There will always be companies facing challenges with manufacturing overseas. In fact, those opting to manufacture without assistance usually experience issues stemming from not knowing what they don’t know. Many companies may even go through several years of trial and error before they can witness true success. But this doesn’t have to be your company’s reality. Once you realize that you can work with a manufacturing liaison, you’ll soon experience the benefits and enjoy the success you originally envisioned. In this blog, we will discuss some of the times when a manufacturing liaison is beneficial.
When You Cannot Find the Right Supplier
Thousands of Chinese manufacturers are ready to take on your project. Yet, only a handful are in that sweet spot of manufacturers that are considered “right”. They have the right size, right expertise, the right experience, the right reputation, and the right management team. Also, you want them to have the right sub-contractors. The main issues that companies deal with RIGHT NOW stem from them choosing the “wrong” factory. So, how do you know which factory is best for your product? The cheeky answer is, “You don’t”. There’s no way of knowing, unless your company has extensive and CURRENT, intimate knowledge of the China manufacturing climate. And unfortunately, most US companies do not have that kind of insight.
Herein lies the challenge of finding the right supplier…
Most overseas factories look great on the outside, but not many will honestly tell you…
- I’ve never manufactured that type of product.
- We haven’t worked with that particular material.
- Our factory doesn’t have that level of expertise in-house.
However, you can’t blame them, they’re just trying to increase their revenue. Let’s face it. The issue, ultimately, is YOU. You want so badly to “do-it-yourself” because you think you’ll save a few bucks. Or, you’re willing to persuade and convince yourself that a particular factory is the right one when it’s not. Either way, this kind of thinking and hasty decision-making without proper research and assistance could yield the wrong supplier.
The Right Supplier Requires the Right Help…
In contrast is the company that is honest enough to know that, like going to court or into surgery, it’s best to engage a seasoned professional. Engaging an offshore manufacturing liaison has some of the same benefits as engaging a good attorney or surgeon. You feel confident that they will execute things correctly, and you ultimately benefit from their expertise. In fact, you also soon discover that your money is well spent, and there’s no second-guessing. Your liaison partner will ask the right questions in the beginning, rather than after it’s too late. There are many more benefits to seeking professional help, but you get the idea.
You Want to Reduce Manufacturing Costs
…and what company doesn’t want to reduce its manufacturing cost? You may be surprised to hear a China manufacturing liaison say this, but — If your company is currently manufacturing in the United States and it’s working for you, there’s no reason to change. There are many industries in which “Made in the USA” is a strong selling point. And then there are some in which it’s a requirement. Some companies have various cost-effective reasons to maintain domestic manufacturing. For example:
- Your minimum order quantities may be lower
- The delivery times may be shorter
- Visits to the manufacturing facility may be faster and less expensive
- Or, your particular product simply may not be right for offshore manufacturing
In other words, the main benefit of taking your manufacturing offshore (lower cost to manufacture) may not be there. This depends on both your company’s unique situation and the unique details of the product(s) you’re considering manufacturing offshore.
Yes, China has lower cost labor than the US. And yes, China’s infrastructure is very well developed. Lastly, yes, there are factories in China that can manufacture literally any product with whatever level of quality you need. In fact, to most companies, this all sounds really great and would be a dream come true. However, your company would ultimately need to know which factory out of the thousands is the right one. And you’d also need to know which one is capable of proficiently manufacturing your product. Overall, this is why it’s important that you seek help from an experienced manufacturing liaison. They’ll help you reach your goal of saving on cost, while also ensuring that you’re working with the right factory.
Your Company is Inexperienced or New to Manufacturing
This section targets companies that are new, or are manufacturing their own product for the first time. However, before the experts of ITI Manufacturing go into detail here, there are some things you should keep in mind.
#1. Just because you have a great new product idea, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to consider China manufacturing.
#2. Nor should you seek a China factory because you’ve paid someone to develop CAD drawings, or developed a working prototype.
#3. In addition, you should conduct simple surveys for potential customers to confirm if consumers would be interested in buying your product.
#4. Last, but not least, it’s important to first consider the option of manufacturing your product domestically.
Why? You will, most likely, need small production runs to start out and test consumer behaviors. Furthermore, trying to get small production runs in Asia, while doable, is quite difficult.
Seeking a Manufacturing Liaison if Your Company is New
Many new manufacturers may not know there can be many unforeseen kinks in manufacturing a product for the first time. If your factory is in the same country where you live, there’s potential to save on much time and frustration. Will it be too expensive to manufacture in the US? The only way to find out is to get a quote. Once you have gone through that process you’ll know. For some companies, domestic manufacturing works out fine; but, for others, it may be too expensive. Either way, you now have the FACTS you need to decide to consider offshore manufacturing. Overall, no matter what you decide, you’ll need the help of a professional manufacturing liaison.
Consequently, when you choose China manufacturing for your product, it’s a very different process than manufacturing in the USA. In the United States, you may have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen. In China, however, you won’t know the first step. The only common denominator is the hope that your product will turn out exactly as you envisioned it. You also want it to work just like you designed it to work. And even more, you’ll want your product made from the exact quality materials that you chose.
Remember, the process you experience to get to that point in China has little resemblance to the process here in the USA. So, just save yourself the headache, heartache, time and money and engage a trustworthy and experienced offshore manufacturing liaison.
When You Need Mass Production & Quickly
Here is where China manufacturing shines: Quantity and Speed. In fact, China is all about quantity and speed. The manufacturing throughput in China is virtually unlimited. They have a massive population of skilled workers and plenty of readily available materials. At the same time, they have an infrastructure to support literally any quantity and timeframe that you need.
However, if you don’t know where to find these factories or how to ask the right questions, you’re in for a rough time. Manufacturing liaisons know which factories to go to, and how to help structure the project to achieve your goals. There are too many details to list here, but believe me, there is much to consider and discuss. For example, there will be questions, observations, and details that you must address. Unfortunately, you will not be familiar with them enough to create the manufacturing supply chain necessary to achieve your goals. That’s where a manufacturing liaison comes in to assist you.
International logistics are links to the chain that can make or break a project. You must be confident that your product will successfully arrive at the destination of your choice on time. Here are some key tasks that manufacturing liaisons will handle for your mass production orders:
- Book the container to arrive at the factory for loading
- Transfer the container to the port
- Ensure China customs paperwork
- Work seamlessly with your customer who wants to take delivery at the China port
A seasoned professional manufacturing liaison will be able to proficiently manage all of this and more. Also, a full-service offshore manufacturing liaison will have that expertise in house.
You’re Experiencing Manufacturing Challenges – Overseas or Domestically
In order to be worth the effort, offshore manufacturing – as well as domestic manufacturing – must be as hassle-free as possible. Challenges and on-going issues take you away from running and growing your business. If you are constantly distracted with manufacturing challenges you won’t be able to give your company the attention it needs. The level of competition is too high.
Every detail of your company that can be lifted off of your mind allows you to focus more “think time” on your business. Let the liaison worry about the manufacturing details. In fact, an effective China manufacturing liaison will have dedicated people on the ground at the factories. This way, when any issues arise at the factory, they can handle them immediately, in person and face to face.
Start with the Right Manufacturing Liaison Partner
ITI Manufacturing has long-standing relationships with hundreds of top-quality Chinese manufacturers. We are confident in offering our US clients a NO MANUFACTURING DEFECTS guarantee. Since 1974 we have established an unmatched level of service and consistent quality. We are committed to our customers. Contact us to discuss your unique product and company needs.
Talk with an ITI Manufacturing liaison expert toll-free at (281) 242-7030.