CTI’s Tips on How to Get Products Manufactured
We make virtually nothing without some form of manufacturing. However, many of us know shockingly little about how manufacturing works. While much of the manufacturing process seems largely automated in this day and age, many processes need human involvement. In turn, this increases a capacity for human error if you work with faulty manufacturers. Many small business owners must work with manufacturers, but don’t know how to do so in an organized manner. If you own a business and need products manufactured, you should first understand how to get products manufactured. Only then can you make a responsible decision regarding manufacturers.
In fact, that’s the first question we tackle—how do you get an idea manufactured into a product in the first place? Is that something you would typically handle yourself?
What’s Behind the Process of How to Get Products Manufactured?
You may assume that a business manufactures its own products—but once you attempt to do so yourself, you’ll quickly come to realize that many business owners cannot possibly do so. There are several reasons why they often choose outsourcing with a third party over manufacturing in house.
- Expense: It’s quite expensive to own or rent your own space, especially if that space can function as a manufacturing plant. Additionally, manufacturing in house requires investing in or renting the necessary equipment. You also must hire (temporarily or permanently) employees experienced with the necessary manufacturing procedures. Otherwise, you train current employees to operate the necessary equipment. However, if these employees lack experience, they may also be more likely to make mistakes.
- Efficiency: You’ll find that it’s much easier to have products manufactured remotely. Not only will an experienced third party manufacturer have the facilities, equipment, and employees necessary to make the products you require—you’ll also find it easier to focus on other aspects of your business when a third party handles the manufacturing. Your attentions will remain undivided, and you can establish a more solid business in the long term.
- Experience: If you work with an experienced third party manufacturer, you’ll not only get a better product in the long term, but a learning experience. An experienced manufacturer walks you through the steps of how to get products manufactured, while answering your questions and offering a customized product. In the long term, you can learn from a third party and build a working relationship that lasts.
How Do I Get Products Manufactured with My Logo?
One thing that business owners often need is logo application. They request a third party manufacturer to apply their logo to their products. It’s easy to understand why—when you apply your logo to a product, it’s easier for clients and consumers to recognize your business. Companies make their names in part from their logos, and having a clear and distinct logo is easier said than done. Once you design your logo, all too often less qualified applicators apply it shoddily. This results in an imperfect or even embarrassing final result.
The manner in which one applies a logo depends of course on the product manufacturer. Some products require an embroidered logo. However, mass-manufactured products often require etched logos, as well as logos applied through silkscreen or lasering, plus lamination. There a variety of different processes for logo application. No matter what you need, we recommend that you consider working with a third party in order to accomplish it.
What Are My Third Party Manufacturing Options?
When it comes to third party manufacturing, there are two main options available. The first is contract manufacturing, and the second toll manufacturing.
With contract manufacturing, a third party manufactures the product from the beginning to end of the process. This means that the third party not only creates the product, but also procures the materials necessary for it. Therefore, you release some level of control with a contract manufacturer. You can’t check the raw materials for quality, and you can’t exert as much control over their cost either. For that reason, some business owners prefer to go with toll manufacturing.
Ultimately, toll manufacturing is also a third party system. However, you retain more quality control. This means that you select the raw materials. Not only does this allow you to control the pricing further than you would otherwise—it also means that you have more influence over the quality of the resulting products. While you always give up some degree of control with third party manufacturers, it can be easier to collaborate with a toll manufacturer. There’s a level of flexibility that isn’t present with contract manufacturing, which is why lots of small business owners choose toll manufacturers—especially when they require more individualized, branded materials.
How Do I Select a Manufacturer?
As with many things, you must research potential manufacturers heavily, and get direct testimonials and reviews whenever possible. However, always consult with manufacturers you’re seriously interested in before making a commitment. CTI offers not only consultations but pilot runs for our clients. Therefore, you get a good idea of what you’re committing to, which lowers your risk. When a manufacturer has confidence in their product, it’s not a risk for us at all.
If you’re ready to explore third party manufacturing, get in touch with us at 419-924-5566 or contact us here. Let’s talk through your goals and options, and see how CTI help you figure out how to get products manufactured.