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Posts Tagged ‘Customised Manufacturing’

How to Find the Right Chinese Manufacturer for Your Business

In the last few decades, the Chinese economy has grown incredibly fast. One of the big reasons for this is because Chinese companies manufacture a considerable amount of products for western companies. 

If you want to reduce production costs and grow your business, it makes a lot of sense to work with a China manufacturer. Given that you’d be working with a foreign company, the process can feel overwhelming. 

So what exactly do you need to look for to make sure you find the right company for the job? This article lists some of the things you need to consider before signing a contract with a Chinese company. 

Do They Have Certifications?

When you work with Chinese manufacturers, you need to be sure they have the right certifications. This helps to make sure you can rely on the company. If the China assembly service doesn’t have certifications to show you, it could be a red flag. 

Always make sure you get proof of the correct documentation. A good company should be more than happy to provide proof. 

Are They Financially Stable?

It’s also important that you work with product assembly services in China that are financially stable. The reason for this is simple. If the company goes out of business during production, it causes you a lot of problems. 

A good Chinese product production company will be financially stable enough that you can rely on them to consistently deliver the product. You can find out if a company is financially stable by asking them about its finances. You should also verify what they say by researching the company. 

Do They Offer Any Additional Services?

When looking into product assembly in China, you should also look for companies that offer multiple services. Many manufacturing companies in China offer other additional benefits, such as graphic design or packaging design. 

This means that the company could deliver your product fully packaged and ready to go. Working with a company that offers such additional services can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

You should take the time to analyze exactly what your company needs. Then see if you can find a Chinese manufacturing company that can meet all of those needs. When you’re only dealing with one company for a variety of services, it can really streamline your production process. 

How Big is the Company?

You should also pay attention to the size of the company. While you might be tempted to go for the biggest company possible, this isn’t always the best choice. If you’re a small business, it may make more sense to go with a small or medium-sized manufacturing company. 

As a small company, you’d probably be a much lower priority for a large company. On the other hand, if you go with a smaller company, they’ll have much more time to focus on your manufacturing job. 

Before signing a contract, make sure that the company you’re considering doesn’t work with many big clients. 

What is the Minimum Order Quantity?

You’ll also need to figure out if there’s a minimum order quantity. Many Chinese manufacturing companies will only work with you if you want to produce a certain number of units.

For larger businesses, this isn’t usually a problem, but for a small company, it could be problematic. Always make sure you confirm the minimum order quantity before you start doing business. This makes sure you won’t face any nasty surprises in the future.  

Also, beware that if you work with a larger manufacturing company, they may implement a minimum order quantity later on in the business relationship. 

Do They Have Good Quality Control?

When working with a Chinese manufacturing company, quality control is key. If the company sends you products that are not up to standard, your profit margins will decrease. 

While Chinese manufacturing companies had a bad reputation for poor quality control in the past, they’ve gotten much better in recent years. If you work with a reputable company, you should have no problems getting quality products delivered. 

Manufacturing companies should also have policies in place to reimburse you if some of the products are not up to standard. 

Can They Provide a Product Sample?

Working with a foreign manufacturing company is always a risk. That’s why you should ask for a product sample before you commit to a serious business relationship. 

A good manufacturing company would be more than happy to provide you with sample products. They should also be receptive to your feedback. It’s not uncommon to go through a few prototype examples before you get something you’re happy with. 

Beware of any companies that aren’t willing to provide samples as it suggests they might not be a company you can rely on. 

Check Out Reviews and Get Recommendations

You should also make sure you check out reviews of a potential company. These days a huge range of businesses use Chinese manufacturing, so you should find no shortage of online reviews. 

You should try to verify the legitimacy of these reviews to make sure they’re not fake. You might also consider talking to other business owners you have a relationship with. Recommendations from friends are worth a lot as you know they’re genuine. 

A China Manufacturer Can Grow Your Company

If you’re looking for a way to take your company to the next level, a China manufacturer makes a lot of sense. If you want to make a reasonable profit, you’ll need to find a way to keep costs down. Chinese manufacturers allow you to do exactly that. 

If you want to work with a company with a lot of experience in working with Chinese manufacturing, contact us today, and we can help you to grow your business. 

Finding A Perfect Factory: 5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Find a Reliable Manufacturing Partner in China

China has been the production powerhouse of the world for a few decades and now is churning out products at an ever-increasing rate.

With so many overseas companies turning to Chinese manufacturers, it still can be hard for some of them to find a reliable and professional manufacturing plant that meets all their requirements and standards.

This article will explore some reasons why finding such a manufacturing partner in China is difficult, as well as offer advice on how to do so successfully.

If you’re an overseas company looking to make your first foray into the Chinese manufacturing world, this information could be critical to your success. Check out the five reasons why it’s hard to find manufacturing partners in China and start building your own business there today!

1. Factories Don’t Have Websites

With the development of the Internet and related technology, it’s pretty standard for companies to have some sort of online presence. This is especially true for manufacturing companies who want to show off their capabilities and reach more global clients.

However, many Chinese factories still don’t establish their websites. This can make it difficult for foreign companies to research potential partners and get a sense of their work.

Cost and human resources are the other two main reasons why smaller businesses would avoid setting up their websites.

Though these small and medium-sized factory owners may find the idea of having a website intriguing, many do not have enough money for both technologies and for hiring someone to set it up. Also, this could be way too expensive for them when compared with how much revenue the business generates annually or if there is even potential for any return from this investment at all.

2. Difficulty with Language

One of the main reasons it can be difficult to find a reliable manufacturing partner in China is the language barrier.

Commonly, most staff working at most Chinese factories don’t use English as their first language. Typically, most factories hire a few employees who can speak English to work with foreign clients, but there’s no guarantee of their English ability.

