Do you need a Factory to build your product?
We have developed an exclusive service that is the most reliable and cost effective way to secure a trustworthy and reputable manufacturer in Asia. Having worked with countless factories for nearly two decades to produce products, we have established a broad network to help inventors secure quality manufacturing. Many agents will charge thousands to evaluate your needs, select a factory, and get samples made. This is simply not enough! You need to understand how factories work, how to negotiate pricing and arrange tooling and product set-up, and communicate with them to get them what they need to produce your product quickly and safely.
Our factory sourcing concierge service includes the following:
- Manufacturing documentation preparation and all communication with the factory
- Factory locator -we seek out multiple factories and choose the best one for you!
- Obtain quotes for product prototyping and tooling (a separate fee for both will be quoted by the factory if applicable)
- Obtain final CIF or FOB USA manufacturing per piece price quote for your product as well as the cost for packaging your product (all manufacturing costs to make your product are your sole responsibility of course!)
- Arranging the tooling/mold set up with factory
- Pre-production samples are arranged for your review and approval (you pay the cost of these samples)
- Review importing requirements so that your product arrives safely at your warehouse
- One on one discussions and emails to answer your many questions and help you through this critical process
Having trouble finding a factory to produce your products? Don’t know where to begin and who to trust? You are not alone!
Thousands of inventors and consumer product entrepreneurs struggle to find reliable factories every day. Having the right manufacturer is absolutely critical to having a successful product company. There is so much to know about choosing a factory and obtaining competitive pricing, knowing how factories operate, and communicating with them correctly. Having dealt with hundreds of factories for nearly two decades, we have learned how to find the most reliable sources so you can save time, money, and huge frustration! Lots of money continues to be lost upon inventors who attempt to deal with factories without knowing how to do so.
One of the most important steps an inventor has to undergo is to choose a factory that is very capable of producing their product in a cost-effective and safe manner. Years ago, many retailers turned a blind eye to potential safety issues when considering exciting new products. Today, with all of the issues about lead content in baby products and dangerous ingredients in food products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is cracking down on manufacturers and the companies that import (you the inventor) these products that are sold to U.S. retailers. Safety testing simply must be conducted for many products and retailers are now requiring that you produce accreditation from an approved testing agency warranting your products to be safe under the law. Working with factories that are compliant and understand these laws is a must!
We have compiled the most frequently asked questions that we have received over the years from clients about outsourcing to Asia. Education and knowledge is your first defense against being “taken” and having a “bad experience!”
Q. Why do people hire agents to source their products in China?
A. Most new or expanding entrepreneurs with products that need manufacturing do not have the connections, confidence, knowledge, or time to source products in China. Savvy product developers spend their time developing their products and business, not shooting in the dark for manufacturing. Our fees are extremely reasonable when you consider the amount of time and effort that goes into representing someone for this endeavor. Most often, our clients say they save more money by working with us simply by avoiding costly mistakes when doing it themselves.
Q. Is it really going to save me money manufacturing in China?
A. Yes, you will get the benefit of real savings by manufacturing your products in volume overseas in most cases. If your orders are not at least a 20ft container full, you will experience slightly higher pricing. Not all items are good for sourcing overseas; please see the end of this Q&A for further details.
Q. Is the product quality going to be equivalent to the USA?
A. Yes, with the right manufacturer to produce your products you will get the best quality at the most competitive pricing available. No, if you do not secure the correct factory, or go with one that you have no experience or history with. Today, it is said that 5,000 + factories a day are closing their doors in China. As an agent, we choose only the best, most trustworthy factories to secure manufacturing.
Q. How long does it take to ship products from China once they have been made?
A. Your goods are coming from a long distance. It is a good idea to plan well in advance before you actually need the product. Because each production will be different, we will advise on a case-by-case basis of your lead times. In general, it takes 30-45 days, counting from the day your order production is completed. It could be shorter, or longer, depending on the product and its technicality, shipping point and final destination. We will do our very best to secure the best schedule for the product delivery based on your needs. We will keep you abreast of the timing and changes and/or updates related to your production to help you plan your schedule.
