Manufacturing is one of the most important step for any products. It directly affect your product cost, quality, as well as product lead-time. Some of Western companies choose leaving their product manufactured locally. However, most of companies prefer to get their products manufactured in Asia countries, particularly in China. Since China has the most biggest advantage at manufacturing.
If you are new comer without any experience at exploring Chinese manufacturing companies. We would like to share some useful steps below on how to get your products manufactured in China. Hope it would be helpful for you.
Choosing a proper manufacturing area in China
As we know, China is a world factory for many products. It is estimated that China manufactured the 90% of phones, 80% of computers, and 70% of other electronic products in the world. It has matured supply chain and experienced people for diverse kind of products. However China has vast land and ton of manufacturing factories. Those manufacturing companies are mainly sprayed in Southern China(like Shenzhen, DongGuang, Guangzhou…) and Eastern China(like Shanghai, Zhejiang, JiangSu…).
You might be wondering where you should get your products manufactured in China? Southern China or Eastern China? it’s hard for many foreign companies to choose a good manufacturer from those areas. Relatively to say, manufacturers in Southern China provide high quality products and better services than Eastern China’s manufacturers. But manufacturers in Eastern China can provide lower manufacturing offer than Southern China’s manufacturers.
If you need a high quality manufacturing services, we would suggest you go for Southern China’s manufacturer. However you are looking forward a low cost manufacturer with normal quality service, then Eastern China will be your good choice.
Plan a factory visit for potential supplier
You can find some Chinese manufacturing companies from B2B platform(Alibaba, Made-in-China, Globalresource) or search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing). And sort out few potential supplier and try to visit them in person.
During your visit, you need to evaluate their capability including facility, experience, employees, and operational system. If possible, ask them for a reference project as well reference customer, which could be a proven if they are capable of manufacturing your products.
Meanwhile, a factory visit can check out if you are working with direct factory or trading companies. As you know, some of brokers pretend to be a factory. If you don’t visit their facility, it’s hard to realize who real factory is. In case, you are doing a trading companies, you will get trouble or scam for your business.
Prepare detail NDA to protect your intellectual property
Prior to share any information to a supplier, you must prepare a detail NDA and get it signed. Otherwise your business information or product information might be revealed. Sometimes those manufacturers would get your product information and copy your products, but I believe most of manufacturers would not do it so.
Try to get sample or prototype from the supplier
If you are not sure which manufacturer might be suitable for your products. You can try to get some sample or prototype from them. By making samples, you can also look into their capability and experience in your project. Certainly if your products need a mold tooling, it’s not good for prototyping.
Get a formal quote from your supplier
Manufacturing cost is a biggest challenge for any product. When you look for a contract manufacturing company in China, you can get few quotes from different supplier. They would provide you quotes. I know you might not choose the cheapest one, or the most expensive one. But at least, you will know the average cost for your product.
Among different level of China manufacturing companies, the direct factories can offer a relative lower price, but offers from brokers(trading companies) are at least 20%~30% more expensive than real factories.
Prepare a detail manufacturing contract to get your product manufactured
It’s very important that you should get a detailed manufacturing contract signed with your supplier. This manufacturing contract must clearly describe all of product specifications, quality standard, cost, lead-time, and product ownership. Because in China, there are different level of manufacturers, some of them are reliable, but some of might not be. So a reasonable manufacturing contract can legally protect your business from scammed or cheated.