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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.

Why Outsourcing Medical Device Manufacturing to China Benefits You

You’ve come up with an innovative new medical device or equipment, and now you want to get it into the hands of doctors and hospitals across the country. You could just hire someone in your area to build it all by hand, but that would take much longer than you’d like, and you wouldn’t be able to produce as many units as are necessary to meet your demand and get it out there quickly. By outsourcing medical equipment manufacturing to China, you can save both time and money, while ensuring quality production that meets your exact specifications. Check out these tips of outsourcing medical equipment manufacturing to China!

Selecting a Contract Manufacturer in China for Your Medical Device Product

Choosing a contract manufacturer in China for your medical equipment product can be an overwhelming task. Before you begin, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you need and what steps you will take during your search. Once you have a plan, it’s time to find a reputable company with staff that speaks English. Next, arrange meetings and build relationships with potential manufacturers. The next step is choosing which company will produce your medical equipment product.

You might as well as yourself the following questions:

  • What type of medical devices do you have experience in?
  • What is their track record?
  • Do they use raw materials from other companies or do they purchase them themselves?
  • Does each manufacturer offer fast turnarounds and great prices?
  • How many years has each one been in business?
  • Is there consistency among all of their products?
  • Are there any customer reviews online about them?
  • Can they produce products in compliance with FDA or health and safety regulations in other targeted countries?

If you are going to export to the US, do some digging on the FDA database to identify the certified manufacturing and filter out the bad seeds with track record of practice or products violating regulations. At times like this, this step should be addressed with extra importance as the regulations are always subject to change. Finally, once you’ve chosen a contract manufacturer in China for your medical equipment product, make sure to sign contracts before beginning production.

It’s also important to make sure everything is written down clearly so there are no misunderstandings later on, including the specs required by the health department. If possible, try to get samples made by both companies before making a final decision. This way you can compare quality and price side-by-side before deciding who gets the job. You want to work with someone who not only meets your needs but also exceeds expectations at every level!

Benefits of Manufacturing Your Medical Device Product in China

When you outsource your medical device manufacturing, you gain access to the following elements of production.

Quality control

When you contract with a Chinese manufacturer for your medical equipment, they will send engineers and representatives to oversee production. This means that when it comes time for delivery, your items will be free of defects and exactly as specified in your contract. It also means that any errors made during production will be caught early on so they can be corrected before being shipped out. Having someone overseeing production ensures that nothing slips through the cracks and helps prevent mistakes from occurring later down the line. Also, as we have stressed the importance of adhering to the health and regulations issued by the countries you export to, experienced teams in China should know these rules like the back of their hand and strictly perform compliance checks for you.

Cost savings

When compared to American companies specializing in contract manufacturing, Chinese companies often offer lower prices due to their lower labor costs. By outsourcing your medical device manufacturing, you’ll have more money available to invest in marketing or research and development. Also, when it comes to manufacturing medical products, sometimes it’s tricky to strike a balance between maintaining required specs and budget control. China’s experience can be of great help in this regard.

Better Time Management

This also allows you to focus on creating your unique product, while allowing a 3rd-party manufacturer develop and produce it for you and help you better manage time, resources and costs; furthermore, because they’re focused on manufacturing one or several products for multiple companies, they’re able to handle much larger volumes than most startup companies can handle. This means that when you partner with them, you won’t have bottlenecks or downtime that could lead to delays in production or delivery.

Flexibility

A lot of contract manufacturers overseas are willing to negotiate terms based on how much work they have at any given time. If there is no work coming up, then they may agree to do a small project for less money than usual. This gives you an opportunity to get additional products made without having to pay full price—something many businesses find useful since cash flow is always tight when starting up new ventures.

Working with overseas manufacturers has its own set of challenges; however, if you approach them carefully and build relationships with them over time, it’s possible that outsourcing could help make your business more successful.

Examples of Medical Device Products That Can Be Manufactured in China

A lot of medical device products are produced in China, including ventilators, cardiac monitors, blood pressure monitors and infusion devices. Sometimes manufacturers can create a better product than your competitors by using specialized suppliers or materials they have on hand. Contracting with a company that specializes in manufacturing medical equipment makes sense since outsourcing allows them to control quality and make sure everything is done within your timeline. You may have not considered outsourcing your medical equipment manufacturing because you don’t think it would be possible; but it is, and you may want to.

To learn more about how to take advantage from the highest quality of medical device products from Chinese manufacturing companies who know all the western industry standards or to speak with experts with this regard, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

5 Things You Should Know About Lean Manufacturing

In the past decade, Chinese manufacturers have embraced new methodologies and techniques to meet the increasing needs of the world.

Of all the new approaches, lean manufacturing may be one of the most commonly used.

Lean manufacturing helps organizations optimize their business process so they can speed up production to market products, cut costs, and improve quality.

As your company may begin to consider lean manufacturing, this article will explain everything you should understand before you jump into it.

1. What is Lean Manufacturing?

First thing first, what is lean manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing, lean production, or simply “lean” is a systematic methodology designed to minimize waste in a manufacturing operation while productivity remains constant.

