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How to find a manufacturer?


Finding a good quality manufacturer is essential for creating good products. With good quality products, sales increase, and business grows. A reasonable profit margin is what a business owner looks for, after all. Manufacturing costs are especially cheap in China. This article will show you more details about searching for a good manufacturer for your business.

What’s the manufacturer?

The manufacturer is someone who creates finished products from raw materials. First, they source all the raw materials from different suppliers. Thus, forming a supply chain. An assembly line is formed using various tools and testing equipment. The manufacturers also hire skilled people to make the product. To perform these tasks, it is essential to hire good manufacturers.

Where do products begin?

The raw material is first processed in a factory to create a product. For instance, the wood goes through many processes like cutting, shaping, and varnishing. It is then painted to create final products such as pencils, benches, and desks. After a product is complete, it is tested for quality. These tasks are handled by some qualified professionals.

Is the manufacturer a supplier?

The supply chain of a product includes both manufacturers and suppliers. A manufacturer may act as a supplier, but the two terms have different purposes. Manufacturers and Suppliers can be distinguished based on the following characteristics:

  • Manufacturers use raw materials to produce products, while suppliers deliver those products to retailers and consumers.
  • Unlike suppliers, manufacturers can provide their products without the need for a supplier, whereas suppliers rely on manufacturers to fulfill their needs.
  • Suppliers are the link between manufacturers and consumers.
  • The manufacturer is a producer, whereas the supplier is a distributor.

What kind of manufacturers can you rely on?

reliable manufacturer

While searching for good manufacturers, you have to consider many factors. How is the reputation of the supplier in the industry? Is the manufacturer industry certified? Have they been involved in fraudulent activities in the past? You can rely on wholesalers with good contacts in the industry. They can be called upon for future long-term projects too. Let take a look at some points to consider below:

Professional certification

Most good suppliers are industry-certified professionals. Being certified increases the reliability of the manufacturer. It is akin to a rubber stamp of quality on the products created by them. Businesses can source their products from them without fear of fraud or damage. There is also an assurance of on-time delivery of products. Manufacturers of a specific niche can certify within that niche. This makes them more attractive to businesses of that niche.

Industry reputation

Some factories may have been involved in minor infractions. Others may have committed major frauds like intellectual property violations. Regardless of how big or small a problem seems, every business owner should check the background of prospective suppliers. You can easily trust well-known brands Manufacturers. It is also essential to avoid suppliers that are involved in acts like child labor. Such things can damage a company’s reputation.

Financial Stability

The financial status of a manufacturer can greatly affect your collaboration. A poor financial situation can lead to declining service levels, low-quality things, and rapid staff turnover. So, before signing a contract, it is important to check the financial stability of the manufacturer.

By evaluating the financial health of the manufacturer, you can make an informed decision. Over the past four decades, many manufacturers have come and gone. Thus, make sure you perform your due diligence to avoid wasting your time and money with an unstable manufacturer.

Past experience

Choosing a manufacturer who produces goods similar to yours is a better choice. You can ask them how many similar projects they have completed in the past. This will give you an idea of what they are capable of if you contact them.

Further, you can ask for contact details for other companies to which they supply the same goods. This way, you can discuss the supplier’s past experiences with the other company. If other companies have vetted your supplier, you can go to sign a contract.

How to find a suitable manufacturer?

find a suitable manufacturer

It is beneficial to have experienced manufacturers on your side when you are new to the field. Such suppliers will guide you from the raw material stage to the finished product with ease. The following is a guide that shows you how to find suitable manufacturers for your product:

Preparing a product concept

Before searching for manufacturers, it is better to design a product model. You can also outline the concept of your product in writing. By doing this, you can better explain your product to a supplier. They can also get a clear idea of what is to be manufactured on seeing your model.

The model does not have to be perfect. The supplier can also give you suggestions on whether it will work based on their past experiences. Many business owners use Autocad to create virtual 3d models. You can also use 3d models to show your products to manufacturers.

Researching and collecting industry information

Before approaching manufacturers, it is also important to research your product’s niche. If it’s an existing product, you can talk to your product users to know their experience. Does it need to be improved? You can even visit trade fairs selling your products to collect customer experiences. Do thorough research about the available suppliers in your product field. Some of the points to consider are:

Lead time length: Lead time is the time taken from raw material to product creation and shipping. Too much lead time means customers waiting for months to receive out-of-stock orders.

Custom orders: Some clients may want to customize their orders based on different occasions. In such cases, the manufacturer must be ready to take up such orders.

Setup fees: You must do comparative research about the cost price offered for each unit. You can go for the one offering good quality at reasonable prices. You will be shelling out lesser amounts for larger units. Another factor to look for is set up or hidden cost. Some manufacturers charge a fee to organize their equipment for manufacturing.

