So you have a product idea and you want to know how to manufacture in China. Where do you start? How do you find the right china manufacturer?

Getting Started:

Most people normally Google “Top China Manufacturers.” The results may lead you to find a manufacturer, but they might not specialize in the production of your product. This could lead to defective products and longer production times. We wish it could be a simple internet search to find the right supplier for you. You will need to build a list of any potential manufacturers you find. From there, find out as much as you can about their company and services. Ask for references, a business license, lists of brands they currently work with, certifications they hold, etc. If they fail to produce this information, you may want to move on.

What Questions Should I Ask Manufacturers?
-Will they sign a non disclosure agreement (NDA)?

Before sending the potential manufacturer any product or designs, find out if they will sign an NDA, or more accurately, an NNN. American style NDA’s are not enforceable in China, but the Non-disclosure, Non-compete, Non-circumvention agreement – NNN is. This document protects your product designs from being stolen or otherwise used without your permission.

-Do they require a technical package (tech pack)?

We highly recommend you create a tech pack for your product. This includes images of your product prototype and details such as what materials you want to use, any size specifications, and an in depth description of how you want the product to look and function. If the factory tells you they don’t require a tech pack, you may want to consider finding another source. You want to make sure your factory is concerned with every detail of your product.

-What is their MOQ?

Make sure to ask the manufacturer for their minimum order quantity (MOQ). We have talked with clients who have, in the past, neglected this step. When they are ready to place their order, they discover the factory might require a minimum of 5,000 units. Find out if you aren’t prepared to place an order for their MOQ before spending time and money with this process.

-What is their quality control system?

The last thing you want is to pay for and receive defective product. Nothing is worse than opening a box to find your goods have been incorrectly manufactured. It is often difficult to get any recourse from the factory in these cases. First, you need to insure that they send you what is called a Pre-production Sample, or PPS. That alone will not insure you do not get defects, but it will show you what they intend to make. Next, we advise you to never rely on the factory to perform your quality checks. Ask the facility if they will allow for your own QC representative to visit. This can be you or someone you hire to do the job. In any case, it is always good to have an objective inspection of the product before it ships.

By performing your due diligence, you lessen your risk of running into certain problems while dealing with a China manufacturing company. This will increase your chances of a long and sustainable relationship with your Chinese manufacturer. If you are looking for success in finding the right manufacturer for you, check out the Blacksmith Factory Audit. This document outlines all vital questions you need to ask a potential factory before beginning production.

Blacksmith International is a U.S based company that specializes in global manufacturing. We produce high end products for clients all over the world. Our services include everything from product development and production to quality control and shipping.