Communicating clearly to your Chinese supplier will make things easier for both parties involved. Don’t just rely on letters or phone calls, but show them what you want and need, and ask them to list them back to you in an understandable format.

The key to clear communication with your factory representative is clear, simple, and open. Even when you are communicating with someone who has a good grasp of spoken English, it’s best not to simply send them product specifications through email and assume they will understand all information without questions. Because sometimes people need clarification due to cultural differences or what they’re used to manufacturing versus what you want.

3. More Factories Are On 1688

Whether you are running a brick-and-mortar or an online retail shop, if you want to import products from China, then Alibaba can be a good start to reach out to many manufacturers.

However, if you think you get your desired goods at the best rates on Alibaba, you’d be wrong. There’s another B2B platform out there that boasts significantly more manufacturers providing lower prices for the same goods

That’s 1688. com.

1688 is the biggest and most popular Chinese wholesale platform that covers all manner of different goods including apparel, industrial equipment, home appliances, and more. Dozen of manufacturers sell their products directly on this platform rather than working with other trading companies. Some trading companies reach out to factories and then go on to resell their goods at higher prices on other platforms such as Alibaba, Aliexpress, Gearbest, etc.

So you may also want to find your ideal factory on 1688 right?

Yes, of course, you can. The only issue is that everything is written in Chinese, which helps cater to China-based manufacturers. It will be hard for those who don’t know any Chinese to locate a proper company to work with. And there are simply too many listings, products, and suppliers, it can be way too much to weed through, which makes it difficult for you to reach out to a reliable partner for your business. Additionally, as a domestically oriented website, they offer few payment options, such as Domestic Bank Transfers, Alipay, and WeChat Pay, which won’t allow international sellers or buyers access easily.

4. The Fuzzy Definition of Quality

When it comes to finding the best factory for your production project, quality is one of the most important paramount you need to pay attention to – but getting it right isn’t always easy.

Overseas companies often find themselves having difficulty defining product quality when looking for a Chinese manufacturer because everyone has their own opinion about what constitutes “high quality”.

Asking 100 factories about their concept of product quality nets you 100 responses. Some factories would say that quality means products meet all their in-house specifications and requirements; some mean there are no defects present and they comply with international standards; others make sure products are fully functional straight out of the box.

It’s hard enough trying to decide who has the highest level of product quality without this uncertainty over what exactly quality even entails making decisions even harder.

What’s more, every customer has different standards, and what may be considered high quality to one won’t always be accepted by someone else.

Overseas companies in other countries often have their own specific needs when importing goods, which makes it hard for factories in China to know exactly what they need to do to satisfy their customers’ requests.

It can be frustrating, right? Don’t worry.

International Quality Standards like the ISO family and IATF 16949 are essential for making high-quality products. These international tools can help you control costs, simplify compliance, and guarantee safe, dependable products.

5. Lack of Trust

Many foreign companies are hesitant to work with Chinese manufacturers because they lack trust.

From the supplier perspective, the main reason is cultural differences and a lack of understanding of the Chinese business landscape. China has seen an upsurge in small-to-medium-sized factories over recent years and they often rely on word-of-mouth referrals from individuals who share common needs to increase their customer base.

Typically, many of these small and medium-sized factories have established relationships with local networks that are other factories or trading companies, and they focus on making products for these domestic partners.

On the other hand, there have been numerous stories in the online forum or other social platforms saying that about Chinese factory’s stolen intellectual property or delayed deliveries which dissuade overseas businesses from partnering with a factory. This makes it hard for companies to take the leap of faith and partner with a factory in China.

The best way to overcome this problem is by building a relationship with the company you’re interested in working with. The more time you spend getting to know them, the more likely you’ll be able to build up that necessary level of trust so that your overseas company can get what they need from them.

Need Professional Help With Your Manufacturing Project?

Finding the right manufacturing plant for your project is quite a task. It takes extensive research before deciding to ensure you are getting the best deal.

To find a professional contract manufacturer in China, look no further than Shield Works.

With our British ownership and management background combined with manufacturing knowledge, we keep quality at the forefront. You don’t have to worry about any defective products coming out of our doors. As one of only a few businesses able to boast 17 years’ worth of experience under their belt in China and helping over 15,000 previous clients complete projects successfully and cost-effectively, we’ll provide all your questions answered on how to manufacture in China! Contact us to discuss your project today!

Manufacturing In China: 4 Tips To Spot A Real Factory Vs. Trading Company In China In 2022

If you’re considering outsourcing production to China, there are certain things to know before embarking on the task like

  • How to start?
  • Who you can reach?
  • What to do before placing an order?
  • How much will it cost?

However, the most important thing is to make sure you are going to work with an actual factory rather than a trading company.

Why? Because when you work directly with the actual factory:

  • Your spending will be less to get the same items, which increases your profit margin and reduces lead time.
  • You can make changes to the product easier and quicker.
  • Your product quality will be higher because you can check with your supplier now and then.

So, as you can imagine, it can be difficult to find out whether a supplier is a factory or just someone pretending to be one. Here are four tips you can use to figure this out.

1. Check The Business License

First and foremost, it’s a good idea to request a copy of your manufacturer’s business license which is called “营业执照” in Chinese.

Every legitimate company in China has a business license issued by a local branch of the Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC). It is an official certificate, proving that the company has been registered with the authorities and operates legally.

If your potential supplier doesn’t have a business license, that’s a huge red flag. it’s best not to do any kind of business with them until they get everything sorted out on their end. No matter what they say, don’t risk your time and money.

If your supplier claims that they have a business license, it’s better to request a physical copy. It can be used as proof that your supplier is an actual manufacturer. In addition, if there is ever any dispute with your supplier, having a physical copy of their business license on file could be helpful.

