If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur with a unique product idea you might be considering offshore manufacturing or overseas development support. This can be a very sound business move as it can offer many benefits such as:
• Lower production & development costs
• Cost effective assistance with the tasks you aren’t familiar with
• More time available for you to devote to your core business of making sales
Offshore manufacturing or overseas production sourcing is best suited for these types products:
• Consumer Electronics
• Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies
• Boats (sail and power)
• Wooden products
• Leather goods
• Product that require labor-intensive assembly
• Aluminum and milled metal products
How would you go about finding the best overseas manufacturer for your project?
First, there are resources on the internet devoted to impartial, neutral outsourcing information (our blog is one of these 🙂 so be sure to subscribe!), such as The Outsourcing Institute and Outsourcing Network.
However, nothing can top good references, proven track records and due diligence. Good communication is also essential, first with phone or Skype meetings, and then visiting your overseas manufacturer’s place of business in person, is a must.
Staying on top of latest developments concerning exporting subsidies, increases in raw material prices, currency fluctuations and fuel costs will reveal some areas like China that may not be as good a source as it once was for small businesses.
When you have settled on an overseas manufacturer, the Manufacturing agreement should contain the following protections:
• Accurate description of the product
• Exact ordering information
• Price for services and payment terms
• Provision for 3rd party selling, if applicable
• Warranty or Contract to protect delivery and quality level
• Promise of developing and/or maintaining suitable business practices
• Escape clauses: one for disputes and one for exits, if agreements aren’t’t met or quality is poor
• Comprehensive Intellectual Property Clause to protect patents, designs, confidential information or trademarks
• Separate confidentiality agreement
• Provisions for changes in foreign currency exchange rates to name a few
If the manufacturer agrees to all your protections and terms, then you are well on your way to the start of a good working relationship.
For more info on how to find and select a good overseas manufacturing partner please download our Free ebook titled: “Product Development & Manufacturing for Small Businesses”
Tags: Manufacturing Products, Overseas Manufacturing, Product Manufacturing