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5 Qualities to Look for in a China Manufacturing Partner

Finding the right manufacturing partner can be tricky, especially if you’re new to China manufacturing or just starting out with your business.

There are plenty of quality manufacturers out there, but it’s important to make sure that they have these 5 qualities before you enter into an agreement with them.

Only then will you know you can trust them and put your business in their hands without having to worry about things getting messed up along the way.

1) Knowledge

When you partner with a manufacturer, they’ll act as your vendor or factory.

This can be intimidating when you’re not sure what questions to ask or how much to spend.

A good China manufacturing partner will have knowledge of both manufacturing and international business and can help determine which factory or vendor is right for your product.

It’s important that your manufacturing partner understands what your product is, where it comes from and how it’s made—otherwise, how can he/she help you?

Skilled manufacturing partners are invaluable when it comes to navigating things like quality assurance, intellectual property protection and shipping logistics; manufacturers with specific knowledge will know exactly what questions you should be asking.

2) Transparency

If you have questions, or something goes wrong with your order, it’s nice to know that your manufacturer is open and honest about what happened.

It’s no good if you don’t get your calls returned or emails responded to quickly and thoroughly.

If you need a manufacturer who will constantly track and ensure they are producing quality products, make sure you ask around and do research before settling on one.

Chinese business culture can be complex and difficult for outsiders to navigate.

If you plan on doing business in Asia at some point, it’s a good idea to find someone who knows their way around and won’t hide how they do business from you.

3) Language

Communication is key with your new manufacturer.

Be sure you speak the same language.

If there’s a language barrier, it will make working together much more difficult and might lead to frustrations on both sides.

Make sure you clearly understand what your manufacturer will do—and won’t do—for you before signing any contracts or paying any fees.

You should be able to get an idea of their working style just by talking on Skype or even emailing back and forth for several weeks. (If they get upset easily when dealing with customers, it might not be worth continuing.)

If communication doesn’t go well at first, consider ending your relationship early rather than suffering through something that could eventually lead to problems down the road.

If you need much more timely response, you can also use WeChat, an IM chat app most Chinese use.

4) Dependability

Many manufacturers offer low-cost goods and services.

Although it might be tempting to use one of these companies, it’s important that you remember that you are paying for more than just products.

Quality customer service can be lacking from low-cost companies; you’ll want to work with an manufacturer who makes you feel comfortable and is always willing to answer questions.

This can help build a relationship of trust between your company and your manufacturer, which will be beneficial throughout your business venture.

On top of that, having direct access to someone at your manufacturer’s facility will make communication easier as you enter into negotiations

5) Personal Relationship

You might think that saving some money is good enough of a reason to choose a manufacturer solely based on price, but keep in mind that it’s much easier and more enjoyable to work with someone you already know.

You’ll get more out of your partnership if you feel like there’s trust and camaraderie on both sides.

Plus, buying in bulk will allow you to negotiate better prices than if you were working alone.

Your personal relationship should be one that allows communication channels open at all times.

This can also be a reflection of his/her relationship with suppliers.

In China, especially when it comes to dealing with factories, maintaining guanxi(relationship) is extra important.

It can make direct impact on how your order will be made.

Shield Works has over 16 years of manufacturing experience in China. Feel free to let us know if interested!

The Benefits of Using a Contract Manufacturer

Manufacturing continues to grow throughout the years and has become incredibly profitable. Did you know that manufacturers contribute about $2.71 trillion each year? 

If you’re thinking about using a contract manufacturer, you might wonder if it’s worth it. There are several benefits to using one, and some might surprise you! Read this guide on the various benefits of using a contract manufacturer today.

Keep Costs Low

Contract manufacturing is a great way to reduce the cost of your services and products. This is because there’s a lower chance of errors. You can also benefit from bulk purchasing and skilled labor. 

All of this can lead to satisfied customers since you can lower the cost of goods. Manufacturing businesses specialize in high-volume production lines and cutting costs. 

This means that you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about production or making errors. Many companies are experts in their field and what they sell, but they struggle with the production process. That’s where a contract manufacturer comes in. 

Save Money

Did you know that manufacturing accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy? You’ll be able to save money since you won’t have to worry about buying equipment for production. Skilled laborers will already have the equipment that you need. 

If a product is high in demand, a manufacturer can focus on decreasing the time that it’ll take. 

Test Products

You can test products before they’re in the hands of your customers. This is a great way to save money by not producing a defective design. 

Determine what the needs of your business are since each manufacturing company could offer different services. They can also make changes to the product as necessary. 

They can improve the products, increase the production rate, and give you great profit margins. 

Professionalism

Product manufacturing companies will provide you with products without errors. This will help the reputation of your company.

Some companies will try to do production on their own and then make a grave error. Let a manufacturer perform production and watch your production rates increase. 

They can also bring fresh, new ideas to your products. Manufacturers are experts in design and can help your product shine. 

Improved Efficiency

Many manufacturers learn how to reduce waste. They can perform various tasks such as painting, machining, difficult assembly, welding, etc. This can help reduce the manufacturing costs for your company.

Manufacturing companies can also provide you with more flexibility. Whether you’re looking to scale production, develop products at the same time, etc.

You can start and schedule projects when it makes the most sense for your business. You’ll also know that they’re using the top-of-the-line equipment in the company to provide you with high-quality products. 

Save Resources

Since they’re knowledgeable about reducing waste, you can lessen your carbon footprint. This also means fewer costs for you. 

Your staff will have more time to work on business tasks. You can focus on your business, marketing, etc. 

If you wanted to do production yourself, you’d need to hire a large staff. This could include operators, engineers, managers, etc. 

Whereas contract manufacturers already have their staff in place. You’ll have a large team working on your products without having to worry about shifts, payroll, or hiring workers. 