Once you receive the business license, make sure you review it carefully. Keep in mind to check the business scope which should include words like  “manufacture or produce” (生产,加工,制造)

if you don’t know Chinese, it’s ok.

Here is a simple way:

You can use your phone to scan the business license, extract words, and copy-paste to the Google translator. The business scope is the combination of some simple words so don’t worry about the correctness.

Verifying the business license is the first step when doing due diligence on a Chinese company. It allows you to verify that the company is legit and not a scam.

2. Check the Sample Address

Many Chinese manufacturing companies are willing to send out samples when you have a detailed plan for working with them.

One way that you can use this method is to verify if your chosen manufacturing supplier understands your requirements and quality standards.

Moreover, we advise checking the address of the sample package before disposing of it. Make sure it matches up with what is included on the business license that you requested beforehand.

If they are the same addresses, then this manufacturing supplier may well be a real factory rather than just someone acting as a middleman.

However, this isn’t always reliable.

The reason being is that some companies set up offices downtown whilst their factories are located outside of town due to cheaper rates for renting land.

In this case, even though the sample address might not be an office at that location, it still could be possible that they’re a real factory.

You have to check with your supplier to request both business licenses for the office and the factory.

3. Check the Facility Visuals

Now, many Chinese factories have the abilities and technologies to introduce themselves to the world through visualization.

Take Shield Works for example, we have invested heavily in digital presence such as

  • Uploading our facility video online: enhance transparency across our manufacturing plant thoroughly.
  • Creating a virtual facility tour on our homepage: show an immersive tour of our whole production environment.
  • Posting images of the facility or factory tour on social platforms: keep our followers updated about our new visitors.

The reason for checking the facility visuals is that most foreign business owners can not come to China in person to make a physical facility tour to confirm the production environments, capabilities, and quality.

If a supplier tells you that they own a huge and state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, but cannot provide any proof yet, then it might be worth walking away from them until they can back up what they say with hard evidence.

By checking their facilities, you will have more confidence to build trust and reduce business risk.

4. Check The ISO Certifications

Typically, not every trading company has ISO certifications but the majority of manufacturing factories do.

This is because a factory needs some specific ISO certifications to keep operating.

However, some trading companies also have ISO certifications to deal exclusively in one product category and maintain a strong relationship with their manufacturers.

Working with such a trading company is the same as working with a real manufacturing company with a factory when it comes to price.

Meet Shield Works

When selecting a manufacturing company in China, you have taken into consideration many factors.

It’s important to list your needs and criteria before starting the process of narrowing down candidates or you risk being too hasty in making a decision without taking all necessary factors into account.

Working with a professional manufacturing company in China like Shield Works will save you time and reduce risks.

With our British ownership and management background, we take great pride in our over 17 years of international project experience and excellent team. Contact us for a no-cost consultation!

Manufacturing in China: 5 Facts You Should Know

Though it seems like a lot of overseas companies outsource their production to China, there are plenty of misconceptions about Chinese manufacturing that can come back to haunt you.

Before you set out to reach a manufacturing partner in China, there are some facts you should know so you can prepare yourself for success instead of falling into the pitfalls. Let’s dive in.

1. Manufacturer VS. Supplier

If you’re looking to get your product made in China, you’ve probably already heard the terms “manufacturer” and “supplier” thrown around a lot.

They seem to be the same thing, right?

Yes, but also no!

Though the two words are closely related, they are not always meaning the same person in the manufacturing industry.

Generally speaking, a manufacturer would be considered more of an in-house entity that operates as your micro-factory with all the machinery and workers required to create your product from start to finish.

Suppliers are those who supply goods or services; but they can sometimes also act as manufacturers, wholesalers, or distributors who purchase existing brands and products (usually from somewhere else).

It’s imperative to make sure that you understand the difference between “manufacturer” and “supplier” and figure out what kind of services they can provide for your business.

If you’re a newcomer to the market, make sure to work with someone who doesn’t take advantage of inexperienced clients.

Before signing any contract or making any upfront payment, it is important to know if your manufacturing partner is qualified for what they produce and has an official business license to run a company in China.

2. Manufacturing Costs Vary Across Different Cities

Though you may think that manufacturing costs in China are lower than that of western countries, the prices in manufacturing among Chinese cities differ significantly.

One of the reasons for this is that China has undergone enormous changes and development in recent decades. This explains why the average monthly salary differs between cities or regions.

In this case, you may find out that some cities display relatively stable manufacturing cost patterns while some raise their manufacturing service fee due to the increment in labor costs and land prices.

The other main reason is that China is paying great attention to improving its high-end manufacturing capabilities. Now, more and more high-tech manufacturing factories are well-established to pursue productivity and lower costs.

3. Finding the Right Manufacturer in Your Area

Locating for a manufacturing company that produces what you need is easy unless you confirm everything you need beforehand.

The main thing you should know is that many manufacturers usually stick to one specific type of product.

For example, it may be hard to find someone who can make “home appliances“ but it’s easier to reach a blender manufacturer who specializes in this field for years.

See the difference?

So when reaching a potential manufacturer in China, keep in mind to find someone who has experience and expertise in your product area. Otherwise, it will end up costing you even more than if you do the job yourself.

4. Don’t Skip Quality Control

Product quality is a major factor for western businesses because defective products can lead to financial losses as well as angry customers who will complain about your company sending them an unsatisfied product.

When outsourcing your production to China, it isn’t enough just to send your idea or design to a factory and expect them to produce the item correctly – even though you deeply trust them.

Make sure you’re thoroughly involved in each step of production and conduct quality control so that you can be confident that the manufacturer is capable to deliver products that meet your expectations and the quality standards.

