Read my previous post on “Doing it yourself”.
The massive number of steps needed to source your product from China requires the talents and detail-oriented demeanor of a project manager viagra. But if sourcing a product from China were just about executing a lot of steps, it would be a lot easier than it actually is free viagra.
In his first two blog posts on Crunch Gear (Part 1 and Part 2, here and here, respectively), Hocherman provides a reasonable, yet by no means comprehensive, four step process for arriving at a short list of factories in China capable of producing your design buy cialis.
In response to a comment, however, he admits that the actual process of finding a capable factory is much more difficult than it sounds free cialis. Build quality is “a function of combining a good design with a factory that has good processes in place,” he writes. Locating viable candidate factories and ensuring that they have “good processes in place” is essentially the key to sourcing. While Hocherman shares some good insights and experiences, he has not yet addressed the most critical concerns in his series, namely what makes a good process and how do you guarantee that your contract manufacturer has one cialis.
Here is how he suggests you arrive at your short list .
- Examine your concept and design critically and carefully, and perform “a detailed prior art search”.
- Identify factories that have experience making similar items - these will make the long list. While there are other ways to source a manufacturer in China he offers only one alternative: using a manufacturing directory such as GlobalSources .com (his preference) or AliBaba.com, and searching for items similar to your design .
- Spend money on having drawings made – a “napkin sketch” won't do if you plan to “go it alone”. In addition a good external design will ensure a final product closer to your vision and will lead potential manufacturing partners to take you more seriously . He suggests a 3D Alias model, which can feed the mechanical design stage, if required .
- Review your product specification and transform the long list into a short list. Since most factories will fail to meet many of your requirements, your list will shrink quickly.
- Send an RFQ to the members of your long list. You should mention that you have an OEM project that you would like to discuss. You will most likely hear from one of the company’s marketing or project managers, an individual that has a good command of the English language and a decent grasp of the technical process behind developing a custom product.
- Request that the factory sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) before you send over your product spec. The NDA is basically non-enforceable, in practice, but you should send it anyway. Sending the NDA (a) makes you appear serious about your idea and the protection of your IP – which you are and (b) is a handy way to take a first pass at eliminating factories that are not serious about working with you. Requesting the signed NDA will probably reduce the number of factories under consideration by fifty percent.
- Send the remaining factories your product spec attached to an e-mail describing your interest in working with them. You should reasonably expect two to four legitimate quotations to result from the dialog that remains with the factories that signed your NDA. Some will determine that they’re not a good technical fit for what you’re after, others will simply lose interest.
Let us assume for a moment that we know what makes a good manufacturing process. What is the likelihood that the best contract manufacturers with the best processes have listed themselves on GlobalSources.com and Alibaba.com?
I don't know the answer definitively. But having recently visited one of the best contract manufacturers in the footwear industry, I doubt the best advertise their services in a manufacturing directory. Why? Because the best usually have only a few large multinational customers, who collaborated closely with them over the course of several years. So if the best contract factories have not listed themselves on a directory, then Hocherman's prescribed method will not find them. But then again maybe you are not interested in the best, maybe "good" is good enough.
Nevertheless methods other than using a manufacturing directory might be required to find your partner. Weeboy of TheWee.com, who manufacturers goods outside of Shanghai, comments, “the key to the operation is going down there and a finding a sourcing agent that you are comfortable working with and trust. Although it will cost you about 15% it is well worth it to have eyes and ears on the ground when (and trust me they will) problems arise.” A sourcing agent familiar with a particular region or your industry might be a wise way to find your ideal manufacturing partner. The agent may also be capable of overseeing your production in China for you.
In an upcoming post I will examine how to find a factory that has good processes, but more importantly a company that has a good manufacturing culture.
In the meantime you can read my earlier post describing how Nike worked closely with its primary Korean contract manufacturer to develop a culture of sustainability, efficiency and constant improvement.
You may also want to read my earlier post on the common attributes of successful China-based manufacturers, as well as an earlier post on who makes an ideal candidate for sourcing in China.