Sell Your Products Sooner

Since managers can create your products fast, you can get your products out there to the consumers quicker. There are different methods such as CNC machining and Rapid prototyping that can help speed up the process. 

You might be able to get your products out there in a few weeks! 

Various Options

They can handle various aspects of the manufacturing process. These can include material purchases, product design for manufacturing, assembly, packaging, etc.

Since everything is happening under one roof, it reduces costs for you. They’ll handle the difficult parts of the manufacturing process so you as a business owner can have less stress. 

Deadlines and Estimates

You’ll know in advance how much to budget for the process. They’ll provide you with a detailed estimate before they begin. 

This will make it less likely that you’ll experience delays or unexpected costs. They’ll also be able to tell you how long it should take. 

Improved Communication

If you try to have the product manufacturing process internally, you’ll need to contact multiple vendors at all times. Through contract manufacturing, you’ll be able to stay in communication with them. You won’t have to worry about a response. 

Who Can Benefit From Manufacturing Contract Companies?

Most businesses can benefit from contract manufacturers. You might decide to use product assembly services in China since it’ll save your business money. Keep in mind that how skilled a manufacturer is will vary. 

Some ways they can help include: 

  • Packaging products
  • Manufacturing products manually
  • Product assembly
  • Creating computer models of products
  • And more 

When you’re first starting out with a production company, it’s a good idea to test out a contract manufacturer. See how their production process is and if it slows you down. You might find that you’ll have more time to focus on your business and productivity will increase overall. 

Understanding the Benefits of a Contract Manufacturer

After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of the benefits of a contract manufacturer. Take your time deciding if it’s right for your business. 

Are you ready to speed up the process of manufacturing in your business?

Contact us today! We offer customized manufacturing, including developing new processes, using top-notch equipment, and customizing work procedures. 

How To Evaluate A Product Assembly Company In China: 5 Strategies To Success

As the global pandemic is continually spreading, and China insists on the zero-Covid strategy, it’s getting harder for many overseas businesses to find a product assembly company for their products.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go at it alone. Here are five strategies that will help make finding the right assembly partner much easier.

Experience

Experience is an important factor to consider when reaching out to an assembly supplier.

Nearly all of the assembly suppliers claim that they have relevant experience in dealing with any type of product so you have the confidence to work with them. But remember, some assembly companies are better at certain types of products than others. It’s better for you to partner with those who specialize in your product.

In this case, you should be careful to identify if they are telling truth. Try to clarify the questions below:

  • When did the assembly plant start?
  • How many engineers do you have?
  • What are the processes to assemble my product?
  • Have you worked on a similar project before? What was it like?
  • Have you worked with an overseas business?

By answering these questions, you can figure out if the information provided to you is relevant, up to date, and available in real-time.

Capacity

The second thing you need to do is to assess your potential assembly partner’s capacity.

You don’t want to send your product and money somewhere it will sit on a shelf or in a warehouse waiting to be assembled. To ensure you won’t get stuck with products that aren’t being assembled as fast as they can, make sure you know exactly how much production space your assembly partner has is available.

If you have any concerns about their ability to meet your demand and requirements, ask them directly about their current output rate and deadline.

Don’t risk losing out on profits by making an assembly partner overburdened with your orders—go with someone who knows what they are doing.

Certifications

Not all China product assembly companies are created equally.

No matter how well-established the assembly plant is, there still may be a possibility that they don’t have proper certifications and licenses.

So, if you are concerned whether your product is being produced and assembled in compliance with regulatory standards, ensure your supplier has the relevant business licenses to operate their facility as well as any relevant compliance certifications to manufacture and assemble your product.

Here are some common ISO certifications, including:

  • ISO 9001:2015: Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001:2015: Environmental Management Systems
  • ISO 45001:2015: Occupational Health And Safety
  • ISO 14001 – Environmental Management

Each product or industry requires different kinds of certifications. So Each product in China requires a different kind of certificates and documents. So, always ask to check the required materials for assembling your product before any order confirmation.

Language Proficiency

One of the biggest headaches for overseas businesses to find an assembly supplier is language.

Consider working with those who have English background and speak English fluently. Although now more and more Chinese people speak English, it’s still possible to lead to misunderstanding certain points.

Therefore, remember the two principles when communicating with Chinese suppliers:

  • Open – Though you and your supplier speak the same language, there is a gap in knowledge and logic that leads to misunderstandings. So try to be open and straightforward in your conversation to make both sides on the same page.
  • Precise – Precision communication is fundamental to a long-term partnership. Describing your needs and requirements precisely can reduce the workload for both parties.

Services

Assembly service providers have traditionally relied on low-cost to gain a competitive edge.

But times have changed.

Nowadays, the costs of labor and land are no longer as cheap as before. More and more assembly plants are offering tailored service and support so these can be key considerations when partnering with an assembly company.

There are some assembly companies offering one-stop services from quality inspection and testing to warehousing and fulfillment, which release you from finding other services one by one.

About Shield Works

Finding a reliable and professional product assembly partner will help to boost your business by avoiding high-defect rates and unexpected delays.

Shield Work, a leading product assembly service provider in China, is ready to help you assemble your products with our well-established facility. Contact us to discuss your project today.

Can You Really Trust Product Development in China?

When you’re planning your next big product, where should you look to get it done? China or the United States? You might think that the answer to this question depends on your budget and how long you need the product to be in development, but that isn’t necessarily true. As it turns out, Chinese product development companies are capable of producing world-class products just as quickly as US companies and at a lower cost as well.

Is it a good idea to outsource product development in China?

