition as they move from the assembly line to your customers’ doorsteps.