How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer

How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer

You have a great new product that you want to take global. Now, you need to find someone to manufacture it. Do you know where to find a manufacturer overseas? I do.

Contract manufacturing is when a company arranges for a local or overseas manufacturer to make all or part of the product. The hiring firm provides a design or formula to the contract manufacturer to replicate or improve. The selling and marketing of the product is left to the hiring company, unless other arrangements have been made. This process is also referred to as outsourcing if it involves a business function, especially if it’s done across borders, or global sourcing if it involves finding an overseas manufacturer.

Factors to consider before selecting an overseas manufacturer

Before starting the process of finding an overseas manufacturer, you need to determine if you are ready. I suggest considering:

  1. “Is Global Sourcing For You,” which discusses 20 questions to ask before you begin. Make sure you have determined that global sourcing is right for your business before proceeding.
  2. “How to Develop and Price a New Product for the Global Marketplace” because it emphasizes the importance of checking if there is a similar product to yours already on the market. If there is a similar product, see how your idea can be differentiated and use the competing product’s price point as a starting point for yours.
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Characteristics to assess in a potential overseas manufacturer:

  • A clean, well-managed facility
  • ISO certification, meaning the company is meeting quality standards
  • Drop-ship capabilities (direct to customers)
  • Flexibility to absorb market fluctuations
  • Ability to keep up with product demand
  • Synergies with your company
  • High reputation in the marketplace
  • Financial stability
  • Ability to solve your specific production challenges

When analyzing supplier pros and cons, consider other key questions. For instance, how far away is the supplier? Does the U.S. have any trade agreements with the country, and how do you plan to pay for the goods? What is the product quality like? Are you in a hurry, and will the supplier be able to meet your demands on time?

Many business owners turn to overseas suppliers to curb rising production costs and boost global competitiveness. To ensure you’re on the right track to success, keep the following things in mind:

  1. Source to a country with low labor costs and good quality control
  2. Source to a country with comfortable and easily accessible transportation
  3. Source to a country where you understand the language
  4. Source to a country where you can respect and abide by the laws
  5. Source to a country where you trust the people you do business with

Where to look for help in finding a product manufacturer overseas:

Now that you know how to select an overseas manufacturer, it’s time to find one. These resources provide information on potential manufacturers:

1. Global Sources

A B2B marketplace connecting buyers, suppliers, and manufacturers.

2. Alibaba

Here you can find manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, importers, buyers, and wholesalers.

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A product sourcing and supplier discovery platform for procurement professionals, engineers, plant and facility management.

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