Companies that choose to outsource to China manufacturing open the possibility of having high-quality products made at competitive prices. And under the best circumstances, outsourcing can be without sacrificing quality. However, finding the right supplier isn’t always as easy. If your US-based company needs a China-based maker, you must certainly choose a factory best suited to your unique needs. That means you choose the right company for your product manufacturing. Below are five (5) of the most common ways companies find Chinese suppliers.
Search Online and Visit Suppliers in China
1. Search engines like Google and Bing make it possible for you to search for various Chinese manufacturers.
You can view websites to read about them and what they can offer your business. Although some companies do, it is not wise to depend on an unknown quantity such as a website with pictures of what may or may not be the “factory”. Most websites are 100% legitimate…but not all. You will want to schedule a visit to China to see the factory for yourself and sit down with the factory owner or management and discuss your unique product and company needs face to face. This is the best and most reliable way to ensure you are doing your “due diligence” that this supplier is a good match for your business.
2. Specialized websites like alibaba.com
… Allow you to search for China factories that manufacture products like your own and learn about the various suppliers that make those products. From there, you can contact the suppliers to learn more about them and why they might be a good fit for your business. This method is similar the previous method. It’s a good way to learn about suppliers, however, you’ll want to visit manufacturers in person to tour their facility to confirm they are, indeed, what they portray themselves to be on the website.
3. The “search the web” method, if done right, can be expensive and time-consuming.
The numbers of factories you visit on your China adventure will be limited to the time and resources you can commit to the search. If your company is familiar with Chinese business culture and outsource manufacturing, this method could work to your advantage. However, if your company has limited budgets, an unfamiliarity with doing business in China, or is searching for a factory to manufacture an item with no resemblance to a product you are currently manufacturing in China, this method is not recommended.
Why? Because any single factory’s capabilities are anything but a “one size fits all”. Each factory has its own specialty and its own expertise. The same is true with the sub-contractors each factory routinely works with. There are many other factors that, to an experienced eye, differentiate one factory that seems “pretty much” like another. These factors are critical to the success of your project.
Attend Trade Shows
Trade Shows can present great opportunities for companies to meet with overseas suppliers. They offer businesses as well as entrepreneurs the chance to learn more about various manufacturers who could become potential production partners. Some trade shows, such as the Canton Fair in China, are designed to connect companies with Chinese suppliers. The show is huge, and there are literally thousands of makers represented, but it is the show of choice for many companies As with the “web method” above, the booth you will see, the people you will talk with, and the samples you will see in the booth will not tell you the complete story.
There are also booths at all industry-specific trade shows here in the USA. Consequently, you can sit down with representatives from suppliers from different countries, see their work samples, and discuss your needs. However, as in the methods above, talking with factory representatives at an industry trade show won’t give you the complete story. You’ll still need to learn more about the maker, their physical factory, and their reputation for being reliable.
Getting a referral from a friend or business acquaintance is another way to learn about a Chinese maker. However, the usual issues apply: Is this maker really the best for your product and company? Do they have the expertise you need? Are they too experienced? Not experienced enough? Will your product “fit” with the typical products, materials, volumes, and quality level you expect? While a trip to China could verify many of these questions, there’s little opportunity to compare the recommended factory with others.
Engage with a China Expert-Liaison Company
The fastest, safest, and most economical, way to find the right factory is to work through a China manufacturing liaison company. A professional liaison company will have years of experience and well-developed, long-term relationships with many reliable, proven suppliers. At ITI Manufacturing, we easily help connect US companies to the best supplier for designing and producing their patented products and components. We manage the entire process – from ensuring the correct material are used, to the international logistics and delivery. Furthermore, ITI manages the manufacturing process, testing, inspection, assembly, and packaging. We handle the manufacturing so you can concentrate on growing your business.
Work with a Partner Who Has Nearly 45 Years of Experience
If you’re looking to manufacture your product(s) in China, remove the hassle of trying to do it alone. ITI guarantees your China manufactured product will be free of manufacturing defects. Our on-site, multi-lingual staff ensures your products are made to your exact specifications. On top of that, we ensure continued communication updates regarding production progress.