Outsourcing product development to China may sound like an odd choice to many people. It’s not uncommon for engineers and product developers working on a project to assume that manufacturing abroad is only done when sourcing parts from other countries, but there are many advantages to having your new invention manufactured to China. For example, Chinese companies often provide their clients with ready-made factories, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a factory space before production begins. The best advantage of outsourcing product development, though, is cost savings; manufacturing costs are generally cheaper there than in Western countries, which makes it possible for startups to take risks they might not otherwise be able to afford.

After years of development, China is fully capable of developing quality products that can measure up to international standards. Many engineers and product developers think that outsourcing manufacturing to China is a risky decision because they believe that it would result in low-quality products. However, as more and more American brands begin using Chinese manufacturers for their projects, consumers are realizing just how reliable these companies can be.

Get it right from the start

The best way to avoid having quality problems later is to make sure that you are working with a partner who has great experience and impeccable standards from day one. Although there are myriad problems that can occur when making products abroad, you’ll want to make sure you have someone on your team that knows how to spot those issues before they snowball into disaster. Whether it’s something as simple as a minor translation error or as complex as a hardware issue, working with an experienced partner will help avoid major setbacks. Make sure you know what areas of your product and business could cause potential issues. No one can foresee everything.  If you’re not certain about any aspect of your production process, do some research or consult with experts.

How long will it take to develop my idea and have samples made?

There are a number of steps involved in bringing an idea to life, from making some prototypes and testing them, to sourcing materials and having samples made. On average, it takes about six months from beginning to end. However, your product development timeline can be impacted by a number of factors (for example, if you choose to have your own custom mold created instead of using an existing mold).  If you’re planning on manufacturing in China, there will also be shipping time factored into that equation. So how long does it take for samples to arrive? That depends on whether or not you’re going with standard shipping or DHL Express/UPS/FedEx delivery. With standard shipping, expect your sample shipment to take two weeks at most; with express delivery, expect one week at most.

But the pandemic is still here, and the world is more complicated than ever with everything going on. It is still subject to change.

How much should I pay for prototypes?

Even if you’re not ready to commit, getting prototypes made is often a good way to see what your product will look like (and feel like) and get a sense of its durability. It’s also worth considering that prototypes come with different price tags depending on their complexity. A simple injection-molded part may cost several hundred dollars and more, but full working samples can run into several thousand dollars. Get quotes from multiple suppliers and keep an eye out for low-cost prototyping options such as 3D printing; some firms even offer free printouts for first-time clients who bring them work.

How can I make sure you don’t rip me off?

It may seem scary to send money to someone you don’t know, but many clients work with their manufacturer to come up with an agreement before sending any payment. That contract should outline what will happen if there is a delay, how long it will take for delivery and what quality standards are expected. If you have concerns about your contract being followed, consider hiring a lawyer or working with someone who has experience making products in China. That way you can have peace of mind that nothing will go wrong and get exactly what you ordered.

There are definitely some reasons why you may or may not want to trust product development in China. But by investing time into finding a reputable partner and carefully researching them before handing over your project, you’ll be far less likely to have an issue. Shield Works has a history of 16 years in product development in China and certainly knows your language coming from the UK. Please contact us if you are interested in getting to know more!

Electrical Assembly In China: 5 Things You Should Need To Know

If you’re looking to assemble your products in China and want to do it as cost-effectively as possible, then it’s important to find the right assembly partner before you get started. Doing so will help you stay on track and keep your costs low without sacrificing quality or speed of delivery.

However, how do you find the right assembly partner? How can you be sure they have all the equipment they need? What should you pay attention to when interviewing them? Keep reading to learn 5 things that you need to know when finding the right assembly partner in China.

1) Get Ready – What Information Do You Need?

Before you begin your search for a reliable assembly partner, there are a few things you’ll need to prepare.

If you don’t know what kind of electrical assemblies your company needs, you won’t be able to find a viable assembly partner. So, make sure what electronical assembly service you will need for your products.

Typically, there are 5 electronical assembly techniques:

  • Wiring
  • Wiring harnesses
  • Connectors
  • Clamps
  • Switches

If you know exactly what you want your supplier to do and how much it will cost per piece, then you should have no problem finding a great Chinese assembly supplier.

2) Where Do I Start – How Can I Approach Vendors?

When seeking out an assembly partner in China – something that may seem easy on paper – you’ll face many obstacles along your way.

As you may know, they’re a lot of fraud factories in China. When a factory knows it will be completely shutting down, its owner will take back the case without noticing their foreign clients. Because they know you are far away from them and you can not check their account.

So try to work with those who are searchable online. Click to their websites and social platforms and read about their reviews and case studies.

You can also go to some online forums to ask someone that has worked with a good electronical assembly company for more information.

Before diving into your hunt, there are 5 questions you should ask:

  • Wha’s your budget?
  • What type of product do you want to be made?
  • What material do you want to use?
  • How much time do you have before production begins?
  • How large of a batch will you need to produce?

3) What to Look for – How Can I Evaluate Vendors?

A good electrical assembly vendor will have an assembly facility that can assemble your items with precision and quality.

However, if a vendor claims that they have a team of professional engineers and skilled workers to charge more, you should be careful with that. Some vendors in China may not even have factories, and they outsource all of their orders. 

So, when you evaluate a vendor, it’s better to visit their facility in person. In this case, you will have a better understanding of such elements:

  • Physical environment: size, layout, equipment and manufacturing capabilities
  • Working condition: workplace safety and mode 
  • Culture: departments and working hours, certifications

Plant tours are one of the most valuable activities you should do before partnering with a potential assembly vendor, especially if you want to work on large-scale projects with them.

3) Prepare Yourself – Can You Manage the Process?

Before going through with an electronical assembly company, you will have to make sure that you are capable of managing your supplier.

What does that mean?

If you are a business owner and you are not familiar with all aspects of electrical assembly, it will be quite hard for you to learn everything step by step. In this case, it is a good idea to contact a professional agency or experienced consultant who can help guide and educate you on what goes into setting up an electrical assembly operation.

