Overseas manufacturing can be a business saver. For those who know how to do it and what to watch for some of the benefits will be lower product costs, scalability with no capital outlay, expertise only when needed, greater flexibility, and “running changes” to product at a fraction of the cost of domestic production.
If a company does not know how it’s done all of the benefits inherent in taking advantage of China manufacturing services will be negated and the result could be a costly failure. Unless a company is lucky enough to find the perfect factory or have the resources to be able to reliably “do it themselves”, developing positive, working relationships with China manufacturing service industry expert like ITI Manufacturing will save time, effort, sleepless nights, and money.
Working with a reliable and knowledgeable China manufacturing service company that is well-versed in the details of China manufacturing is the short cut to successful off shore manufacturing. No need to learn as you go or pay the high cost tuition of Hard Knocks University. Partnering with a professional China manufacturing service industry expert is just as important as having business insurance or coverage for a new vehicle. When something goes wrong you are covered by an on-the-ground, on-site partner who works through the issue face to face with the factory on your behalf. Below we will review a few of the common pitfalls companies unintentionally face that an experienced China manufacturing service company can help with.
Specifications that are unclear or incomplete to the factory is the single most common issue when going offshore. No one knows the product better than the company that invented it. The bad news is the people who know the product best oftentimes have the most difficult time explaining it. They know the product too well and, at some level, give others who are totally unfamiliar with it too much credit. When specifications are not clearly and simply defined production is delayed from the beginning as factory personnel must be sure of what is being asked of them. Not only does the factory need to have mechanical drawings and a prefect sample, and material as well as surface / finish specs, they need to know how the product is used, what its performance expectations are, and details regarding its functionality. What many forget or may not realize is that here in the USA we are extremely creative. Many of the products as well as the “problems” those products are designed to solve do not exist in other countries. That is one reason why providing mechanical drawings and a sample, although absolutely necessary and a good start, may not be enough information for a factory to be able to faithfully duplicate a product.
Intellectual property protection is a huge issue. How does a company keep its product from being “ripped off”? When a product is out in the marketplace there is no restriction on who can purchase it or where that product will be shipped after purchase. This is true for products manufactured in China, the USA, or anywhere else in the world. Someone getting a sample of your product is one thing, them getting access to the product’s specifications is quite another. This is another important and vital area where a China manufacturing service company like ITI can be of service. ITI has a China based attorney on retainer. All non-disclosure and non-compete agreements are written in Chinese. There is nothing “lost in translation”. Keeping customer’s specifications secure is understood. Each factory ITI selects to do business with has been thoroughly vetted and inspected. For added protection ITI also has direct contact with the Intellectual Property office of Homeland Security.
Too Many Revisions
“New and Improved” have always been a reason to either buy more or a new version of a product. This is true no matter if the product is retail or industrial. Changing or modifying a product can involve color, materials, finish, or something more substantial. What is important to understand is that modifications require no less of a process than when the product was first manufactured. Specifications must be clear, samples must be provided, tested, and approved, and the customer, who knows the product best, must test and inspect the sample to ensure it is exactly what they envision it to be. Only then does the factory receive the go ahead. Rushing a change, especially when that change is viewed as an “easy one”, has been the source of many issues…none of them good. An experienced China manufacturing service company like ITI helps businesses understand that even though time is money, a product change must happen in an orderly manner.
Actual delays in shipping is infrequent but, due to security procedures that are now in place, seem to pop up at the most inopportune time. The message here is that there is always a possibility any particular container can be randomly selected for inspection. Companies that wait until the last minute to place their purchase orders are rolling the dice. The fact is the vast majority of delays that occur are due to circumstances that happen prior to the container being delivered to the port. Of these a large portion are avoidable. A reliable, experienced China manufacturing service like ITI can help keep these delays to a minimum.
Contact ITI and discuss the issues you are having. We’ve been helping customers enjoy worry free manufacturing services in Asia for over 40 years. We can help you, too.