How to find the perfect manufacturer
The search for the right producer is probably the biggest task in the entire procurement process. It is often not difficult to find any producer for the desired product. The challenge is to find the one that fits best to the customer’s needs and his product requirements. For some products there are over 1000 manufacturers worldwide. Each of these manufacturers has different strengths and a specific focus. Only those who identify the one that best fits their individual product will secure a decisive advantage over other competitors in the long term. The success of a brand is ultimately based on this. Through an optimal price-performance ratio of the product, sales can be maximized and possible imitators and competitors can be kept at a distance, since you are able to keep the entry barrier oft he market high enough.
With such a large number of potential manufacturers and suppliers, it quickly becomes clear that it is impossible to manually identify and compare all of them. On the well-known platforms like Alibaba, Globalsources, Made-in-China, Taiwantrade and Wer liefert was, manufacturers can list themselves and be compared manually. The main problem is that the suppliers' self-declarations are often incorrect or glossed over. Very often distortions occur, which make a decision even more difficult. Traders in particular often pay attention to a very professional external appearance and initially appear very promising on the basis of professional photos and texts. In communication, too, traders are very professional and sometimes even better positioned than a good factory. We have even experienced that sample requests were sent high-quality goods to convince the customer. The bad surprise comes after the production. Due to the opaque legal situation in Asia, the money already paid is almost always lost. This means particularly for smaller enterprises again and again a KO and the end of their business, since they cannot bear such a financial setback.
The aim is therefore to make oneself as independent as possible from the self-declarations of the suppliers and to use an objective comparison possibility, which is based on verified data and facts only. By using an automated software solution, it is possible to find and compare a large number of suitable manufacturers on the basis of data in a short period of time.
Most important criteria when selecting manufacturers:
- The fundamental question: Manufacturer or trader?
- What is the exact focus of the factory?
- How much experience does the factory have?
- Which companies have already worked with the manufacturer?
- How often have they reordered?
- What price does the manufacturer offer?
- Which certificates can the manufacturer provide?
One of the most decisive questions in sourcing is probably the distinction between manufacturers and traders. The problem is made more difficult by the fact that many traders claim to be manufacturers. For the layman it is sometimes not possible to find out the truth. Cooperation with traders results in additional costs and the communication channels are extended, which often leads to a loss of information. Furthermore, traders are usually limited when it comes to the customization of the product.
How can traders be clearly identified? There is a number of indicators that speak in favour of working together with a real manufacturer. With the help of the software, it is possible to identify which product a supplier specializes in. The higher the focus on a certain product or product group, the higher the probability that it is a factory. Many different products made of different materials are a clear sign for a trader. Another important indicator are the customers of the specific supplier. If there are more well-known brands among them that frequently reorder, i.e. have built up a long-term relationship with the corresponding supplier, there is a lot to be said for a manufacturer.
It usually turns out that a professional and specialized manufacturer with many years of experience can also provide the best price offers. Therefore the price should play a role only after careful selection and is certainly not the first criterion. This is very often disregarded. In addition, an exact price can only be given when all details and subtleties of the product are known. Often (dubious) manufacturers lure with dumping prices on platforms, which are almost never kept in reality or which are based on an absolute basic product in lowest prices. Customers should not be distracted from this.
The situation is similar with certificates. A leading specialized manufacturer who, for example, supplies customers in the USA and Europe, should know the current regulations and rules of the respective markets and should have tested and certified its products and materials accordingly. If there are well-known companies among the existing customers, it can usually be assumed that certificates are available for the corresponding products. The factory should work in accordance with the guidelines then.Platform