5. Delivery Delays Can Be Normal

Manufacturers often negotiate with multiple foreign companies at once, so there’s no guarantee they will give you their full attention or work quickly enough to meet your deadlines.

Make sure your manufacturer gives you a detailed production plan so you have an idea of how long it will take to produce your items.

Another factor worth considering is how long it will take for the items to arrive once they are shipped.

The delivery time can vary depending on where the factory is located, where you want to receive the product, and even if there are any Covid cases in the region

So you have to remain realistic about the lead time and deadline. Keep communicating with your manufacturing partner so you can receive an update on your production process.

The Solution For Your Manufacturing Project

If you haven’t yet worked with a manufacturer in China, you have to list your needs and expectations before making a final decision.

Also, never choose the one who offers the lowest price, work with those who have long-term experience and know how to help your business.

Shield Works can be your best manufacturing partner. With our British ownership and management background, we take pride in our over 17 years of international project experience and excellent team. Contact us for a no-cost consultation!

Contract Manufacturing Services in China: A Guide on What to Consider

Let’s say you’re a small business owner and have just received an order for 500,000 watches. What do you do?

Well, first off, you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed! It’s a big deal to get that kind of business, and you want to keep them coming back for more. All you need is the resources to fulfill their order.

You’ve heard about contract manufacturing services in China, but you don’t know where to start. You can’t afford to make a mistake, so you need to be sure that whoever you choose understands your needs and offers quality products at competitive prices without compromising on safety or environmental standards.

Instead of trying to choose the best candidate on your own, read on for everything you need to know to make the right choice.

Quality Control and Inspection

You need to be sure that the products your company sells meet or exceed quality standards. Ask manufacturers about their quality certifications. You should also consider whether they have industry-specific certifications, such as FDA certification.

Ask about the steps a manufacturer takes to ensure quality, including inspection techniques and certifications. You also need to consider whether they use third-party testing. If they do, ask which organizations they use and what types of tests they do most frequently.

Cost

With so many variables involved in your product’s production and delivery, it’s not always easy to determine how much something will cost. The price of your final product will depend on several factors. So, it’s best to work with a contract manufacturer who can provide you with a comprehensive quote. This will help you understand all the costs involved in production and shipping so there are no surprises down the line.

Capabilities

When you’re looking to manufacture a product, you need to consider the capabilities of your supplier. You should ask:

  • What type of products they can produce
  • How many units per month they can produce
  • At what price it will be possible to get them manufactured

For example, if you want to produce 500 units per month and require a high-quality material for your product, then finding a supplier who can do this would be ideal. However, if you only need 100 units per month with no specific requirements for the materials used, you have a wide range of options. Assuming you’re looking for the lowest price per unit, then your best bet is to find a supplier with no minimum order size.

Longevity

If your supply chain is disrupted in any way, it could wreck your bottom line and your business. You should carefully evaluate a potential manufacturing partner’s financial stability and performance record before choosing them for your product.

Communication

Contract manufacturers in China have low-cost labor, which can be a benefit if your goal is to reduce manufacturing costs. However, this also means that you may face communication difficulties because of language barriers. To circumvent this issue, consider working with a contract manufacturer that has experience communicating with Western businesses.

If you have limited opportunity to communicate with the production facility on an ongoing basis, then you should consider whether another manufacturer might be better suited for your needs.

Production Flexibility

It helps to choose a manufacturing company that’s willing to add to their production tools when necessary. For instance, some manufacturers only produce with injection molding equipment. If your project requires casting or machining equipment, then you’ll need to find a different company.

But if you can find a company that’s constantly updating its machinery and processes, then you should have the flexibility to make any changes that might be necessary.

Experience

A manufacturing company will only be able to produce your product if they understand the design specs and goals. If you’re working with a facility that doesn’t fully grasp your project, then it may not come out as expected. To avoid this problem, try to choose a manufacturer with experience in your industry or with similar products.

For instance, when choosing a manufacturing company for plastic injection molding projects, you should look for companies that have produced high-quality plastic components in the past.

Certifications

The quality of your products hinges on the quality of your manufacturing partner. It’s important that they have the right certifications and follow best practices. Manufacturers who don’t have certifications should be avoided at all costs, as they represent a risk for both you and your customers.

There are many certifications that manufacturers can earn, like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO45001. However, there is no law requiring a contract manufacturing service to have any particular certification. Each organization has its own standards for what is required for membership or accreditation.

Some industries also require specific certifications from their suppliers to sell their products to specific markets. For example, food packaging or medical devices require FDA approval before being sold in the United States’ market. If you’re planning on selling internationally, then make sure that any contract manufacturer you work with can meet those requirements as well!

Choose Reliable Contract Manufacturing Services

Getting the help of contract manufacturing services can help bring your ideas to life. At Shield Works, we have a wide range of capabilities and services to help you design, prototype, and manufacture your products. If you’re looking for engineering support to help you create the right product, we can do that too!

Get in touch with our team and tell us about your amazing idea. You’ll hear from us in 24 hours!

Choosing the Right Product Manufacturer in China: Contract Manufacturing vs OEM Manufacturing

Contract manufacturing, original equipment manufacturing, and ODM manufacturing, oh my! There are so many different types of manufacturing companies that you can use to fulfill the needs of your business.

When you need to manufacture your product, you will want to pick the one that best protects your intellectual property while upholding the best labor practices possible.

If you are looking for more information about these product manufacturers and how to choose the right one, you came to the right place. This brief product manufacturing guide will cover all you need to know about the common manufacturers and who you can reach out to for more guidance. 

