China has emerged as one of the most viable options to manufacture all kinds of products for companies from all over the world, as China has developed excellent infrastructure and also there is availability of trained manpower at an unbelievable cost.
However, manufacturing any kind of product can always be a very complex process, and therefore, it is necessary to follow a few important steps to make your China venture a successful one.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss how you can implement your idea of manufacturing in a country like China and also what role a sourcing agent can play to achieve your dream.
Before you decide to take the help of any Chinese manufacturing facility, you must have a proper strategy. Unless you have your strategy in place then all your efforts may eventually fail to evolve.
For any product that you manufacture, the success of your product will depend upon the quality of your product that you will finally be able to achieve from all your efforts. Therefore, the following are a few points that you need to consider in the very beginning.
- Design and conceptualize your product
To start with, you must start designing your product at your end as you have conceptualized. You must make sure that the product that you have designed will meet the objective for which it has been designed. The whole process may take sufficient amount of time if the product does not already exist.
- Test your product under many different conditions
After you have designed the product then you must ensure that your product will perform under various climatic and environmental conditions. Since the actual user may use your product in many different ways and hence your designed product should deliver results in all conditions.
- Develop a suitable manufacturing process
Now you need to make suitable documentation about how the product can be manufactured. For most industrial products it is necessary to create a suitable BOM (Bill of Material) needed and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to assemble different parts to manufacture the product.
- Create a specification and quality parameters of your product
There should also be a technical specification created for your product so that after the product is made, then all its parameters like physical dimensions, performance parameters can be measured. This will create proper quality parameters and all your product must meet these specifications.
Your prospective manufacturer in China as well as your sourcing agent must have necessary facility to measure all these parameters.
After you are ready with all the above, now is the time to search for a suitable sourcing agent in China who can help you to locate companies that are competent enough to manufacture your product.
For the manufacturers based in Europe and the USA, this step is the most challenging one, because China is a huge country and only very few people can understand proper English. Therefore, locating a suitable company to manufacture your product in China can be a herculean task.
Therefore, you need to select a sourcing agent who is not only an English-speaking person, but also aware of Chinese industries and can communicate effectively in both Mandarin and English.
Also, he should be a technically qualified person so that he can understand the intricacy of your product so that he can ensure the quality of your product while they are being manufactured in China.
After your appointed sourcing agent introduces to you a few manufacturers then you must follow these steps:
- Explain the details about your product
You must discuss with your prospective manufacturer/manufacturers full details about your product and make sure that they understand the specification manual that you have created above.
They may have many questions for you to ask that must be cleared to them so that they can consider whether they can manufacture them.
- Offer a few samples to them
If they are sure that they have the necessary capability to manufacture your product then offer them a few samples of your product for them to study to develop a better understanding of your product and look for the possibility to manufacture them at their facility.
- Ask them to produce a few samples
If the manufacturer is confident that they can produce your product as per the quality of the sample that you have offered to them then firstly ask them to produce a few samples for you so that you can confirm whether they are really capable of delivering your product.
- Test the samples at your end
After they have delivered the sample, then test them in the same way you had tested at your place before, so that you can ensure that it meets your quality parameters. You can offer them your feedback if there is any further scope of improvement, and this may take a few iterations.
- Create at least three such companies
You must follow the above steps with at least 3 other companies too, so that if one fails your approval then there are a few others available. This will also be useful for you in the longer run too, as you will have an alternate source if one company cannot produce enough quantity.
- Start production
After you are thru with all the above steps then you must place an order for a batch production after you have negotiated all your commercial terms with your manufacturers. If the trial production is satisfactory and you are happy with their quality then go for mass production.
- Monitor the quality
You must have a local source to check the quality of your product during and after production. Besides that, you must also do the quality check by randomly selecting a few samples so that you can monitor the quality of your product.
To deliver quality products, your thrust must be more to product manufacturing. Though it will be an overwhelming task, however, if you systematically follow the above steps as explained, then you can surely succeed in your objective.