You have a business and a product idea. You have finally found a manufacturer. And now, it is the time to get your product manufactured. Congratulations! You ought to comply with certain requirements before you even start the negotiation. We will enumerate the same in this article.
Also, we will outline the procedure on how you can get the product manufactured when you outsource the said task. Several business entrepreneurs think that once they find a manufacturer, they can sit back and relax and let the latter do the job. But let us inform you that your journey doesn’t end here. It will be less stressful as you have found the right manufacturer. But you still have to be conscious of the entire process.
So, let us walk you through the entire procedure of getting your product manufactured at a domestic or overseas facility.
Keep the documentation ready before you commence the negotiation process:
You will need a proper product design to submit to the manufacturer. If you have already hired a talented designer or a freelancer to get the design done, it is the best thing you have done in the process. But if not, you can approach the manufacturer you have hired and ask them if they can provide any designing assistance.
Yes, it will surely add up the costs but don’t worry, a product design always helps, and you won’t regret it in the future. Many reputable manufacturers do have a design team, and they provide additional help to the clients. But if they do not have such a facility, you will have to search by yourself.
Ensure that you have a specific drawing, preferably in 2D format. Moreover, most manufacturers ask for a 3D CAD model, and you should be ready with the same. We advise you to keep all these things ready before negotiation so that you do not delay the discussion process.
Discuss terms and requirements before the finalization process.
You ought to discuss the vital elements of a manufacturing process – terms and conditions. It is an element that helps in making the final choice of a manufacturer. For instance, if the manufacturer accepts payment only in a certain mode and you cannot do the same, then it could be an inconvenience for both parties.
Moreover, if you want only 100 units of a product to be created, but the manufacturer accepts only in bulk quantities, it could not be feasible for either of you. Hence, it is vital to discuss the important terms and conditions before you enter into a contract.
So, when you shortlist two or three best manufacturers, discuss with them in detail the above terms and conditions such as mode of payment, minimum quantity that can be ordered, turnaround time, shipping details, and so on. You can finalize the most appropriate manufacturer, and you will be ready for the next step.
Create a prototype.
You cannot simply instruct the manufacturer to prepare the product. He needs a prototype that is the exact replica of the product you want to produce in numerous units. It takes substantial time to get a prototype, and in the case of overseas manufacturers, it might even consume 6 to 12 months. But during this prototype creation process, you will have an in-depth idea of the materials used in production, creation techniques, market volume, total costs, and the prototype maximum retail price to be levied on the customers.
Enter into a valid contract with the manufacturer.
When it comes to creativity and innovation, you never know how your product idea gets leaked. And hence, it is advisable to seek maximum protection for your product. Apart from the intellectual property rights, you can sign a non-disclosure agreement with your manufacturer when you enter into a contract with them.
Be careful when the contract is being drafted. Read it carefully and ensure that all the terms and conditions and mentioned as clear clauses and there is no scope for ambiguity. In addition to the contract, sign for a non-disclosure agreement, which acts as a shield from the design-invaders. It might not be the only robust protection available, but we advise you to go for it.
Discuss future product costs.
Even if you negotiate in the earlier screening phase, you will still be doubtful about the total costs incurred. Hence, arrange for a separate meeting with the manufacturer or drop them emails regarding the anticipated costs.
It might happen that there will be fluctuations in the quantities you order. There could be a hike in sales or the opposite and the quantity you order will be affected by these changes. So, when you have quotes for the increased production volume or the reduced one, you can place orders quickly without spending time thinking or asking the manufacturer about the desired rates.
This is known as proactive behaviour when you act as a sensible business entrepreneur and are ready for all future situations. Also, when you have quotes, you can discuss and negotiate and place orders accordingly. You don’t have to waste time waiting for the quotes to be sent by the manufacturer.
This is the last step in this product manufacturing process, and we are glad that you have reached it. We know it could be challenging to get there, but we are sure you have done it efficiently.
The manufacturer will not commence production activities unless they receive a certain amount as prepayment. They will seek the amount, start the production and convey a specific date of receipt. Yay! You will receive your produced slot within a few weeks of time!
Build a positive rapport with the manufacturer.
The first slot is not sufficient; you are still not done. You are an aspiring business entrepreneur, and you will need products in the future. So, you ought to maintain good ties with the manufacturer. Keep in touch with the concerned person, send them thank-you notes whenever you receive the slot, and make timely payments.
When you follow the above steps, it becomes easier and simpler to get your products manufactured in the most desirable manner and with the least stress.
The first step would be to define what you need to have manufactured, including material requirements, desired quantity, and how you want it to look and function. Then, look for potential manufacturing partners that align with your needs, including researching their capabilities and pricing. Submit a Request for Quote (RFQ) to the vendors of your choice, and once you’ve chosen the best option, work with them to create a manufacturing plan.
The timeline of a product manufacturing process varies depending on the complexity of the product, materials used, and the vendor you choose. Generally, small product runs can be completed quickly, while large orders can take much longer. Once you’ve chosen a vendor and laid out a timeline, you’ll know when to expect your product to be completed.
Depending on the complexity of the product, unexpected delays or issues could arise. Additionally, sourcing and procuring materials, packaging and shipping the product can also lead to challenges. When working with a manufacturing partner, transparent communication is key to ensure any issues get addressed and resolved quickly.
Quality manufacturers should be able to provide end-to-end support, from pre-manufacturing design and engineering and quality assurance services, to logistics and post-manufacturing services like packaging and warehousing. In addition, experienced suppliers can also provide guidance on the best processes and practices for product manufacturing.
Quality assurance is crucial during product manufacturing. Establishing standards during each stage of the process is key to guarantee that your product meets your requirements and performs as expected. Additionally, working with the right manufacturing partner that is compliant with relevant regulatory and safety standards is essential to ensure product quality.
When looking for a manufacturing partner, research the capability, quality, and pricing of different vendors. Consider how their production processes align with your requirements as well as their reputation in the industry. Additionally, you may also want to visit potential vendors in-person or virtually to get a firsthand look at their facilities.
Designate certain stages of the manufacturing process to individuals or teams to divide the workload and avoid duplication of effort. Regularly check in with the vendor and keep open lines of communication to ensure progress is being made and any unexpected issues are addressed. Consider taking a milestone-based approach to the process to easily track progress and adjust where necessary.
When calculating the costs involved with product manufacturing, consider the cost of materials and labour, cost of quality assurance and inspection, cost of storage and shipping, and cost of any additional services you may need such as engineering and design.
Depending on what type of product you’re manufacturing and where it will be sold, you may need certain documents to be legally compliant such as a bill of materials, technical drawings, product specifications, design reports, and test protocols. Check with vendors to get an understanding of what documents they need.
When you’re entrusting a third party with the manufacture of your product, it’s essential to ensure your intellectual property is properly protected. A Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) ensures that the vendor keeps the details of your product design confidential. Additionally, you may also want to consider registering your product or design to protect it legally.