Defect Policy: In case of any defective order, will they expect you to bear the cost for the same? Or can some negotiation be reached beforehand? You should prepare yourself to handle defect policy issues.

Sustainability and Ethics: Look out for whether the supplier ethically is sourcing raw materials. Moreover, check if there are no children employed in their factories.

Minimum order quantities: Before beginning production, ask the supplier about the minimum quantity they will accept. The lesser number, the better.

Using a supplier database

manufacturer database

You can search for good suppliers online using many resources. Some are:

    Global sourcing specialists (GSS): They are a good reference to find overseas manufacturers. Good for start-ups; they will match you with compatible suppliers worldwide.

    Marker’s Row: This source is good for businesses searching for wholesalers within the country. For new business owners, they also offer to guide through the manufacturing process.

    Alibaba: World-famous B2B company Alibaba is excellent in finding suppliers outside the US. It contains a list of manufacturers who can be contacted directly. They are diverse and come in all price ranges.

Consulting a sourcing expert

Even after doing deep research, you may have still missed out on some things. In such cases, a sourcing expert comes in handy. With their expert knowledge, they can give you more ideas about some topics overlooked in this field. There may be hidden costs or some inside information about manufacturers you considered before. They can better help you choose a good manufacturer.

Keeping communication with your manufacturer

You need to always be in touch with the manufacturer. You can keep negotiating prices and inform them of any changes in product design. In case you encounter any ambiguous information about your suppliers, be sure to ask for clarification. In case you do finally choose someone, inform the others too about your decision.

Domestic vs Overseas manufacturers

Overseas manufacturers

Depending on the country, many times businesses choose to produce their goods within the country or outside. Factors such as cost, taxes, laws, etc., are usually considered while making this decision. Taking both into consideration, let’s analyze them in detail:

Domestic Manufacturer Pros:

  • If you choose a domestic supplier, the shipping costs and customs fees are reduced. This is especially true for goods for sale within the country.
  • Businesses are better in control of the manufacturing process. They can easily drop in to check if things are going as per schedule.
  • The lead times for producing and shipping the product will be reduced greatly.
  • Communication becomes easier when the buyer and wholesaler are both locals.
  • People are more prone to buy goods made in their own country as opposed to those made overseas.
  • Due to the fact that the goods are being manufactured domestically, the land laws protect the rights of the business owner to intellectual property.

Domestic Manufacturer Cons:

  • When it comes to domestic manufacturers, they have to obey the strict laws applied in the country. This includes cleaner and well-maintained facilities. Hence the cost of manufacturing is also high.
  • Some regions have laws about manufacturing extra inventory and storing it. In such cases, overseas suppliers come to mind.
  • Some countries have strict labor laws, which result in higher wages for workers. This also adds to the total cost.

Overseas Manufacturer Pros:

  • Labor costs in the US are four times greater than those in China. Thus, by cutting labor costs, you can achieve higher margins and lower manufacturing costs.
  • In comparison, international production units can create thousands of units in a single cycle.
  • Some countries overseas can produce a wide variety of products, unlike domestic manufacturers. Products ranging from electronics to simple toys are being produced.
  • There are many manufacturers in overseas countries, which gives product developers a range of options. Websites like Alibaba make it easy to locate international manufacturers.

Overseas Manufacturer Cons:

  • The shipping cost and other customs fees increase a lot when we sell products made overseas in the local market.
  • Having the production unit based overseas makes it difficult for the business owner to monitor production. This may lead to lead to fraud if the manufacturer is not honest. On the other hand, hiring a third party to check the unit from time to time is also costly.
  • With people from another country, communication can become difficult. If either one of you speaks a common language, this can be avoided.
  • As people tend to buy items made in their own country, there is the possibility of goods made overseas creating negative press.
  • The protection of intellectual property rights is absent outside the country. This can lead to ideas copied and sold outside by other manufacturers.

Leelinesourcing: Help you find the most suitable manufacturer

the most suitable manufacturer

Leelinesourcing is a company based in China that specializes in product sourcing. They cater to small and medium-sized businesses. They deal with sourcing products manufactured in mainland China. Let us see how Leelinesourcing can fulfil a company’s manufacturing needs.

Find cost-effective productions

Leeline can assist you in finding a manufacturer for your product that is cost-effective. They do not have a minimum order quantity(MOQ) for manufacturing. Hence no matter how small the quantity, it can be produced at no extra cost. The company picks five quotations from different suppliers. They bargain with them to provide quality products at a low cost. Services will be charged on the order’s final price.

