How Should I Select the Right Manufacturing Facility?

Getting a product to market is more than developing an idea and creating a dynamic marketing strategy. You must establish a partnership with a manufacturing facility to create the physical product. Here are some questions to ask yourself before signing with a manufacturer.

Where Is the Facility?

There are manufacturing industry facilities across the country and the world. Your first step is to decide whether to partner with domestic or international facilities. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Your business goals will help you identify the ideal location. Then, consider the distance you want to travel to get to the facility. You will likely need to visit at least once a year, so make sure it is convenient and cost-effective.

What Do Their References Say?

Every manufacturer provides potential customers with a list of references. Prepare a list of questions to ask each reference so you can compare them equally.

  • How long have you worked with the manufacturer?
  • Are you pleased with their communication style?
  • What type of quality-control measures do you use?
  • What are the most frustrating aspects of working with them?

Are We Prepared for This Scale?

New business owners can get caught up in the ideal manufacturing industry vision of a full-scale production model. Most new products need to run the development process a couple of times before you have ironed out the best production method. Make sure your facility can start small and tweak the process before finalizing the production system.

What Are the Contract Terms?

As with any contract you sign, look it over. Make sure that the terms are acceptable to you and your business partners. Be sure that the facility adheres to all governmental regulations for the health and safety of its employees and the environment.

Should I Hire More Than One?

There are many challenges that the manufacturing industry faces. As your company grows, consider partnering with several manufacturers to prevent production delays. You can remain loyal to one facility, but several things can affect its ability to produce:

  • Labor negotiations
  • Competitor involvement
  • Facility damage
  • Weather
  • Supply chain challenges

What Does My Gut Say?

Finally, there is something to be said about making a decision based on instinct. Be sure to visit the facility before you sign the contract. It is easy to use virtual meetings and tours to get a feel for the company, but meeting a person face-to-face is a good idea.

Deciding on the manufacturer you plan to use is more than simply signing a contract. Be sure to understand how the facility can benefit your organization. Selecting the best facility will help you boost profits.

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