Before contacting an offshore manufacturer, it’s critical to have your product’s details ready and available; and manufacturing liaison companies like ITI Manufacturing can help you get prepared. Perfect samples, mechanical drawings, material specifications, packaging, artwork, and testing and inspection criteria are some of the details that must be documented and available. First impressions are lasting impressions, and if a company representative does not have the proper detail about their own product, there could be a thought that the company does not view the product as important and may not be serious about the project.
ITI Manufacturing understands what China manufacturers look for, how to approach them, and more importantly, how to communicate face to face with factory owners and management in ways that quickly clear the road to get the project off to a smooth start. Before outsourcing your product, consider the following:
Many China Factories to Choose From
Selecting the right factory is an obvious statement but isn’t taken as seriously as it should be more times than you would think. This is an extremely critical first step in successful China manufacturing. With the overwhelming number of Chinese factories (all with beautiful websites) it is difficult for a USA-based company to tell which one is best suited to their particular product. Personal referral is better than throwing darts at a list of names; but, unless your product is exactly like the referring party’s manufactured with the same processes and materials, the differences may be significant enough to cause unforeseen issues. In truth, there are no identical products. There must be no doubt of a factory’s ability to manufacture YOUR product with the quality YOU need and, in the quantities, and timeframes YOU require, for the total cost YOU need. This is one of ITI Manufacturing’s strong points.
ITI Manufacturing has been contract manufacturing in Asia since 1974 and in China since the Nixon administration. We work with a large number of factories that are proven and, using our own methodology developed since 1974, vetted by our China staff. We use our expertise and experience to keep current about factory expertise, size, available to promise, reputation, and what to expect no matter what the item to be manufactured, the manufacturing process(es) and material(s) required. With our help our US-based clients choosing to outsource their products are well positioned before their product is first presented to China factories.
Though sometimes seen as tedious, the initial, detailed questions we ask of our clients is to give our China staff the information we know they will need to conduct the type of initial meeting that will yield the best outcome. This means being up front and straightforward about details such as, the product being new or, in the case of an established product, the realistic quantities, logistics timing, and timeframes for production that will be expected. Previous manufacturing difficulties must also be clearly discussed so first, the factory is aware of the potential challenges of the particular product and second, there can be solutions considered prior to the start of the manufacturing process. This prevents “surprises” and delays down the road. We clearly communicate our client’s quality requirements, testing and inspection criteria, quantities, packaging, printing, and timing to be certain the factory has all of the correct detail it needs to satisfy the client’s requirements.
Reorders are “where the action is” for products that enjoy success in the marketplace. Anticipating quantifies needed and the timeframes for the shipments to satisfy on-going demand can make or break a project. Timing for the first shipment but even more importantly reorders is an important part of the initial conversation with a factory when discussing their Available to Promise situation. One way to get and keep a good factory’s attention is to issue a blanket PO and draw off of it at the timeframes that were discussed in the beginning. The more reality matches the forecast for quantity and timing, the better relationship you will have with the factory and the smoother your shipment schedules will be. Being able to rely on forecasts allows, among other benefits, raw materials to be ordered in a timely manner and proper lead time with some time built in for unforeseen issues.
Multi-Factory Manufacturing and Coordination
Some of our clients require redundancy in manufacturing. ITI Manufacturing understands and has extensive expertise as to how to manage multiple factories. Most of the projects we have managed and are currently managing require multiple factories. Being flexible to our client’s needs is one of the reasons ITI Manufacturing has been successful for so many years.
Think About All Aspects of the Project
A China factory manufacturing a product correctly is only one side of the challenge of offshore manufacturing. Payment terms are another. ITI’s clients pay ITI directly. ITI pays the factory independently. Any issues in China regarding payment terms are handled between ITI and the factory. Terms between ITI and our clients are handled separately. This means our clients do not have to worry about deposits, payment timing, international transfers and if terms might change or their production or shipping date being impacted in any way due to a payment disagreement or misunderstanding. This also means our clients can relax that their money has not gone down a rabbit hole or have to be concerned about the value they will receive.
Don’t Learn the Hard Way
Shield yourself and your company from what you don’t know you don’t know. Call ITI Manufacturing and talk with one of our China manufacturing experts about our process. You will be surprised at how easy it is to manufacture in China when you have ITI Manufacturing working with you. Call ITI Manufacturing toll-free at 888-574-6823.