If you’re a business looking for a manufacturer, you’ve likely taken some preliminary steps to get started. Prepping your product conception early on saves time and money in the long run. By engaging in things like market research, competitive intel, and branding, you’re well on your way to selecting a manufacturer.
Manufacturers Are Not All Created Equal
A competent manufacturer or supplier has the capacity to provide products at a high-volume inventory. Most suppliers specialize in manufacturing only one product. For instance, you may have a glass manufacturer who only makes glass jars and a box manufacturer who supplies your packaging. Working with multiple manufacturers to complete a product is common. The key is finding a manufacturer who can provide quality products at scale.
The Differences Between Domestic and Overseas Manufacturers
Choosing a domestic or overseas manufacturer depends on many factors. You can determine which option is best for your business by answering a few questions:
What is your budget?
- What is your market?
- Which materials will your product be made of?
- Is your product easily shipped?
Benefits of Local Sourcing
There are many benefits to opting for local sourcing or domestic production. Local sourcing ensures the use of materials and labor from the region where the product will be sold. This, in turn, cuts down on the costs of shipping, is a greener option, and supports local and national economies. When a manufacturer is local, communication is also easier.
Advantages of Global Sourcing
On the other hand, global sourcing, or overseas manufacturing, might be the better choice when it yields a significantly lower cost of production. Global sourcing may be the only option, in fact, when there are no US manufacturers able to produce a product. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for your product is an accurate tool used to select between local and global sourcing.
Choosing a Manufacturer Via a Supplier Discovery Platform
A Supplier Discovery Platform is a searchable compiled database that includes supplier information for all types of manufacturers. Business owners can search by keyword for potential suppliers and select several filters to reveal the most suitable options for their products. They can then filter manufacturers by location, company type, ownership, certification, and other specific traits.
Submitting Requests for Information (RFIs)
Once you whittle your search down to a reasonable number of manufacturers, it’s important to learn about each company in depth. Read about their brands and learn more about their previous or existing company reviews. Select a few to contact and submit RFIs to create rapport with them.
Writing a Manufacturing Questionnaire
Once you’ve narrowed your search, compile a manufacturing questionnaire for your top picks. In this form, ask a few questions that are important to your business and specific to your product. Then, do a final comparison based on the last few steps.
The Effort Will Yield the Results
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of who you’d like to work with. This process may seem tedious, but it’s worth the extra time and effort to select a reputable supplier at the onset of your venture. Otherwise, you risk facing setbacks if the manufacturer can’t meet your needs. Finding the right supplier can mean the difference between your product launch being a success or running into obstacles. Digital options like the RIVIR Platform can also give you access to product development services and help you vett suppliers before you make a decision. Putting in the time and effort to find the right one is worth the added work.