Q. What is tooling and how long does it take to complete it?
A. Tooling is when a factory/manufacturer makes the molds/cavities to produce a product. It typically is associated with plastics, injection molding, and casting products. General completion is 2-6 + weeks.
Q. How long does it take to do sample/prototyping?
A. It really depends on how easy or how complex your product is. It can go from 2 weeks to 2+ months. In our quoting process, we will identify the time frame and discuss the findings with you. It would be wise to plan extra time for prototype modifications and/or improvements. It usually takes more than one run to attend to all the details and “debug” the product. Also factor in the courier time needed between China and the US to receive updated samples.
Q. What is the scope of products that we will source overseas?
A. We can source many products including those made of plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, and fabric (textiles) For product categories, we source jewelry, baby products, toys, clothing, consumer electronics, housewares, sporting goods, handbags/luggage, fashion accessories, small furniture items, and so much more. We do not work with chemicals, automotive, lotions, solar and liquid goods. NOTE: We do not choose to take on every product and project. We will review your needs and requirements and then discuss it with you to decide if we are the best fit to assist with your manufacturing needs.
Q. What type of product specs does one need to obtain a manufacturing quote?
A. For a manufacturer to provide an accurate quote they need to know every dimension of every part, all tolerances, material specs, and surface finish requirements. Mechanical drawings (CAD), or specs, contain all this information. If your parts need to be made to a specific size and/or if multiple parts are involved that requires close fit assembly, we need engineer’s drawings to get a quote. We emphasize that hand sketches, patent drawings or the likes do not show all dimensions or material callouts and are not acceptable.
We can have our team create the drawings for you; however, this fee is separate and paid upfront after receiving a quote from us. Today, most engineering firms use sophisticated CAD software that can create an electronic file which can be emailed. Most prints we receive by email are in .dwg (Autocad), .dxf, .pdf, .jpg or .tif file formats.
Q. How do you know what prices to negotiate with manufacturers?
A. An agent should have many years of experience working in the manufacturing and exportation field. Understanding manufacturing in China from the inside out, we have factory representatives on the ground to ensure the factories pricing stays competitive. Not having them will cause communication problems, production issues, and take a great deal of time to find the right sources.
It is best to know and take into account the regional and local manufacturing environment – the supply and demand of all factors involved, the competition and quality, and to know at which level the prices are reasonable. You need to also know at which level the prices become attractive without sacrificing quality. If you are looking into manufacturing on your own, make sure you get at least 3-4 quotes from factories and be as knowledgeable as possible on the items mentioned above. We always recommend that you get a good map of China and know the locations and regions where you are looking for factories if you choose to go it alone. Example, the closer you go to Hong Kong for manufacturing, the more you will pay.
Q. Knock-offs are one of the main concerns of producing products in China. How do you address that?
A. Some Chinese factories do have the problem of not respecting other countries intellectual property rights. However, working with manufacturers who have been in business for many years who would not jeopardize their reputation, and business, with American companies by not being honest and trustworthy, is very important. We believe big changes will come in the following area; China’s economic growth will inevitably lead to more and more innovation and invention by Chinese entrepreneurs. Their own needs for the protection of their intellectual property rights will be the real force to drive the “internal integrity” change needed in China. There are also safe guards the US Government affords patent holders when a knock-off enters the port which may infringe on an existing US patent. You can check with U.S. Customs for more information. We only deal with and give our business to trustworthy factories.
Q. Is my proprietary information and product safe to show you?
A. Make sure you have the appropriate disclosures when working with anyone in this business. We believe in abundance, that there is plenty for everybody, that one’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of others. We are more than willing to sign an NDA or other documents you suggest. We are in the business to find manufacturing for our clients – not undermined them.
Q. How much does your program cost and do you offer any guarantees?
A. Our program costs just 199.00! While we realize we are offering an extremely valuable and critical service, we do earn money when your product is produced by a factory. Most factories pay commissions to sales people or brokers to help them obtain new business. This commission is generally very low…just pennies per piece for each piece of your product that is produced. We understand that our responsibility is to choose the best factory for your product and that is what we do. We do not work with factories based on commission rates…but rather the ones we deem best suited for your product. Due to the significant amount of time we spend as well as our decades of experience and knowledge, we do not offer refunds once we have embarked on your project.