Manufacturing Tips: How to Find a Manufacturer

If you are developing a new product, sourcing a supplier and manufacturing is the next step. In this article David Fannin of Sorcit has some tips to help you source manufacturing. Once you have finalised the design of the product and/or have your prototype ready, the next step is finding a manufacture who can translate it in a fully working sample.  Whatever the material, choosing the right manufacture is key to the success of the product.   The criteria to consider when selecting a manufacturer, whether they are based in your home country or overseas is generally the same, however, if you are dealing with an overseas company communication is a key factor for obvious reasons.    China is a good example.   At Sorcit, we come across many companies who have tried dealing with Chinese manufacturers and the biggest issue is them not understanding your requirements or just simply getting very little or no response.

A good manufacturer will show willingness to want to work with you from the outset and will embrace any new products.   At this point, it is worth mentioning Big or Biggest is not always Best, however, it depends on what you are looking to manufacture and size of the market you are looking to sell to. Sometimes when you are developing something on a limited budget, small to medium sized manufacturers can be a better option.  Once you believe you have found the right manufacturer, you will then need to explore the most suitable material(s) & finish for your product, obtain any tooling/set-up costs and final unit costs based on various quantity breaks.   Finally, tooling & production leadtimes are the final pieces of the jigsaw, so you can build these timings into your critical path and have the facts when talking to key retail buyers.

Once you find a good manufacturer, it is worth building on the relationship and looking at it as a long term partnership instead of taking a short term view.   Sorcit has been working with many of its Chinese manufacturers for a number of years as we value trustworthiness, reliability, quality and communication just as much as getting a competitive price.   The more business we put with key manufacturers the better the relationship which in turns helps negotiations on leadtimes, price, etc.

More resources:

Look at www.sorcitproducts.com for more information about their services and to see examples of recent projects.

Read more about registering and protecting your product ideas in the Family Friendly Working Book.

For previous articles from David on Family Friendly Working see Protecting Your Idea and Creating A Prototype.

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