What Is Contract Manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing is when you outsource part of your product’s manufacturing process to a third-party company. A large majority of companies use this method, so they don’t have to handle the bulk of their production process. Instead, a contract manufacturer manufacturers products for the OEM, producing items based on a set formula or design. 

Advantages of Contract Manufacturing

A significant advantage of using a contract manufacturer is that they can help you create your products without investing in machinery or equipment. This also allows you and your business to minimize labor costs, free up capital, and commit additional resources toward research and development. Contract manufacturers also accept a certain amount of manufacturing-related liability. 

Disadvantages of Contract Manufacturing

A major disadvantage of working with a contract manufacturing company is that there is more research and development work. The time to market your product is also a disadvantage.

Because it takes a bit longer to get the product, you will have to wait. Be sure to have a testing and validation plan from the beginning so you and the manufacturer can adjust it over time. 

Types of Contract Manufacturing

There is a wide range of contract manufacturing services available. Standard contract manufacturing services include molding, assembly, machining, packaging, and sterilization. It is imperative that you partner with a contract manufacturer that provides the right services needed to support your product. 

ODM Manufacturing

ODM manufacturing, also known as Original Design Manufacturer, is a business that creates products designed by you, but they are based on existing products. When you work with these types of companies, you purchase items that the factory already produces; you can just customize the items and add your logo. 

You don’t always have to change the logo or design unless you want to. China is currently the leading ODM manufacturer, and most manufacturers outside of China are contract manufacturers. 

Advantages of ODM Manufacturing

When you work with an ODM manufacturer, you don’t have to wait too long to market your product. There is also a much lower introduction price since you don’t have to go through the research and development process. ODM manufacturers also have strong expertise in technologies and in the market space. 

Possible Issues with ODM Manufacturing

ODM manufacturers have the ability to send out your products quickly because they already have the item on hand or the specifics of the item on hand. A significant issue that comes with working with an ODM is intellectual property and who owns the design of the product even after you add customizations.

For the most part, the manufacturer created most if not all of the design, so they technically own the product’s intellectual property. This means that you own the copyright to the branding.

If you decide to work with an ODM manufacturer, make sure that you check the product you wish to customize. If the product looks similar to another name brand company, they can sue you for using their intellectual property. 

OEM Manufacturing

OEM, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer, is a company that creates a product based on the blueprint you send in. When you create a partnership with an OEM manufacturer, they expect you to provide them with a product specification sheet and a product design document so they can make your product properly. 

There are several different varying degrees of original equipment manufacturing companies. Some of them already have a product on site that they can use to make changes to, or you can start from scratch and create a brand new product. 

If you plan on creating a brand new product, you may want to reach out to a contract manufacturer for more assistance. With most original equipment manufacturing projects, the client must create custom molds or some other tooling to create the item.

If the OEM does not already have what you need, they will need time before production to get that all prepared. This is a cost most clients have to bear upfront, but there are other manufacturers who purchase molds and just charge you after the fact. 

Intellectual Property with an OEM

Since you’re the product designer and you created the product specification sheet, you most likely own the intellectual property of your product. Since you’re also paying for the parts of production (tooling and molds) and you have contracts that prevent the manufacturer from using the specification of your product, the intellectual property is yours. Just to be safe, make sure that you protect your intellectual property with the appropriate documents.

Advantages of OEM Manufacturer

The time to market with an OEM manufacturer is typically relatively short. This is because the original equipment manufacturer already makes products similar to yours, and they can use their current suppliers. Working with an OEM manufacturer comes with lower research and development costs. 

Disadvantages of OEM Manufacturer

Although working with an OEM manufacturer comes with several beautiful advantages, a few significant disadvantages can affect your project. For example, if you have to change suppliers, you can’t just make a quick switch.

You will have to change up your entire supply chain. This means you will need a new component supplier as your OEM won’t disclose their component supplier to you. 

Because these sub-suppliers are not disclosed to you, there is a chance the OEM could switch out sub-suppliers without you knowing. This could significantly affect the quality of your product. 

How to Find a Product Manufacturer

Before you can look for the right product manufacturer for your needs, you must decide if you want a factory overseas or here in the United States. The best solution for your business needs depends on your personal goals and priorities. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of U.S. Manufacturing

Using a factory in the United States does come with a few benefits. For example, when you use a manufacturer in the United States, you have more direct control over overproduction. You have the opportunity to visit the site more regularly, and you avoid dealing with international shipping logistics and tariffs. 

Unlike overseas factories, manufacturers in the states allow you to order smaller batches of products. Overseas, they have minimum order requirements that you must meet before they fulfill your order. If you don’t meet the minimum, they may add an additional fee. 

One of the most significant disadvantages of working with a supplier in the United States is the fact that they cost more. Sure, you may have access to the supplier, but they typically charge more since they are closer. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Overseas Manufacturing

A factory overseas is almost always cheaper than using one in the United States. When you look for a product manufacturer overseas, you will notice that you have more options than you do in the United States.

This means you will have a large pool of applicants to choose from who have experience creating products similar to yours. The biggest challenge that comes with outsourcing is the longer shipping times and handling of import/export regulations.

There is also an issue of a possible language barrier. Thankfully, there are several different companies that have a dedicated representative that can communicate your needs in your language

Look for a Product Manufacturing Plant

You can attend several networking events for more information on other Chinese manufacturing plants. International trade shows in the United States are another great resource to use when looking for the proper manufacturer. 

When looking for the right company, make sure they make products similar to yours. A manufacturer may be eager to let you know that they can make it, even if they have no experience doing so.

Although this may work in some factories, that does not work with all of them. If they offer to create the product but have no experience, the product may lack quality. 

United States Exports

Lastly, it would be best if you looked into a manufacturer that regularly exports products to the United States. These manufacturers already have experience complying with product safety standards, quality standards, and packaging requirements. 