And understanding that there are language barriers when working with your supplier is inevitable since most factory owners do not speak English well. So try to keep your requirements simple to be understood for both sides.

Also, maintaining relationships with your product assembly company is essential in China. Earning your supplier’s trust and involving them in your project from the earliest stages ensure they become a strategic partner, which is vested in the project’s success.

5) What Next – After I’ve Signed an Agreement?

Now that you have compared some potential suppliers and you are about to finalise a perfect one for you, what’s next?

At this stage, you should learn more about the agreement.

If you have an IP right on your product, make sure that your supplier has a non-disclosure agreement to safeguard your trademarks or logos.

Let Shield Works Be Your IP Protective Manufacturing Partner

Our assembly service at Shield Works is a combination of reliability, cost-efficiency, and punctuality.

With our British ownership and management background, we have full capacity to help our overseas clients to assemble their products without IP rights risks.

Our product assembly team is so skilled and experienced that we can guarantee 100% satisfaction. Contact us to discuss your project today.

4 Things You Must Know about IP Protection in China

There are many things that businesses need to know before they start operating in China, and IP protection is one of them. It’s particularly important to be aware of these things if you’re doing business in the Chinese market—or any emerging market, really. Here are four things you need to know about IP protection in China that could help save your business down the road.

1) Don’t forget you are a foreigner

Protecting your intellectual property rights (IPR) can be a tricky process in any country. It’s even more complex when dealing with a foreign jurisdiction like China, which has its own set of laws and customs that are different from what you may be used to. While no one likes to think they might ever need to use IP protection methods, these can be an important asset if you do start to experience problems. However, before seeking legal help or going after someone for infringing on your IPR, remember that many IP cases fail because companies make basic mistakes; it pays to know some of them before taking action. For example: Don’t forget you are a foreigner – While Chinese laws should protect you against infringement, don’t assume that they will.

Remember that there is always a chance that local law enforcement will not support you, so it’s important to have backup plans in place. Remember who owns what – In China, registered trademarks are owned by their registrant rather than being assigned based on where products are sold. This is opposite of most countries and means you could end up losing ownership over your trademark simply by not registering it properly. Use multiple forms of IP protection – Just as businesses in China often use multiple locations for manufacturing facilities and offices, they also tend to rely on multiple forms of IP protection such as patents, trademarks and copyrights.

2) The first step – register your trademark in China

To fully protect your intellectual property (IP) rights, you need to register for trademark protection in China. There are three ways to do so: through a representative, through an agent, or directly at a Chinese national or regional trademark office. Registering directly at a Chinese national or regional trademark office is fastest and cheapest. However, if you don’t speak fluent Mandarin, you will likely want to use an agent instead. The best agents have years of experience with trademarks in China and can help guide you through all of the paperwork necessary to file your application successfully.

Once you have registered your trademark, be sure to maintain it by filing periodic renewal applications before expiration. Failing to renew could mean losing all legal protections afforded by registration—and that includes preventing others from registering a similar mark. If someone else does register a similar mark after yours has expired, they can legally block any attempt by you or anyone else to register it again in future. This process is called trademark squatting and it happens more often than many people realize.

The most common type of copyright protection is through registration with CIPA (China Intellectual Property Office). This will ensure your work enjoys legal protection.

A trademark can be registered with SAIC (State Administration for Industry & Commerce) or SIPO (State Intellectual Property Office) after you have completed examination and approval procedures. In addition to providing exclusive rights for your trademark, it also provides you with rights over its use in court if necessary. The most important thing when registering a trademark is making sure it has not been registered by another party first; otherwise you may face difficulties if you want to register it later on.

3) How do I protect my brand?

In your work, you are likely to produce some inventions and creations. If you have not registered them through copyright registration or patent registration with competent departments, you cannot enjoy their legal protection. So when creating something new, make sure it is intellectual property before releasing it to other parties for commercialization. This will enable you to set up a solid foundation for protecting your rights and interests.

Try to incorporate an effective copyright notice on all original works: Copyright is defined as a form of personal ownership that protects original works of authorship including literary, architectural and artistic works from being used by others without permission or compensation.

4) What to do if IP disputes arise?

After registering (or not), you should definitely keep your records – business contracts and anything else that may be needed later on when trying to prove your rights. Do not destroy anything! Business contracts between you and your distributor can be some of these important documents. Check with a local attorney before entering into such agreements as there are standard clauses that often appear in them. These clauses can have negative impacts on protecting your Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in China.

If a dispute does arise, there are various ways to resolve it. One is through your local courts or trade organizations and those abroad if necessary. There are lots of examples, such as fair hearing before all members of Beijing Arbitration Commission and seek help from other departments (e.g., State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and National Copyright Administration). As an alternative, many foreign companies can solve their problems by going to local technology offices for consultation at any time. If you still have no solution after consultations with them, you may sue an infringer directly by yourself or apply for administrative assistance from SIPO. The most important thing is to make every effort when protecting your IPRs in China as once lost there is often no chance of recovering them again.

It’s always better to take precautions before it’s too late, such as finding a reliable production facility with their own IP protection zone. Shield Works is one of them. The facility also provides different types of IP protection services via the partnership with a leading IP industry expert in China. Feel free to contact us if interested in more!

How to Choose the Right OEM Manufacturers in China

Do you have a new product that you want to sell for your company, but you are unsure what type of manufacturer to use? Have you decided to use a manufacturer in China, but you aren’t sure what type of manufacturers are available? Most people don’t know that there are OEM manufacturers in China in addition to ODM manufacturers.

So what is the difference between the two? We will give you a hint; one provides more protection and more specification help than the other. They are both excellent options to bring your products to the market, but you should be aware of a few other key differences. This brief manufacturing guide will cover the difference between the two and who you can contact for more information. 

