Thanks to recent advancements in global connectivity, entrepreneurs can now introduce their latest inventions to a global audience at launch. However, designers attempting to bring new products to the market in today’s landscape face a host of unique contemporary challenges.
Burgeoning entrepreneurs have not only to contend with established brands but also small businesses with worldwide fulfillment capabilities. As such, enterprising makers should set themselves up for success by partnering with a quality manufacturing firm.
Location is Everything
One factor engineers need to consider when seeking manufacturing partners is their location. Designers may want to work with an overseas fabricator to save money, but there are downsides to outsourcing production.
As an example, firms may have difficulty establishing relationships with foreign manufacturers due to cultural differences. When making electronics, engineers assemble their circuit boards with exacting layouts for them to function correctly. Similarly, small businesses seeking to form relationships with international fabricators need to observe local societal norms and customs. Companies that fail to do so will struggle to find receptive business partners abroad.
Designers also need to be aware of the current trade relationships between different nations. As an example, the United States and China are locked in a bitter trade war. As a result, many American companies that manufacture goods in the Asian superpower are now burdened with high import tariffs. Consequently, they are now facing declining profit margins because their once affordable outsourced manufacturing deals have become financially unsustainable.
Engineers should research relations between their home nations and the countries where their perspective manufacturers are based to ensure supply chain stability.
Understand Your Needs
Engineers need to understand what their manufacturing needs are before they go looking for a partner. Startups need to team up with fabricators that are a good fit for their industry and level of operation to achieve profitability.
For instance, U.S. companies that operate in the medical device sector have to meet stringent U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. The agency’s regulations also extend to the manufacture of biomedical machines, and they mandate extensive documentation and regular inspections. Accordingly, firms operating in the medical device sector and other heavily regulated industries should partner with fabricators that specialize in their field.
Small companies should also partner with manufacturers that do business with firms similar to their size. Forming a production agreement with a large scale fabricator can be problematic for an emerging concern. Burgeoning organizations working with larger corporate production facilitators may find that their orders aren’t given the appropriate amount of attention.
No matter how enticing their rates, engineers shouldn’t partner with giant manufacturers that won’t prioritize their orders.
Quality Assurance is Mission Critical
Finally, startups should look for manufacturing partners with high standards regarding quality assurance. To thrive, new companies need to provide consumers with high-grade products. Businesses that supply early adopters with defective goods can destroy their reputations with remarkable speed.
Unfortunately, engineers without production experience may find it hard to assess the credibility of their potential fabrication partners. However, designers can protect themselves from poor production outcomes by thoroughly vetting their potential production facilitators.
In addition to researching a manufacturer’s history, makers should also question company executives about their quality assurance process. Engineers can uncover critical information about their business affiliates by asking about the frequency, timing, and intensiveness of their quality inspections.
Engineers can and should avoid getting locked into production agreements with subpar fabricators by performing due diligence.
Starting a new business is never easy, but designers can mitigate certain risk factors by taking a data-driven approach to picking their manufacturing partnerships.
Mario McKellop is a Staff Writer for The Burn-In. In addition to his love for all things tech, he loves a good meme, a trending story with plenty of irony, and all things energy drink related. Mario has written for Bank of America, CBS, Chase Financial, and Time Warner Communications (to name a few). You can find his tech stories at www.theburnin.com.