Look for a company that is a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise. Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise, also known as a WFOA, is a company that has production facilities in China. Still, the ownership and management of the company are run by non-Chinese teams. Depending on who owns the facility, you can expect the same quality and service that you would receive from a western company. 

Protect Your Intellectual Property

As mentioned earlier, regardless of who you use to manufacture your products, you will want to protect your intellectual property at all costs. Without that protection, you risk having the manufacturer sell your product to another client.

You can use trademarks, copyrights, and patents to protect your intellectual property. Make sure that the protection you use is also designed for international situations. 

If you would like to, you can use an NDA. An NDA, or a non-disclosure agreement, is a legally binding contract prevents other companies from copying your product. It would be best if you made potential manufacturers sign an NDA before you get any quotes. 

Questions to Ask the Manufacturer

Before you partner with a manufacturer, you must ask a few questions to ensure they are the right fit for you. For example, make sure to ask the company about their labor practices.

The last thing you want is to work with a company that uses unfair labor practices. Not only is that inhumane, but it can also damage the reputation of your business. 

Ask to see their business license and any documentation that proves they have a solid quality control system. It would also be best if you asked about their proof of inspections or their third-party audits. If a company refuses to give you that information, they may be hiding something. 

Additional probing questions to ask your potential manufacturer:

  • What is the price for production?
  • What are your company’s payment terms
  • Do you have a minimum order quantity?
  • How long does it take to get the product exported
  • Who are some of your clients?
  • What experience do you have making products similar to mine?
  • Do you charge for samples?
  • Is all of your work in-house? 
  • Do you use sub-contractors?

Asking these types of questions can help you determine which manufacturer is best for you and your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. You’re hiring them to do a service for you at the end of the day. 

Partner with the Best Product Manufacturer

Picking out the right manufacturer does not need to be a complex process, but it can be challenging if you aren’t sure what you’re exactly looking for. Once you figure out which type of product manufacturer you want to use, check out their reviews and business licensing.

You want to make sure you partner with a reputable manufacturer that can make your product just the way it is intended to be made. Contact us now if you are ready to learn more about your manufacturing options. We also offer warehousing and logistics if needed. 

Contract Manufacturing in China: 5 Top Questions You Should Ask When Choosing The Best Manufacturer

Doing business in China can be very rewarding, but before you dive in you need to know what pitfalls to avoid.

If you don’t do your homework, finding a reliable manufacturer to develop your products can be costly and time-consuming.

One of the most important things to remember when working with a contract manufacturer in China is that you want to work with someone who has been vetted and who has a good reputation.

To do this, it’s best to ask these five questions before signing any agreements or making any deposits. Let’s keep reading.

1. What Services Do They Provide?

Since you have no prior experience with manufacturing overseas, you may be limited when it comes to understanding the services your manufacturing partner might offer.

So the first question you have to ask your prospective contract manufacturers in China is: what services do they provide?

As you may know, not every manufacturing company is built in the same way.

Some companies offer a one-stop solution while others may be an expert in a certain part of the industry with high-quality assurance.

Therefore, knowing what each manufacturer specializes in will help you choose the best one that provides you with all of your requirements for success.

2. How Much Experience Do They Have?

If you have an idea of what exactly your product should be, like size, functions, and main materials, you need to find someone who can make your product with relative experience.

Experience is what matters the most when selecting a dependable manufacturer in China.

There are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing suppliers on Alibaba, however, it can be difficult to verify them online.

Everyone seems to say that they know how to solve your problems.

But you have no way of knowing whether or not they are managing a proper facility for producing your desired goods.

Therefore, based on their work experience, they can prove themselves as capable of working effectively with others who share the same needs.

3. How Big Is The Facility?

Knowing the size of their facilities will provide you insight into if they have enough capacity to handle your project.

Sometimes, you may consider using a smaller factory in hopes that they would be easier to deal with and they would pay more attention to your products.

This can be a wrong decision for you to make.

Because if the factory is too small, you may find yourself waiting for one of their existing customers to finish production so you can get started.

Avoid a new or small factory. More often than not, these factories have only been around for a short period of time and they lack the equipment and skilled employees a more established factory should have.

It’s also helpful to ask about the number of employees and departments available.

Keep in mind that if a company has many employees, then it means their facility is larger (thus with more space) and they’ve been around longer, which means they’ve had time to learn from past mistakes and refine techniques – putting them ahead of newer competitors in terms of experience.

4. What Is Their Production Capacity?

It is essential that you find out what their production capacity is.

That’s because production capacity is an integral part of your future success.

You may have been working with a specific manufacturer for years but now you decide to switch over to someone new or you’re just getting started working with this manufacturing company, but it doesn’t matter.

Because either way, you’re looking forward to introducing your product to the marketplace.

You do not want to wait weeks or even months for your product because your suppliers have too many other clients on the way.

It would be best if you find out how fast their production process goes because this will give you an estimate of when you can expect to receive what you ordered.

5. What Quality Assurance Steps Do They Take?

Quality assurance is just as important as choosing a qualified manufacturer.

Several factories in China seem to believe in their quality control process.

However, bad things happen all the time.

If you don’t want to end up with shoddy products or a nonresponsive vendor, check out what other customers have said about them online.

A reliable manufacturer should have a list of case studies or testimonials shown on their homepages. Pay attention to the details of this information. You may later find yourself avoiding a lot of trouble by doing so.

In addition, keep in mind that the more quality assurance steps the manufacturer will take, the lower the risk of defective products and components you will receive.

Typically, there are three quality control services in the industry:

  • Pre-Production Inspections
  • In-Process QC Inspections
  • Container Loading Inspections

In this case, make sure you understand the differences between each product inspection and how your manufacturer conducts the QC process.

