Choosing a Manufacturer

Choosing a Manufacturer for Your Products (The right questions to ask)

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Adaora Nnene

When it comes to product development, sourcing for an exceptional manufacturer is a crucial process that will help determine the quality and sales success of the product.

Choosing an excellent manufacturer for a product is also a critical factor in how well the product will do in the market. Research and investigations should be done, attention should be paid to every detail, and specific questions should be asked.

To help businesses avoid the troubles of choosing the wrong manufacturer, here are important questions that should be asked, with satisfactory answers and contracts agreed upon before deciding on who will manufacture the product.

1. What experience do you have with my kind of product?

Working with a manufacturer who is experienced in your product is vital since they already understand how the market works. They know every stage involved and will be in a perfect place to advise you or guide you to make necessary changes.

They also understand industry standards regulating that product category, leaving no room for trial and error. It is essential to find out the companies the manufacturers have worked with and the products they manufacture with evidence to back up their claims.

2. What is your production capacity?

Get to know the maximum number of items a manufacturer can produce within a given period, which can be expressed with the number of units manufactured.

Small production capacity may seem like a safe bet, but businesses want to avoid trying to locate a manufacturer with lesser production capacity when they have large orders to fulfil. That only leads to lengthened timelines.

3. What is your Minimum Order Quantity?

Minimum orders can range between dozens to tens of thousands of units depending on the product and the manufacturer. Knowing the number of units the manufacturer requires you to order at a minimum is vital; this way, you will ascertain if it is feasible for your business and get more value per cost unit.

4. What is your turnaround time?

Knowing the duration for production will help the business in the planning process and meeting deadlines. Some manufacturers may offer a very competitive price, but upon further investigation, it will be revealed that this comes with extended turnaround times. While this may be okay for some businesses, it may not be for some markets where speed and efficiency are key. 

5. What are your pricing model and service offerings?

Before committing yourself to a manufacturer, you must understand the financial model to avoid surprises. Find out the manufacturer's pricing and service offerings.

Do they include product assembling and packing? Are there minimum order quantities for specific products? Do you get to receive extra perks to assist in your overall pricing strategy? Factor these in.

6. What are your payment terms?

Sometimes, a manufacturer may require the production payment in full before the production process begins. In some other cases, especially with established businesses or long-term customers, the manufacturer may only demand full payment after production. A supplier that demands full payment upfront is worrisome and could be a red flag.

7. What quality control process do you have in place?

Manufacturers tend to apply a series of steps and procedures to ensure that their products meet specific quality standards and specifications,  regardless of how competitive their pricing, stellar communication, or quick turnaround time is.

A manufacturer who doesn't deliver on quality cannot be relied upon. These basic standard operating procedures include inspecting and testing the components used in the production process, passing certifications such as ISO, and testing the finished product before shipping it to clients.  

Working with an experienced procurement partner like SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED gives you manufacturing leverage because, from start to finish, we work with our clients to choose the best manufacturer for their products.

Visit our physical office space at 3, Fatai Irawo Street, Ajao Estate, Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria, or any of our warehouse touch point locations worldwide to get more information on our various service offerings.

Our 24/7 email correspondence is hello@chinatolagos.com. Contact us today.

We are equally social, and you can find us @SaraProcure on your favorite channels, Twitter, Threads, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Adaora Nnene


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