What is OEM Manufacturing?

Before we get into what OEM Manufacturing is, we must first define what OEM is. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturing, and it is a form of outsourced manufacturing. OEM factories have the capabilities to manufacture products according to your unique specifications and designs. 

Before an OEM manufacturer can produce your product, you must complete your research and development. This includes engineering, market research, and design.

Once you have all the components of your product down in writing, you can then reach out to an OEM manufacturer to create your products in bulk. The original equipment manufacturer will set up the production of your product to make sure that they can produce the product on time, on quality, at your designated budget. 

Advantages of OEM Manufacturing

One of the most significant advantages of OEM is the fact that you have complete control over your intellectual property. This is a huge deal, especially if you have a breakthrough project and you choose to ship your production services overseas. 

When you control the research and development of your product, you have complete control over your intellectual property. This gives you better bargaining position and makes it easier to switch to another supplier if you need to. Even though you have full control of your intellectual property, it is best to protect it at all costs. 

Specialized Technology

If you don’t have the right expertise or equipment to create certain parts of your product, you can depend on your OEM to have it for you. It is best to take advantage of the technology offered by your OEM manufacturer to complete your project. Access to this type of technology and expertise ensures that the manufacturer will create your product with top-tier quality. 

Cost-Effective

When you partner with OEM manufacturers in China, they can streamline the process of creating your product in large volumes. China is also well known for its efficient supply chains, making it cheaper to produce your product. This provides your business with higher profit margins, more revenue, and increased sales. 

Disadvantages of OEM Manufacturing

One main disadvantage of using OEM manufacturing is a limited selection of suppliers for certain specialized items. Most OEM manufacturing companies prefer to work with businesses that create a lot of demand, so if you don’t sell your goods fast, they most likely won’t work with you. 

Risk of Infringement

Because you are sending your items to a company to create your product, there is a risk of infringement. It is important to note that every country has its own rules and regulations for intellectual property. If you aren’t diligent in protecting your product, you risk someone selling your components to your top competitors. 

No Troubleshooting

Once you have your specifications down and send it over to the manufacturer, they will create your product based on what you send. This means that they won’t troubleshoot or correct any faulty designs as they produce your items. They will only manufacture based on what they have from you. 

What is ODM?

Original Design Manufacturing, also known as ODM, is another form of manufacturing. Unlike OEMs, ODMs provide product development services, and depending on the company; they can help you with the entire product lifecycle. The exact scope of what an original design manufacturing company can do differs from company to company. 

Let’s say that your company has an excellent idea for a gaming console. You did your market research and found an opportunity to create a low-priced gaming console of decent quality in China. 

You and your team will need to develop some features you want the console to have, but you don’t necessarily have any specifications or technical drawings. If you want a gaming system that meets your requirements, you can reach out to an ODM to fulfill what you need.

Your ODM company can help you create specifications and new designs based on your idea. The ODM may already have its own product lines that you can customize if you would like. 

Advantages of ODM

One significant advantage of using original design manufacturing companies is that you don’t have to make substantial upfront investments. You won’t have to pay for any tooling; the ODM will take care of that. 

Technical Resources

With an ODM, you don’t need technical resources that provide detailed specifications and designs. Instead, the ODM will handle all of that for you. Many Amazon FBA sellers prefer to use ODMs to create and sell their products quickly. 

Quick Turnaround

ODM companies don’t worry about testing, developing, or researching a product. They usually have already created products that they can rebrand for your business. To ensure you don’t run into issues with another company claiming that you copied their idea, the ODM will handle making sure the product uniquely links to your company. 

Least Expensive Manufacturing Route

Testing and designing a product takes a lot of time and requires a decent amount of capital. When you partner with an ODM manufacturer, you have the opportunity to save money while you focus on the core aspect of your business. 

Reliable Products

Depending on your product, certification is typically required before your product can hit the market. To ensure that your product meets quality requirements, ODM manufacturers will handle all quality testing and inspections. They will also get the proper product certificates you need before selling your product. 

Disadvantages of ODM

Although these manufacturers provide you with a quick and easy way to create a product for your business, working with them can make it harder to stand out from the competition. Your manufacturer will sell the exact product you create to other companies with minor alterations. 

Even if you manage to make significant sales volumes, your ODM most likely won’t honor your changes if your customers request customizations or upgrades. Most manufacturers don’t develop new products, especially if a specific product requires a full or a partial redesign. 

No Intellectual Property Rights

Because your manufacturer designed, tested, and developed these products, they own the item’s intellectual properties. This means that you have no control over the ODM’s legal decisions about the product.

You also have no control over who the supplier sells the item to. There is a chance they could sell your product to another competitor.

There is also a chance that the item you buy from your ODM could be another company’s intellectual property. If you are unaware of this and you sell your product on the market, you’re at a risk of facing a lawsuit.

How to Find an OEM or ODM Manufacturer in China

Choosing an OEM manufacturer in China can be an overwhelming experience. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturers in China who can help bring your product to life.

The best way to find the proper manufacturer for you is to look up some and make a list of those you like best. There are certain companies that have high-quality components, quick turnarounds, and high customer service ratings.

Shortlist Your Companies

Once you have a list of companies you may want to work with, it would be best to shortlist them. Look over each company’s length of time in business and see if they specialize in the component you need. 

Other essential details to look over:

  • Certifications the company has for their production capability
  • Business licenses
  • If the company has already exported products to the United States
  • Their minimum order quantity (MOQ)

If you like a company but have questions about its qualifications, check out its reviews. Most previous clients will rate the company and put what they did or did not like about them. The best way to find out if they have what you need is to contact them. 