Need Professional Help With Your Manufacturing Project?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Doing the proper research before making a decision can help you avoid trouble.

If you’re looking for a professional contract manufacturer in China to work with, come to Shield Works.

Our expert team will do everything they can to make sure your project moves smoothly and efficiently. We are well-trained and have been working in this industry for many years – so no matter what you need to be done, we’ll figure it out for you.

With our British ownership and management background combined with manufacturing know-how, we take pride in keeping quality at the forefront of every job – so there won’t be any need to worry about defective products. Contact us to discuss your project today!

The Future of OEM Manufacturing

COVID-19 affected many people’s lives physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. This also affected several different businesses, causing them to halt their production. Fortunately, even though the pandemic still lingers, there are many OEM manufacturing companies that can still meet the demands and needs of many customers.

If you’ve ever considered working with an OEM manufacturing company, but you aren’t sure how that relationship will look due to the market’s changing trends, you aren’t alone. Many different companies are turning to OEMs to help with their production needs to keep up with product quality demands. If you want to learn more about OEM companies and how they can benefit your company in today’s changing landscape, continue reading below. 

What Is OEM?

An Original Equipment Manufacturer, also known as OEM, is a company that produces and sells parts of a product or products for a particular company. That company then takes those parts of a product or complete product and sells it to their clients. OEMs commonly operate in the computer and auto industries. 

An original equipment manufacturer often works directly with a retail company. For example, Lenovo’s computer parts aren’t all manufactured by Lenovo themselves. Instead, Lenovo utilizes a manufacturing company to create their processors. 

Examples of OEM

To better explain how an original equipment manufacturer works, let’s use Company D as an example. Company D manufacturers several different versions of a memory card to sell to various computer manufacturers or retailers, like Lenovo or Dell. Those companies are considered value-added resellers who will sell their version of the product to their clients. 

OEM vs. Value-Added Reseller

Value-added resellers, also known as VARs, sell products from the OEM, but they also incorporate certain added features before doing so. The two companies benefit from one another because VARs help original equipment manufacturers sell their products. 

OEM vs. Aftermarket

While an OEM produces original equipment, an aftermarket manufacturer creates products that are made to look like and work with those of an OEM. To simplify, aftermarket parts or products are not original because different companies manufacture them.

Some of these aftermarket companies are locally based, whereas others are foreign-based. Although these parts are cheaper, they don’t have the same guarantees that an OEM part or product would. 

How to Make Aftermarket Parts

As we all know, as time passes and technology advances, well-known auto companies, and technology companies release updated versions of their products. Most auto companies update their vehicles at least once every six years, and phone manufacturing companies change almost every year or two. So what happens to those old models and machines used to create those products? 

These companies sell them. Many manufacturers purchase those old molds and models to create similar products to market. 

Example of Aftermarket Products

You commonly see aftermarket parts in the auto industry. Auto shops and insurance companies prefer to use aftermarket parts over OEM parts whenever someone gets into an auto accident and needs their vehicle fixed. This is because aftermarket products are cheaper to manufacture and purchase. 

Characteristics of an OEM

If you want to know if a company is an original equipment manufacturer, there are a few characteristics to look out for. For example, OEMs sell licenses which means they typically sell their product licenses to the resellers they market to.

Hardware

You can easily purchase hardware off the internet through an OEM or a retail product manufacturer. However, the OEM hardware typically is shipped without cables or adapters necessary for the installation and operation of said hardware. 

Software

OEM software isn’t very common, but there are OEM software products. Some of the OEM software products created are versions of Windows productivity software, operating system, and security applications. This licensed software typically does not come with technical support, but it is instead provided with basic documentation and a few logos. 

Most of these products are created for specific machines. For example, an OEM Windows system for an HP computer won’t operate the same on Dell or Lenovo. Even more so, that certain software may work for one specific HP model, but it won’t perform the same on other models. 

Benefits of Original Equipment Manufacturers

There are several different benefits of using an OEM manufacturers in china. For example, when working with an OEM, you can expect a quick response time because less time is required to identify and produce the parts you need. Most manufacturers you work with like to have their products assembled and sent to you within a timely manner. 

Quality

When replacing a part on a machine or a vehicle, you will want to have the utmost confidence that the replacement part is the same, if not better, than what was there before. The only way to secure this confidence is to use an OEM. When using an OEM manufacturing company, they will ensure that your products or parts of a product are created and tested to match your original specification. 

Support

When approaching OEM support engineers, you will want to be reassured that those engineers have access to the same engineering team that designed your products or parts. Most, if not all, OEM support engineers do have that access, which will provide you with a wide variety of engineering and technical support. OEM staff members are pretty knowledgeable, and they can help you with all your part needs.

Value and Lifespan

When replacing parts in your products or machines, you expect that you will continue to get the same performance you had before needing the replacement. Buying from an OEM manufacturing company ensures that your replacement part will have that same quality, and there will be no degradation in performance. 

Warranty

Having a warranty is one of the most important benefits when working with any OEM manufacturer. Should your company receive your parts with any defects, or if the parts are faulty, you can always reach out to your OEM. They will make sure to make it right so that you aren’t stuck with unusable products. 

High Return on Investments

Since the parts your OEM supplies are designed to perform and fit factory specifications, these parts increase the life of your product. In the long run, this can save your business a lot of money and help reduce downtime. 

Current OEM Trends

The relationship between OEM companies, dealerships, and other companies has always been healthy and symbiotic. Most OEMs depend on their networks to sell and service their products.

On the other hand, these companies have fallen back on OEMs to provide specific components or parts. In the auto industry, original equipment manufacturers also have the task of financing their servicing activities while the cars are covered under warranty. 

