Thursday, July 18, 2024

How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for your product: A Complete Guide [2024]

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You may have a product idea which would revolutionize the market, but how would that idea helps you when you don’t get to manufacture that product?

Considering the increasing competition in the market where around 30,000 products are launched every year, choosing one can be a daunting task. The business revolves around the product, because of which finding the right manufacturer is the need of the hour. You need to understand the product manufacturing process to stand tall among all.

Before learning how to find product manufacturers, let us first know what is the need to do a comprehensive study of the manufacturers. Your product is going to be the backbone of your company. Product quality, design and other specifications can either flourish or ruin your business. Investing some time in understanding about the product manufacturers can help you to build a flawless product.

What is a manufacturer?

A manufacturer may be a person or a company that is involved in the process of assembling raw materials to make finished products ready to be delivered to the final consumer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer. Whenever you buy any product, it has the label “Made in China” or “Made in Japan” on it. This label indicates the manufacturer of the product.

Is a manufacturer also a supplier?

The answer to this is both yes and no. The manufacturer may be the supplier, but it is not always the case. Manufacturer deals in producing the goods while the supplier is involved in delivering the goods to other businesses or the final consumer.

As a business owner, you need to partner with the right manufacturer and supplier to run the business smoothly. They both play different roles and have different responsibilities.

Types of manufacturers

Types of manufacturers

The types of manufacturer can be classified on the basis of their inventory management techniques. The major types are:

1. Make-to-stock (MTS) manufacturers

Under this category, the manufacturer produces the stock in bulk. They focus on utilizing their stores to the full capacity. As a result, they may end up overproducing and not being able to sell the product, or under producing and missing out potential sales.

MTS strategy is effective if the demand of the product can be accurately estimated.

2. Make-to-order (MTO) manufacturers

An alternative to MTS manufacturers can be Make-to-order (MTO) manufacturers. Such manufacturers wait for the order before manufacturing. With this approach, it is easy to manage inventory and thus avoids dead stocks.

Products produced by MTO manufacturers can be more expensive as it needs customization. Longer delivery time is generally expected.

3. Make-to-assemble (MTA) manufacturers

MTA manufacturers are a combination of MTS and MTO manufacturers. Instead of producing the final product, spare parts are kept in stock (as in MTS) but are assembled only when an order is received (as in MTO). MTA is sometimes also called “Assemble-to-order”.

These manufacturers increase operational efficiency thus providing customer satisfaction.

When it comes to choosing one type of manufacturer, the product and business model must be analysed. Production outflow can be regulated by following any of these techniques.

Things to consider before deciding a manufacturer

Things to consider before deciding a manufacturer

Your decision of choosing a manufacturer must depend on a variety of factors, some of which are listed below.

1. Quality standards:

Your manufacturer must ensure the quality of the product, around which your business is going to revolve. Look for manufacturers with certifications such as ISO and FDA.

2. Production capacity:

The manufacturer must have enough infrastructure to meet bulk orders and timeline requirements. Search for manufacturers that employ modern product manufacturing techniques like those involving robotics and AI , that will improve productivity and ensure steady supply of the products.

3. Efficient supply chain:

Timely delivery of products can be ensured when the manufacturer has established protocols for managing supplies, mitigating risks and dealing with potential issues that may arise.

How to find a manufacturer of your product?

How to find a manufacturer of your product

The journey from having an idea of the product to its implementation and having a tangible, real life item is quite long. Many businesses may fail due to the lack of implementation of the idea. To address this issue, it is necessary to understand the procedure so that you can publish your product like a pro!

Below is the step-by-step guide to find a manufacturer that makes your products on time, within budget and according to the needs of the customer.

Step1: Market research

Make a list of potential manufacturer aligned with the requirements of your product, to ensure compatibility with your vision.  It will help to make the product fairly priced. Narrow down your choices. The help of global directories like Alibaba and IndiaMART which offers searchable supplier network.

Step 2: Verify quality

Once you have shortlisted the manufacturers, try to gather as much information as you can about their credibility. You can ask for sample products, packaging options, references and proof of certifications. You can also have a tour of their facility to know more about their product standards.

Step 3: Ask for quotations

Once you receive response from prospective manufacturers, request quotations. In your quotation ask for cost per unit, minimum order quantity, shipping cost, setup fee, terms of payment and any other relevant information. Evaluating quotes is important, so do not hurry.

Step 4: Define your product requirements

You need to explain thoroughly about your product specifications, dimensions, desired packaging material and other details to streamline the product manufacturing process. Your product design can be communicated through sketches or reference photos. Visual models can be developed with the help of 3D modelling software.

Be very specific with whom you share your product design. If needed, a confidentiality agreement can be signed before sending your product specifications.

Step 5: Negotiate terms and contracts

New entrepreneurs may have to do a great deal of work while negotiating the terms of the contract. You must learn the skill of offering counter offer and alternative proposals which best suits to you.

Do not hesitate to ask for changes. Do not make yourself prone to be exploited by the manufacturer. Have in depth knowledge of the pricing of other manufacturers too.

Step 6: Review contracts

Go through the contracts carefully. Look for clauses that could be misleading. The help of legal professionals can be taken before signing on the dotted lines of the contract.

Step 7: Sign the contract

Once both the parties agree to the terms of the contact, the final stage is of signing the contract. After this, the manufacturing process can commence.

By following these steps, you can start with the manufacturing of the product with clarity and confidence. A smaller pilot run would be suggested before going into full scale production.

How to get a supplier of your product?

How to get a supplier of your product

One of the challenging tasks faced by businesses is aligning their organization with reliable suppliers. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to have a 360 degree view of your supplier.

  • Choose a supplier with verified supplier quality certifications.
  • Make sure your supplier offers quick and hassle free shipping.
  • The supplier must have the ability to fix the transportation issues, if any.
  • The supplier must have the expertise in your product type.
  • Looking for B2B supplier trade directories can also be helpful.

FAQs

Q1. From which websites can we find manufacturers?

Manufacturers can be searched from Just Procure, IndiaMART and TradeIndia. These websites are considered to be reliable platforms to connect with manufacturers all over the world.

Q2. How to find b2b manufacturer online in India?

Various B2B marketplaces are available where potential manufacturers can be found. Some of these platforms are Just Procure and TradeIndia.

Q3. How to find an OEM manufacturer?

Telephonic conversation is the most direct way to find an OEM manufacturer. Articles in industry specific trade journals and newsletters are also helpful.

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