Review Their Credentials

Even if a company tells you that they have the right qualifications, it is better to verify those credentials to ensure that they are actually a legitimate company and not a middleman. There are many ways to verify this information. 

For one, you can ask the company for their audited accounts, ask for product samples, or you can check their Value Added Tax Invoice. You can also ask for the Chinese name of the factory, the location of the factory, and the local government office assigned to the factory. The government office should have a copy of the factory’s registration and license records which you can use to verify their details. 

Workplace Rights

Unlike the United States, there are many countries that do not have protocols in place to protect their workers. This means that some workers may not receive adequate breaks or time to get food. Some of these people work for more than eight to twelve hours a day without reasonable pay.

When sourcing the proper manufacturer for your company, make sure that you work with an ethical company. The last thing you want to do is partner with a company that does not care about its employees. Don’t spare efforts on researching their track records.

Hiring a Sourcing Agent

The most significant advantage of hiring a sourcing agent is that they can verify and identify different manufacturers on your behalf. These people have extensive networks of partners and in-depth knowledge of the sourcing market. 

There are many companies that have sourcing agents on staff who can serve as the liaison between you and their manufacturer. They are able to speak to you in your native language while being able to translate for their company. 

Visit the Manufacturers

If you aren’t able to visit the manufacturers yourself, you can use a sourcing agent to do that on your behalf. If you can take a trip out to China, you should go to check out the different available manufacturers. 

When you go in person, you can see the facility first-hand and meet with key personnel at the manufacturing facility. While you are there, you can better explain the specifications of your product and if they can handle that for you. Visiting in person also lets the manufacturer know that you are serious about working with them to create your product. 

Build Your Product With Confidence

There are many different ODM and OEM manufacturers in China that can bring your ideas to life, but which of the two is the better option for you? Choosing the proper manufacturer for your business needs shouldn’t be a complicated process, and that is what we are here for.

If you need help deciding between the two or if you are set on working with an OEM manufacturer in China, contact us now. Our team is fully prepared to answer any questions or concerns you have about our process!

Manufacturing In China: How To Protect Your Intellectual Property?

It is not surprising that China has developed to become a major manufacturing superpower and more and more overseas companies have moved their production to China. However, some of them are having issues with IP protection while manufacturing in China.

If you are planning to manufacture your products in China, make sure you do everything possible to protect your intellectual property rights. Read on to learn more about the strategies you can use to avoid patent infringement issues in the Chinese market.

What Is IP?

Before you outsource your production to China, it is important to understand what happens to your intellectual property rights (IPR) once you outsource to a Chinese manufacturer.

Intellectual property is a broad term that can include anything from a new fashion trend to a specific software algorithm to an entirely new product design.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) makes a definition of IP as “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”

No matter what type of intellectual property you have, there are some things you should know before starting manufacturing in China to ensure your intellectual property rights are protected.

Each Country Has Its IP Laws

Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, you have to consider how you’ll protect your intellectual property.

The first thing you should do is have a basic understanding of Chinese IP laws.

For example, patents for inventions can be protected for up to 20 years in China. Also, China protects utility models (for up to 10 years) and design patents (for up to 15 years). Utility models are sometimes called “mini-patents” and require a lower level of inventiveness. Design patents protect the look of products.

All patent rights in China are subject to the payment of annual fees after they’ve been granted.

The National IPR Organizations You Should Know In China

In China, the government plays a substantial role in promoting and protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Several governmental departments are responsible for IPRs matters. Keep in mind the differences and functions of these organizations.

China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA)

China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) was formerly known as the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). It was renamed in 1980.

The department is responsible for the patent work and comprehensively coordinating the foreign-related affairs in the field of intellectual property throughout the country.

If you want your patent registered in China, make sure you check these common questions that you will need to know:

Trademark Office of China National Intellectual Property Administration

When it comes to handling matters of trademark disputes, you should reach the Trademark Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration.

It’s responsible for the registration and administration of trademarks throughout the country.

However, the website does not provide an English option, so it would be hard for foreigners to research and apply for a trademark online. Therefore, you can click on the CNIPA website to search for trademark-related information. Or you may go to the local trademark office to make an enquiry in person.

National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC)

If you want any copyright information, the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China website is a good option for you.

It accepts and examines copyrights applications in accordance with the law. 

Keep in mind to check the copyright regulations and laws in China before you register your copyright.

IP Protection Agreement

When partnering with a manufacturing company, make sure you have a well-drafted and properly executed manufacturing agreement that will help you protect your IP, and provide you with relief if the manufacturer breaches the agreement.

The IP agreement should list all relevant details, including IP ownership, confidentiality, non-competition and non-circumvention and more.

Let Shield Works Be Your IP Protective Manufacturing Partner

With our British ownership background, we know how to help our overseas clients to protect their IPs without excessive costs and time.

Shield Works partners with Innopat a leading Zhuhai based IP industry expert to provide you with clear no-nonsense advice and IP protection services.

Our IP protective system safeguards your production line in our innovative facility.

We are ready to accommodate your needs. Contact us today.

Why China Is A Popular Option for 3rd-Party Quality Control Service

If you’re outsourcing your quality control service, there are certain things to consider before making a decision on where to have the work done. For example, if you have a technical product that needs very precise assembly or you need custom packaging, then having it done locally in your country may be the best option. However, if the only thing that matters to you is cost and you don’t mind shipping your product across the world, then China could be an excellent option for your 3rd-party quality control service since it has been making technological advances and offers competitive prices compared to other countries.

Flexibility to Fit All Project Types

One of China’s most appealing features as a third-party quality control provider is its flexibility. Clients can hire QC inspectors in China and conduct quality checks on site or they can choose one of several remote services including email, video conferencing, etc. The ability to select the services that fit each project’s needs and budget allows foreign clients to easily choose an affordable and efficient QC solution in China. Companies can also customize their China QC program according to their specific needs and requirements by partnering with China Quality Control Services. This makes it easy for companies from all industries to outsource inspection projects quickly without worrying about making complex adjustments throughout their program.

