How to find exactly the right manufacturer for your product.

Because the world is full of manufacturers, each with its own set of positives and negatives, the challenge of balancing a multitude of factors in making your decision is daunting. But it can be done if you methodically go through the following:

Have a clear budget

In mind for everything that affects product cost from raw materials to packaging. Also, set the target price you’re aiming for. Neither budget nor price should be set in stone, but you need those starting points.

Focus on the top manufacturing countries

For your specific product. Nations like the U.S., for example, are noted for high-tech products while Indonesia has earned a great reputation for fine-quality Cabretta leather.

Hire a technical expert

This person will have in-depth knowledge of your product and can help you convert your vision into detailed, quantifiable, manufacturable documentation.

Target the quantities

You expect to want. Not every manufacturer is able to help with smaller quantities, so you may need to consider a particular country or a trading company.

Understand your customers’ preferences

Some consumers are adamant about buying products only from specific countries or regions such as Europe or the U.S. Other customers may not care at all. Your task is to determine their tastes as they relate to your product.

Vet all the entities

That you do business with and rely upon, primarily vendors and suppliers. This vetting includes their delivery histories, certificates earned, relevant reviews, professional references and their record of compliance with ethical standards.

Define each technicality

And float the exact specs you want in order to get accurate quotes from would-be vendors and suppliers. In the process make certain that all parties involved sign an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement).

Order samples and test them

To make sure they meet your standards-and-performance metrics. While product perfection is the goal, it’s realistic to expect a number of revisions along the way. Mainly, you want to see if the manufacturer ultimately has the expertise and capacity to execute your vision.

Vet all your vendors

To ensure they fully comply with recognized, international ethical standards. This especially includes any child-labor or worker-rights abuse. Any vendor that is problematic in one area is likely suspect in other areas as well. Doing the right thing never goes out of style.

Try using Alibaba

Or a directory to identify potential vendors and suppliers. Although the options they’ll give you probably include the right partner(s) for you, you will likely have to wade through a lot of options that aren’t good for you.

Hire a sourcing agent

Who has in-depth knowledge of relevant manufacturers for your product. Or consider a company like Glovendor that also provides expert sourcing services and can immediately access over 2,000 vetted manufacturers.

Recognized experts in supply-chain creation and management, Glovendor will work with you to identify precisely the manufacturers best equipped and situated to help you make the product you visualize come to pass.

You can also be given, free of charge, a comprehensive supply-chain evaluation that Glovendor calls its G360 Audit™. One of their consultants will walk you through it so you can see how its proven principles can strengthen your supply chain overall, saving you both time and money.