Updates to the Market

Most OEM companies are now working towards creating remote software upgrades and establishing direct relationships with their clients with subscription models. With that said, this means that OEMs are taking ownership of customer relations which usually falls back on the dealers, or as you now know, VARs. 

The dealers still get a significant portion of profits from after-sales and services. Activities like new car sales or new product sales can also create a profit, but the margin is relatively small. 

What Does This Changing Landscape Mean?

Consumer demands of the auto industry are changing. Apart from the shift in needing or wanting more electric vehicles, cars are now viewed as a part of a shared mobility service. Models of car ownership are changing as well, meaning that customers now view their cars like smartphones. These clients expect their vehicles to be updated and refuse to pay a premium for a service that offers benefits down the line. 

OEMs are currently working on creating capabilities that reduce cost due to connected diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and over-the-air software updates. They are also seizing more opportunities for direct relationships with consumers, such as creating innovative techniques to sell cars. 

Customer Trends and the Marketplace

As technology continues to advance and the way we work and live continues to change, customers are doing things more online. To support dealerships, OEM manufacturing companies have to consider the value they add.

As mentioned earlier, OEMs are set to take greater ownership of customer relationships, but they should provide additional support to dealerships to ensure they don’t just disappear altogether. 

To help with this, OEMs can incentivize dealerships to drive traffic to online showrooms, or they can reward dealerships for high brand engagement. 

How to Find an OEM Manufacturer

When looking for an OEM, you will want to ensure that they have experience making products similar to yours. For example, an OEM who specializes in computer parts may not have the same capabilities for creating auto parts. You also must consider if you want to use a factory in the United States or overseas. Most OEMs who have better capabilities are overseas, not in the United States. 

Domestic vs. Overseas

Manufacturing in the United States has its benefits, but it also comes with a few disadvantages. With an OEM in the U.S., you have more control over production; you can also visit the site regularly and avoid dealing with international shipping logistics.

Although that may sound ideal, you will most likely have to pay more for parts and labor. With overseas manufacturing, you still have a say in your product specification, but the cost to the manufacturer is much cheaper. 

Even though dealing with international shipping logistics may sound like a headache, it won’t be when you partner with the right company. They will make sure to have a dedicated contact who can speak your language and explain the entire process to you. 

Review Their Certifications

Not all manufacturers in China are the same, nor do they have the same qualifications. No matter how well-established the plant is, there is a possibility that they don’t have the necessary licenses or certifications

To ensure that your manufacturer creates your product in compliance with regulatory standards, make sure that your supplier has the proper licenses and certifications to assemble your product. 

Common ISO certifications manufacturers should have:

Each industry has its own certifications, so each manufacturer needs to have the same certificates and documents to ensure they produce high-quality products. Before working with a specific manufacturer, make sure that you check the required materials for assembling.

Capacity

The last thing you want is to work with a manufacturer who doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture your parts or products. You wouldn’t want to send your money and products to a company just for your products to be stuck on a shelf awaiting their assembly.

To ensure that you don’t get stuck with a company that doesn’t assemble or manufacture your products as fast as you need, make sure you check in with your manufacturer’s production space. The OEM should provide you with information about their current output rate and deadlines. 

Produce High-Quality Products

Partnering with a reputable OEM manufacturing company is critical to make sure that your business meets the demands of your clients and ensures long-lasting performance and high-quality products. Working with a reputable OEM manufacturing company is more than just finding someone reputable and knowledgeable; it is about creating a stable relationship.

You want to make sure that the company you work with values you and your business just as you do. Contact us now if you are ready to create a lasting relationship with an OEM manufacturing company overseas. Our team is prepared to answer any questions or concerns you have about our future partnership. 

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.

3 Tips For Finding The Right Custom Manufacturing Partner In China

When you need to source custom manufacturing services, it can be hard to know where to start.

Finding the right custom manufacturing partner can be challenging.

There are many companies out there with the capabilities to manufacture your product, but finding the right one can be difficult and time-consuming without some guidance.

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

Tip #1 – Know What You Want

Start by listing your needs and expectations before choosing a custom manufacturer in China.

  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have a strict deadline?
  • Are your product materials hard to obtain?
  • Will you need samples before production begins?

All of these details can help narrow down your list of potential partners.

Finding a company that already has experience with similar projects can make sure that production goes as smoothly as possible since they’ll be familiar with what it takes to meet all your needs and deadlines.

Tip #2 – Understand Your Suppliers

Another thing to take into consideration when you’re looking for a custom manufacturer is to do your research.

Find people who have successfully worked with a company that provides custom manufacturing services.

If someone has had a good experience, you can use them as a reference to find other companies that provide similar services in case their recommendation didn’t work out so well.

Also, you can compile a comparison list of potential options.

After you list all the key factors you need to know beforehand, you’ll be ready to begin contacting them directly.

Tip #3 – Choose A Custom Manufacturer That Fits Into Your Supply Chain

Choosing a custom manufacturer requires an understanding of how they fit into your supply chain.

If you are looking to get started with rapid prototyping, then your supplier must have access to both traditional and 3D printing equipment.

This will allow them to offer you a full range of services including design iteration and custom parts made from advanced materials.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for custom injection molding services, you need a manufacturer that can handle creating tooling and assembling large quantities of products efficiently.

Remember: your final product will only be as good as your supplier’s capabilities!

Let Shield Works Be Your Custom Manufacturing Partner

If you need to customize your product, Shield Works can be your best partner in China.

We are a British owned and managed company providing customized OEM manufacturing and assembly activities.

Your product will be manufactured in one of our state-of-the-art facilities. We are prepared to accommodate your needs; from bulk production through final product finishing. Contact us today.