State-of-the-Art Testing

When you hire a third party to do quality control, you’re going to get it done state-of-the-art testing in a way that not many other countries can offer. You’ll get multiple quality checks, making sure your product matches every specification possible. This is important because when you use 3rd party suppliers, your products might be produced by different factories – there’s nothing stopping each of those from using different production and testing methods. When you outsource quality control services to an outside firm, you can rest assured all your products have been tested against all specifications across all factories that made them. Only after they’ve passed those tests can they ship out to customers and only if they pass inspection will they move forward in shipping. In short: Quality is guaranteed!

Experienced Staff

Quality control workers in China are well-educated and experienced, with many having years of quality control experience. It’s important to choose a good partner who has in-depth knowledge of quality standards so you can make sure your product meets them. They will also ensure that your products are safe for consumers before they ever arrive at your doorstep. Good Chinese QC staff will make sure any issues with quality or safety are detected and corrected during production, ensuring that every product that leaves their facility passes international standards. You’ll also want to check references carefully; ask other businesses that have worked with your potential partners what their experience was like.

Low Cost

This can be very important in low price markets. If you’re looking at introducing your product into China or any other low-price market, it’s likely that you need to be able to offer a cost competitive solution. By outsourcing your QC testing to 3rd party providers, you can concentrate on value added services such as technical support and distribution, thus reducing overall costs and still providing an acceptable level of confidence in your products quality. This makes Chinese companies a particularly good option if you are planning to go after emerging markets where cost is king!

Globally Recognized Accreditation

The 3rd-party QC services in China are frequently accredited by some of the most globally recognized bodies and all facilities they accredit must conform to some incredibly strict standards that provide unparalleled safety and protection. This can go a long way toward putting your mind at ease. As an example, ISO/IEC 17025:2005 was created by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It is considered the global benchmark standard for assessing calibration laboratories and provides guidelines on how such labs should be set up. Moreover, it outlines specific testing procedures that labs must adhere to in order to maintain their ISO accreditation. In other words, if you’re looking for accuracy and reliability, look no further than a 3rd-party QC provider located in China.

First-Class Customer Service

It’s no secret that first-class customer service is key to success. With manufacturing jobs moving overseas in droves, it’s becoming harder and harder to ensure consistent quality. Even if you have a team of dedicated quality control workers at your disposal, their language and cultural barriers can prevent them from doing an effective job at ensuring high standards are met. A 3rd party English speaking team can do wonders for your business – after all, who understands what makes customers happy better than someone who actually is a customer? In China, this isn’t hard to come by.  You will find many people who speak fluent English and other languages as well. This makes it easy to communicate with them about any issues or concerns they may have with your product. Many companies choose China because they want a company that will be there every step of the way during production, and not just when something goes wrong. You need someone who will help make sure things go right from start to finish. They will work closely with you on design decisions and offer suggestions on how to improve things like packaging or shipping methods so that everything goes smoothly once production begins.

Shield Works, founded and managed by British and based in China, is one of them with years of experience in the industry and an in-house team of bilingual engineers well versed in quality control standards and procedures. If interested, please feel free to contact us.

What’s Included In a Product Assembly Service?

Are you a startup or an already established company debating if you need to use an assembly service to meet your client’s demands? Have you thought about working with an overseas company, but you aren’t sure what to expect?

There are many different vendors that you could use who are local to you. Do they have the right materials you need to meet the demands of your clients? Like you, many product-focused companies and entrepreneurs take advantage of using oversea companies to meet their needs. 

If you are in the looking stage of comparing product assembly services and you need more information on finding the right distribution company, you came to the right place. In this brief product assembly service guide, we will cover how to find the right manufacturer and who you can contact for more information. 

What Are Product Assembly Services?

Product assembly services or product assembly companies create your product, and they ship them either to you or your customers. Doing this process on your own can quickly become expensive. It is best to partner with a reputable assembly service company to save you more time and money. 

Product Assembly Services in China

The best way to save time and money is to outsource your product assembly tasks to a third-party company to build your items. Many companies outsource their work to China because of the cost-saving benefit. A company saves a large percentage in production and distribution costs when they partner with a reputable assembly service company. 

Choosing the Right Product Assembly Company

When choosing the right product assembly company, make sure that you look for a company with certified professionals. High-quality 3rd party assembly companies typically have favorable testimonials from the past experience, which consistently demonstrate their ability to provide products that meet client requirements. 

Review Their Expertise

Even if a company’s professionals have the required certifications, you should check out their previous work. As you compare different companies that offer assembly and inspection services, ask about their internal quality control process and methodology.

Does your inspector use statistical models? Does this company use random sampling?

Are all your assemblers certified quality assurance inspectors? Don’t be afraid to ask your distribution company questions about their process and timelines. 

Look at Other Reviews

When speaking to a prospective company, it would be best to look at their reviews. You can use third-party review websites to see what clients did or did not like about working with them.

Although reviews are a great place to start, the only way to gauge a company is to call them and speak with them. One company’s expectation requirements will be different than yours, so what you may not like, someone else may have loved.

When speaking with your assembly company see how they respond to your requests. Do they handle requests on time?

Do they have excellent client service? Partnering with a distribution company is a long-lasting relationship, so make sure to work with a company that has top-tier customer service. 

Available Assembly Capabilities

Not all assembly companies are the same. Some specialize in product assembly of all kinds, whereas others may only focus on producing products made with a specific material. The most common types of general product assembly use composites, carbon fiber, plastics, metals, and textiles. 

