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ITI Answers FAQs about Reliable China Manufacturing

Wondering if China Manufacturing is Right for You?

Find Out Here!

Is China manufacturing right for my company?

If your company stands to lose market share because of the high costs associated with materials processing, assembly, or packaging, then China manufacturing should be seriously considered.

Overseas manufacturing is an option when your products are labor-intensive, or they are produced with repeatable processes. Or if you need to expand your manufacturing capacity but can’t justify the costs immediately. Or if you want to produce your component in different materials without incurring large-scale prototyping costs… for all these circumstances, there are cost-effective options provided by China manufacturing facilities. Tooling often costs less than 25% of comparable U.S. tooling. Better yet, contact ITI for a complete review of your opportunities.

You have indicated that you guarantee quality. What does that mean?

ITI takes care of every part of the manufacturing and import process. Ocean freight and insurance. Customs clearance. Delivery charges and duties. And most importantly quality. We ensure that the products we’ve produced meet the standards you’ve defined. If there’s a quality problem, you don’t pay for nonconforming products. We’ll work with you to remedy the nonconformance and implement new production and inspection procedures to prevent a reoccurrence of the issue in the future.

What do I need to get started?

We use the items and information described below to source suitable manufacturers for your product:

  1. Samples
  2. Engineering drawings (or cutting patterns), material specifications, and a bill of materials
  3. Estimated annual and shipment quantities
  4. Target pricing
  5. Delivery location
  6. Any special standards, certifications, regulations, or testing requirements that apply to the product
  7. Packaging requirements

Once we collect this information from you, we can begin the sourcing process in China.

Do you handle shipping and US Customs clearance?

Yes. When we quote you a price, FOB your nearest US Customs warehouse, that price includes all the costs related to importing, including ocean freight, US Customs duties, and clearance fees. You won’t ever need to negotiate with a freight forwarder or a customs broker yourself. We handle all of that for you. The only additional cost or responsibility to you would be local freight from the US Customs warehouse to your facility, and we can help with that, as well.

How do you protect intellectual property, and how do you make sure a factory doesn’t knock off my product?

We have confidentiality agreements in place with each of our factories, and we also have a lawyer on retainer in China to assist in enforcing legal agreements should the need arise. We also know how to interface with DHS and CBP to help prevent the importation of trademarked counterfeit products.  The best move you can make on your own behalf is to put into place as much intellectual property protection as the law allows via patents, copyrights, trademarks, and industrial design rights. Without IP protection, if you have a popular product in the market place, no matter how securely we protect you on the China side, your biggest risk will be from someone buying your product off the store shelf and having it copied anywhere in the world.

How is high quality assured in custom-manufactured products?

First, ITI evaluates the factories it sources. For example, if the Chinese company’s production engineers or owners have degrees from the US, Europe or Japan, it is more likely to have a sophisticated quality control system.  Factors like this are important. ITI also matches the quality control standards to the component or finished product to be produced. A medical device, for example, will demand a much higher level of quality assurance than a wooden toy. However, there is always a quality level that is established and must be met. ITI has multiple requirements as part of its standard QA process. For sophisticated components, inspection criteria lists are even longer – even customized to meet your own procedures. Certain products that have rigid requirements are sent to independent laboratories for testing. When appropriate, samples from each production run are lab-tested prior to shipment.

Is there a “rule of thumb” minimum order size for overseas contract manufacturing?

The model for manufacturing in China is mass production.  As such, the quantity or size of your project can often determine whether or not you’ll be successful.  As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to have to place orders in the $20,000-$25,000 minimum range in order to find a cooperative and competent China factory. This is particularly true of high-technology components, medical equipment and instruments, or complex tools. You should consult with ITI on these demanding product categories.

Is there one key to reliable China manufacturing?

Check for proven experience. Some companies have it, some don’t. No U.S.-based overseas manufacturing company has been operating in China longer than ITI. ITI has been custom-manufacturing components and finished goods in Asia since 1974. That means ITI has the trustworthy relationships, the procedural smarts and the knowledgeable staff to deliver the reliability you need. ITI has the experience and the satisfied customers to prove it.

What do you charge for sourcing?

Our sourcing services are done on speculation at no charge to our customers. Our hope is that should we provide you a competitive proposal you’ll seriously consider ITI for the business. It takes a significant investment on our part to source any project, so we make a serious and concerted effort to find the right factory for you.

Can I visit the factory in China?

Absolutely. Visiting the China factory can be beneficial and interesting, but it is by no means required. We have some customers that visit the factories annually. We have other customers that have never stepped foot in China.

Do you only manufacture in China?

We do approximately 95% of our manufacturing in China. The remainder is done in South Korea and Taiwan. These locations are where we continue to find the best value, service, and quality, and they’re also where we have our multiple overseas offices.

How long until my order is completed and delivered?

The amount of time it takes to source a suitable factory might average anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Once we agree on a manufacturer and you place your initial order, the lead time for the first delivery can average 6-9 months, or possibly more, depending on several different factors. Those factors include the time it takes to create tooling, approve samples, order raw materials, run production, and ship the order. The first order always takes the longest. Reorders generally require 60-90 days, which includes raw material ordering, production, and ocean freight.

Are you able to plan and forecast?

Manufacturing products in Asia is not the fastest option. Yet the savings can make it well worth the wait if you can forecast your needs, or plan ahead. ITI can help you determine your delivery cycle to ensure delivery when needed.

See What ITI Can Do for You
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