In simple terms, lean manufacturing is an approach to managing manufacturing processes that aim to improve flow, eliminate waste and increase efficiency.

2. What Are The 5 Lean Manufacturing Principles?

Lean manufacturing was designed to optimize the use of materials, production lines, production processes and logistics.

There are five principles for lean production.

Identify Value

An accurate understanding of the value assigned to products or services is the first principle.

In this case, you need to keep in mind that:

-What are your needs and expectations?

-When do you need the supplier to finish your order?

-How much will you pay?

Map A Value Stream

As the ultimate goal of lean is to eliminate wastes, removing any wasteful practices by mapping A value stream is important.

Create Flow

Look at every step in your work process and eliminate points of making waste. If there are steps that do not create value as expected, remove them and redesign the flow.

 Ensure a smooth process that can be undertaken with minimal delay or waste.

Establish a Pull System

In a pull system, units are produced based on current demand.

It sharply contrasts with a push system, in which items are produced based on forecast demand.

The pull-based system ensures that products will be produced as scheduled in needed quantity.

Seek Perfection

Continuously dig deeper and measure to achieve a perfect lean process.

3. The 8 Types Of Waste

The eight types of waste in lean manufacturing can be acronymized as “DOWNTIME”, which means defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, extra-processing.

Defects

Defects occur when the products are not fit for use.

This typically results in either reworking or scrapping the product. Both results are wasteful as they add additional costs to the operations without delivering any value.

Overproduction

In the paperwork stage, overproduction may involve extra documentation and reports, or too many meetings without action.

In the manufacturing stage, overproduction could include making more products than actual demand.

Waiting

Waiting means the waiting time between processes. It can be included as follow:

  • Waiting for the actual operation
  • Waiting for the materials or equipment
  • The workers wait on the direction between tasks.

Non-Utilized Talent

Non-utilized talent or unused human talent means the waste of human potential.

  • Do you train your people accordingly?
  • Are your workers in the right positions?
  • Are there any possibilities to improve your team in communication and efficiency?

Transportation

The waste in transportation includes the movement of people, tools, inventory, equipment, or products further than necessary.

Inventory

Waste in inventory means making and storing extra materials or products than needed.

Motion

The waste in motion includes any unnecessary movement of people, equipment, or machinery.

Extra-Processing

Extra-processing refers to doing more work, adding more components, or having more steps in a product or service.

4. What Are The Benefits Of Lean Manufacturing?

There are some across-the-board benefits of implementing lean principles. These include:

  • Eliminate Waste
  • Reduce Costs
  • Improve Quality
  • Shorten Time
  • Improve Overall Efficiency

5. How Can You Implement Lean Manufacturing?

In an industry that is under tremendous pressure to improve productivity and quality while reducing costs, lean manufacturing is an everyday expectation. Shield Works is your perfect partner to assist you every step of the way.

With over 15,000 projects completed, our clients have full faith in us to help them improve their business. Contact us for more information.

Manufacturing Trends: The Just-In-Time Inventory Management System

You may not believe how much capital is actually tied up in inventory. Inventory, along with accounts receivable and accounts payable, is equivalent to 7% of the US GDP.

With so many resources tied up in inventory, it’s no doubt that businesses are constantly re-evaluating their inventory management system.

One of the most popular traditional methods is the just-in-time inventory management system. But after the pandemic changed the way many businesses operate, it may be time to consider a new method.

Below we have created the following guide explaining the importance of your inventory management system. We’ll also talk about finding the production planning sweet spot.

How Does Just-In-Time Work?

“Just-in-time” is a method of inventory management that means inventory arrives exactly when it is needed. It’s also commonly referred to as a “pull” system. This is because the system replaces supplies as goods are consumed.

Just-in-time inventory works based on the idea that materials arrive when you expect production to begin. However, they should not arrive before production begins.

Essentially, production can’t begin without inventory. But businesses using JIT don’t want to incur any storage costs for inventory that arrives too soon.

Many businesses have relied on JIT to keep production value balanced with inventory levels. This keeps capital free to use in other areas of the company while meeting production demand.

JIT works the best when a company has trusted suppliers. They provide consistent quality of materials at the expected times. Simultaneously, suppliers provide products in long-term contracts that mitigate price fluctuations.

Because this model relies on a smooth supply chain, unexpected supply chain interruptions can disrupt the entire process. Sudden shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic can have detrimental effects on the end production of a product.

For this reason, many businesses suffered. Over 60% of small businesses reported disruptions in the supply chain during the early pandemic.

Just-In-Time Inventory Used Successfully

However, this doesn’t mean that a JIT system isn’t effective. Just-in-time inventory management works well in numerous industries and will continue to be effective.

Take restaurants. Food preparation uses a just-in-time inventory approach because many ingredients don’t last longer than a day or two. Chefs will have to buy meat to serve every day by estimating what diners will order.

Fast fashion is a segment of the fashion industry that relies on just-in-time systems. Chains like Zara don’t order ahead for an entire season.

Instead, they’ll design and manufacture items with short turnaround times. Fast fashion brands will be able to keep up with trends as they happen.