Other types of assembly services:

  • Prepackaging
  • Food packaging
  • Product re-assembly
  • Assembly testing
  • Powder and liquid filling

When comparing different companies, ask if they have the right items and materials to complete the job. You can also ask if they have experience making products like yours. 

Intellectual Property Protection

All countries have their own sets of rules and regulations when it comes to privacy and the protection of intellectual property. It is a company’s worst nightmare to have its product specifications compromised after years of development. If your distribution company sends products to your clients, you want to make sure that their data is also safeguarded. 

Before you partner with any company, be sure to look into their country’s intellectual property laws and their track record with other clients. If their track record is not good, even in the slightest, you should look elsewhere. There is no margin for error when it comes to protecting the rights of your products. 

Software Information

An additional step in securing your intellectual property information is to look into the type of software your distribution company uses. Is their technology well-known for privacy features?

Does it mimic the same safety measures you set for your own business? If they are not willing to share that information with you, they may be hiding something. 

Product Timelines

As you start interviewing different companies, you should inquire about their product project timelines. The amount of time it takes them to create and ship your orders can hugely impact how long it takes for you to deliver your product to your clients. 

Of course, you want to partner with a company that can produce high-quality items without taking too much time, but you also don’t want to rush the process if they don’t have the capabilities to deliver high-quality items quickly. 

When speaking about timelines, don’t just focus on how long it takes for them to create the product. Make sure to ask how they handle natural disaster situations and other weather-related delays. When these types of moments happen, you also will want to have a primary point of contact to reach out to for the next steps. 

Product Assembly Process

The first step of the assembly process is to find the right company. Once you find them, you will want to send in a request. The right company will suggest scheduling time to speak with you about your product over the phone. This way, they can gauge what type of materials they will need, how much they will need, and more to make sure your product comes out just as you need it. 

During the first few stages, you and the company should clearly understand what to expect of the product. You should receive a rendering of your product and a physical model in your hands before you ok the rest of production. Each company has its own processes, so make sure that you are aware of all steps during their production process. 

Advantages of Oversea Manufacturing

As mentioned earlier, many companies like to outsource their products to cut down on their costs. Another major reason is because of a particular concentration.

For example, many corporations use China for their production needs because of their concentration on electronic products. They are also well known for creating plastic products and other mainstream items like clothes. 

High-Volume Capabilities

One of the most significant advantages of partnering with a manufacturing company overseas is their production capacity. Most manufacturing companies can produce huge quantities of your items within a short time frame.

Depending on your production needs and your manufacturer, they may offer you a discount for ordering large volumes of product. When working with certain companies, they may have a minimum purchase order requirement. This helps keeps control costs on both ends. If you need a small order, you can expect high fees and costs. 

Skills and Talent

The skill level in other countries is much higher than in the United States, mainly because many Americans don’t work in manufacturing jobs. This creates a skill gap in the US, forcing many companies to seek help overseas. 

The most significant need in the United States is for those with computer and digital skills, technical knowledge, and programming expertise. All of these skills are easily found overseas in major manufacturing companies. 

Close Proximity to Raw Materials

United States factories have to source their materials from overseas, increasing their costs and time-to-market deadlines. Many manufacturers in China have access to these raw materials already at their plants.

If they don’t, they know someone or some company that has what they need. They also most likely have a relationship or some partnership with those companies. 

If you manufacture your product in the United States, you will face delays if your product requires raw materials. Countries that ship to the United States may have to charge you higher shipping costs, and you may experience long wait times due to the impact of COVID. Instead of having them ship you the materials, you can cut costs by having your manufacturer produce the product on your behalf. 

Disadvantages of Oversea Manufacturing

Although there are many fantastic advantages to outsourcing, you should keep a few disadvantages in mind. For example, the components and cost of production are usually cheaper, but the shipping costs may not be ideal. If you find that the shipping costs are too much, you can always negotiate better shipping rates, especially if you plan on working with that company long-term. 

Longer Lead Times

Even though creating and producing large quantities overseas is cheaper, the lead time can be longer than expected. What this means is that it takes time for your goods to make their way from overseas into the United States. When calculating the time it will reach you; you must consider shipping times, country holidays, and the manufacturer’s demands. 

Possible Language Barriers

When working with a manufacturer overseas, you will most likely run into cultural and language barriers. This can cause issues when you try to understand workflows and negotiate pricing and contracts.

You may also need to learn about their culture and what they do and do not value. To make it easier to work with your manufacturer, you may want to partner with a company with a local resident familiar with your language and the language of your manufacturer. This liaison person can speak on your behalf to protect your best interest. 

Safety Risks

Environmental and worker safety should always be a top concern for you and your business. Not every country values the environment or employee safety. Hence, it is best to partner with a company that follows good labor practices, takes care of the environment, and implements safety programs. 

Local vs. Overseas

When trying to figure out where to manufacture your product, you can choose between using someone overseas or a local company. When you partner with a company local to you, you may have an easier time communicating your needs in your own language. You can also save on expensive custom and shipping fees and have a shorter delivery time. 

That may sound ideal, but you may have a limited array of supplier capabilities. Not every manufacturer in the United States has the talent, skills, expertise, or raw material you need to create your product. 

If you have a hard time sourcing a manufacturer local to you, you may have to reach out to a reputable company overseas. Of course, before you partner with any company, make sure you communicate with them to gauge if they can meet your demands. 

Cut Down Production Costs Now

No matter how great your idea is, you need to have a reputable and high-rated manufacturing company on your side to bring your vision to life. These companies have the skills, experience, capacity, and raw materials to help you meet the demands of your customers.

Making sure that you and your distribution company are on the same page is crucial. The last thing you want, as a business owner, is for the entire operation to fall apart and for you not to be able to hit your quota because of your assembly service. 

Contact us now if you are ready to bring your idea to fruition and want to work with a company that values quality and a safe working environment!