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The Pitfalls of Finding Overseas Manufacturing Partners Online

If you are running a business, you know how difficult it can be to remain competitive in a free market economy like the U.S. Although this type of economy is great for consumers, it can be hard for manufacturers to both maintain the low prices that a competitive marketplace demands and make enough profit to pay employees and grow the business.

For many, this serves as a strong incentive to find an overseas manufacturing partner. Such partners have the potential to produce the same product at a much lower cost due to minimal startup costs and lower labor costs. While such a partner may sound appealing, it can often be a challenging task to find one that is suitable, cooperative, and responsive. More often than not, this search is started online or through a professional network.  There can be pitfalls in any search, though, regardless of how a company attempts to find the right overseas manufacturing partner.

The first and perhaps most important consideration is transparency. Many websites may not be transparent about their pricing scheme and quality standards. You should be leery of committing to an overseas partner that is not honest and open about their fees and pricing structure. Care should also be taken to ascertain whether you are speaking with an agent, a distributor, a manufacturing/quality facilitator, or an actual factory.  Unscrupulous agents are notorious for masquerading as direct manufacturers.  If you cannot obtain the details you need, move on to the next company in your search.

Another factor related to transparency is quality. Although customers want the cheapest price possible, they have certain standards for quality as well.  Delivering sub-par products can be as much of a turn-off to potential customers as high prices. Overseas partners may only provide simplistic, vague websites that do not indicate the quality of their work.  Also common are product images that only represent what a factory thinks they may be able to produce rather than what they actually produce.  Great references from other U.S. companies who currently work with an overseas partner can definitely help you avoid this issue.

Another difficulty in finding an overseas manufacturing partner online is communication. Even if their website indicates that they can provide affordable and high quality goods, you might find it impossible to get an e-mail reply or return call. There is also the obvious language barrier, so be sure that the manufacturer has English speakers or else that you have your own English speaking representation on the ground in China who can help keep you connected.

Or, simply contact ITI Manufacturing and we can take care of it for you.

By | 2017-04-19T13:29:10+00:00 December 15th, 2015|ITI News|

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