You may have heard of dropshipping in the eCommerce world. Dropshipping only purchase products from the manufacturer when a customer places an order. The eCommerce seller carries no inventory and essentially outsources inventory management.

Based on these business models, just-in-time inventory management can be successful. Many industries will continue relying on a just-in-time system. But you may find it to your benefit to start mixing in other strategies for your inventory management.

Just-In-Time vs. Just-In-Case: Pull vs. Push

Companies use just-in-time inventory to prevent excess supply from building up. This will keep inventory low and cut costs as much as possible.

But what happens when the supply chain gets stopped? In 2020, 82% of mid-market manufacturers had to significantly reduce production or shut it down completely at some point.

This then affects sellers using just-in-time management. They won’t receive the materials and products for customers. Instead, they can only sell what they have.

With a JIT, businesses wouldn’t have a lot to sell. They would run out of existing inventory quickly.

At the same time, demand for certain products, especially health-related items, skyrocketed. Businesses in this industry could not keep up with the high demand.

Here’s where just-in-case inventory management comes in. It helps to facilitate growth by allowing companies to keep up with most demand.

JIC inventory management focuses on maximizing inventory by purchasing larger inventory orders. This helps to manage unpredictable demand and survive disruptions in the supply chain. This approach will no doubt become more popular in the wake of the pandemic.

JIC is referred to as a “push” system because inventory purchases are not based on current demand. JIT is a “pull” system because inventory is purchased to order.

The main drawback of JIC is the additional costs of holding the excess inventory. Businesses will place larger orders if they use JIC, which will increase the cost of the order and tie up capital in inventory. Maintaining the excess inventory will raise storage and management costs.

Finding the Sweet Spot

If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that JIT can’t be relied upon alone. Supplier stability is returning closer to normal. However, the way that many businesses operate has changed forever.

Businesses are starting to realize that balance will provide the most benefits. Both JIT and JIC systems have positive qualities. Combined, they can create the most effective inventory management system.

Companies can create a hybrid inventory management model. In practice, it would use both the buffer of just-in-case and the conservative use of capital associated with just-in-time.

A hybrid system involves having some parts of the supply chain operate in a push model and others operate in a pull model. There needs to be more demand forecast involved than with JIC. But a hybrid model wouldn’t have standing inventory rest at zero like it would with JIT systems.

The main goal of finding the sweet spot is to address the needs of both long-term and short-term production. Inventory levels should be low enough to be cost-effective but high enough to survive production delays or higher demand.

You may want to consider using JIC for quick-turnover items. It can also be used for scarce items or items with long lead times. JIT inventory can be used for less popular items, like the customization of a certain product.

Leveraging the Right Inventory Management System

The right inventory system is all about balance. And when it comes time to choose your manufacturer, you want a team that understands how to utilize the best practices of different inventory management systems.

Shield Works is a managed precious assembly, manufacturing, and warehouse facility based in the heart of Zhuhai City, China. Learn more about our manufacturing services by contacting us.

Know How Custom Manufacturing Company In China Help With Your Business

Custom manufacturing is the ability to manufacture, design or engineer original products in line with personalised requests. This is done on a made-to-order basis, giving you complete control over the manufacturing process.

Reputable and Experienced

Unlike most other manufacturing companies, the custom manufacturing company can adapt to your personal needs. They can offer you fully customised manufacturing procedures and equipment. In addition, they can even develop bespoke assembly lines to meet your requirements.

With the ability to operate flexibly and adapt quickly to innovative ideas, Shield Works is reputable due to our parent company’s 14 years of experience. China 2 West has knowledge of every stage in the manufacturing process. It means that Shield Works begins as an expert in a vast range of areas.

Open-minded

Shield Works welcome any new ideas related to customised Manufacturing from our clients. We also accept the challenge by offering a vast amount of dedication and support for such ideas. This support can come in the form of: new training, new equipment, techniques and even specialized processes. All of these can be introduced at our facility, helping to enhance our manufacturing strategies. We are able to bring your ideas to life.

Protect Your Interest

Our commitment to customised manufacturing stems from our belief in moving forward and improving business. Driving forward with the latest innovative products and strategies is crucial in continuous growth and success and we want to share this vision with our clients.

Furthermore, you can be sure that when discussing new ideas there will be no losses in communications. Our diverse team can speak an array of languages, including Chinese. So we can deal with new ideas smoothly and directly.

The custom manufacturing company In China can help If you have a special process you would like to relocate from your shop floor. What’s more, they might offer critical IP sensitive step of the manufacturing process that you would prefer to keep away from your Chinese supply chain.

Shield Works also offers you a vast range of IP protective steps to give you extra security. It’s important when doing business abroad, in case our customised manufacturing wasn’t quite enough for you. For example, Shield Works has state-of-the-art finger print access secure production zones to protect your interests and provide full IP protection at the source of manufacture. We will also have legally binding non-disclosure agreements with every external body that we may work with during the process of your assembly line in order to ensure this is protected.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your custom manufacturing requirements. You can also visit our website for more information about Shield Works’ customised manufacturing.