You about to go into business with the best product idea in a generation. You’ve got that gorgeous prototype, but you have run into a small problem. You can’t make the product yourself and need to work with a manufacturer.
Now, you are faced with the problem of which manufacturer to use. Will they be able to handle your production needs? Are your production needs worth their time and are their production standards good enough for your product? Read on to learn five of the top factors to consider when choosing product manufacturers!
Make sure you look past a manufacturers’ equipment list and learn more about what they can do. Do they help with material selection, or what requirements do they have before they take on a job? If your needs are met by a manufacturer and your product meets the manufacturer’s needs, then it can make it to your shortlist of candidates.
Quality is all about the level of work the manufacturer can bring to bear on your product. Certifications and standards are great, but if the manufacturer can’t produce to the tolerances and standards you require, then the manufacturer is not for you. Check into the final inspections and work-in-process checks that they perform for each product.
3. Product Design
Find a manufacturer that practices Design for Manufacturability (DFM) to make the best product possible. A manufacturer that practices DFM can help you optimize things like delivery schedules, materials, part dimensions, and better manufacturing techniques. DFM brings your product and its manufacturing process to the next level.
The last thing you want is to work with a manufacturer that is bad at communicating, so you want regular reports on how the manufacturing process is going, not just when problems happen. Does your project manager have provisions in place if for some reason they are unavailable, because no one wants sudden radio silence when their production times are in jeapordy. You want your manufacturer to prioritize communication to an extent so you are kept in the loop.
You need a manufacturer that can meet or beat scheduled delivery dates. This is one area where getting references and reviews is key to choosing the right manufacturer for you. You want the manufacturer’s track record to be where you’d like it to be to get your product out there.
You may, for example want to go with a manufacturer that practiced just-in-time manufacturing with defined time tables they work by instead of the traditional manufacturing process. This agile production type might be better suited to your product timeline, and could save you a lot of money and help you get your product out faster.
Choosing Product Manufacturers
Choosing product manufacturers is a long process, and a decision you don’t want to make lightly. You should always weigh your options and get reviews, and always be comparing manufacturing costs. Take your time choosing your product’s manufacturer, and you will make a supioior product.
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