Communicate with Chinese Manufacturers

The agents at Leelinesourcing has a good knowledge of the Chinese market. They will connect potential customers with trustworthy suppliers in China. Even for rare goods, the customer service representatives will find a reliable wholesaler for clients. These agents are also based in China, so they have easy access to local suppliers in the Chinese market. The language barrier usually existing due to overseas manufacturing gets removed.

Negotiate with Chinese manufacturers

The Chinese agents at Leelinesourcing are experts at haggling prices with the local suppliers. Being from China gives them a distinct advantage over foreign buyers. This will make sure that good quality items are produced at low prices. The agents oversee the entire process. They start a dialogue with suppliers and get product samples from them. Once the business owner is happy with the sample, the agent negotiates for the lowest possible rates. The agents tell the final rates to the customer. Once satisfied, the customer can choose the desired supplier.

Transparent price and process

Leelinesourcing makes sure that products are being manufactured properly in real-time. There is honest and consistent feedback. This also ensures on-time delivery. Prices are decided before production begins, and there is complete transparency. There are no hidden or extra processing charges added later on. The only charges are on the order amount.

FAQ about manufacturer finding:

manufacturer finding

How to find a manufacturer in China?

Many people want to outsource manufacturing to China due to low costs. But, finding a supplier in China can be a difficult task. Your first decision must be whether to work with a large manufacturer or a smaller one. If you are a small or medium family-owned business, the small would be more suitable. For large-scale businesses, industrial manufacturers would be better.

Next, gather information about various B2B websites listing suppliers information. Try local websites such as made-in-china.com, alibaba.com, and bossgoo.com. Contacting suppliers on these sites gives you quick responses. Based on your needs, such as cost, MOQ, etc., narrow down your list of suppliers. Speak to these suppliers and understand their processes. You will find someone that suits your manufacturing needs. You can also hire local men to cross-check the supplier and their businesses. Once everything falls into place, you can begin production.

How do I get my idea manufactured?

First, be clear about whether your idea is capable of being a product. Then outline the concept of your product or create a model of it. Next, research some manufacturers that can mass-produce your products at reasonable rates. You will also have to gather and decide on certain parameters to finalize suppliers. Factors like cost-per-unit, minimum order quantity (MOQ), and sustainable sourcing must be considered.

Also, the cost of defective products will be borne by whom. Check for setup and other hidden costs. Is the lead time short? Will they be willing to produce custom products on demand? Would you like to make your products at home or overseas? Then you can begin speaking with manufacturers. Based on which of them agrees to your criteria, you can choose them. Finally, you can begin production.

How much does it cost to hire a manufacturer?

In the product process, we find that there are three types of manufacturing costs. Let us see each one in detail below:

     Total manufacturing cost: This is the total sum of the resources spent on manufacturing a product. There are three resource components in this. They can be direct or indirect components.

     Direct Manufacturing cost: All materials are directly part of the manufacturing process. It can be the labor force or raw materials.

     Indirect Manufacturing cost: These include costs not tangibly involved in the process. It could be maintenance costs or utility bills etc.

The three cost components are as follows:

     Raw materials: These are materials used to create the product.

     Labor force: The staff who assemble and refine the products.

     Overheads in production: Indirect materials or maintenance of machines. Even labor in a support role is included here.

There is also a formula for calculating total manufacturing cost as follows:

     Manufacturing cost = Sum Of (Raw material cost, Labour cost, Production overhead cost)

How can I buy products directly from the manufacturer?

You can buy products directly from suppliers by creating a good working relationship with them. To do this, you must first have a registered business. It can be large, medium, or small-scaled. For tax purposes, suppliers lean towards registered companies. Next, build and maintain a website for your business. It can be professional and simple. You can include this website in your dealings with the manufacturers. The location of the sale of your products should be clear to you. Even manufacturers would like to understand where you are coming from.

Go online and browse for manufacturers who will make products for you. It is helpful to have people from your own niche. They would have experience of creating good quality products. If you are looking for overseas manufacturers, go to countries’ local B2B websites to get their supplier data. You can contact them on these sites directly and do business with them.

Final thoughts on how to find a manufacturer:

how to find a manufacturer

Finding a great manufacturer for your business is not very difficult if you have a clear vision. You must have a plan about how you want your products manufactured. You need to calculate a reasonable cost and know each process clearly. If you are a newbie, it is advisable to consult sourcing experts. Sourcing experts tend to know the secrets of the underbelly of manufacturing.

Whenever choosing suppliers, you should look for the industry’s reputable and certified manufacturers. The manufacturers of prominent brands are also highly favored. The next best are manufacturers that specialize in goods in your niche. It’s important to find quality products at affordable prices. The relationship between your manufacturing company and you is very important. This increases the likelihood of future collaborations. Before hiring a manufacturer, you should prepare your product plans. By doing so, you will be able to find a quality manufacturer.


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