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 prepare. For instance, you’ll have to document and make certain product details available. This can include things like perfect samples, mechanical drawings, material specifications, packaging, artwork, and testing and inspection criteria. First impressions are lasting impressions. So, if a company representative doesn’t have the proper details about their own product, this could cause misinterpretation. In other words, a factory may think the company doesn’t view the product as important or take it seriously.
ITI Manufacturing understands what China manufacturers look for. We also know how to approach them; and more importantly, how to communicate face to face with factory owners and management. Our strategy ultimately negotiates 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. However, you may be surprised at how many people don’t take it as seriously as they should. This is an extremely critical first step in successful China manufacturing. With the overwhelming number of Chinese factories – all with beautiful websites, companies find it hard to find the right one. Personal referral is better than throwing darts at a list of names. But, unless your product is exactly like your referring party’s product, there could be a problem.
Many US-based companies may not always understand the differences in offshore processes and materials, and this could cause unforeseen issues. In truth, there are no identical products. Furthermore, there must be no doubt of a factory’s ability to manufacture YOUR product with the quality YOU need. This doesn’t even consider the importance of your ordering quantities, required timeframes, or the total cost YOU need. Fortunately, dealing with these types of considerations is one of ITI Manufacturing’s strong points.
How ITI Manufacturing Kills the Confusion
ITI has been contract manufacturing in Asia since 1974, and we’ve been in China since the Nixon administration. We work with a large number of factories that have proven themselves faithful over the years. We’ve been using our own methodology developed since 1974, and our China staff continues to vet for manufacturers. We use our expertise and experience to keep current about factory expertise, size, and reputation. This helps our clients stay abreast of what to expect no matter what kind of item the factory manufactures. We also keep them aware of the manufacturing process(es) and the required material(s). With our help, we set up each of our US-based clients for success. Their processes and strategies are already in position before we even present their product to China factories.
Though some of our clients may see this as tedious, we give our China staff the initial and detailed questions we ask of our clients. We do this because we know they’ll need the information to conduct the type of initial meeting that will yield the best outcome. This means clients will need to remain upfront and straightforward about details like, if the product is new or established. Other example details include realistic manufacturing quantities, logistics timing, and timeframes for production that each client expects.
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 you 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 us directly. And we pay the factory independently. Any issues in China regarding payment terms are handled between ITI and the factory. Then, we handle the terms between us and our clients separately. This means our clients do not have to worry about deposits, payment timing, or international transfers. They also don’t have to worry if terms might change or if their production or shipping date is impacted in any way. Why? Because we handle any payment disagreements or misunderstandings. 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. The ease of manufacturing in China will surprise you, especially when you have ITI Manufacturing working with you. Call ITI Manufacturing toll-free at 888-574-6823.