Choosing a factory is a lot like making a hire. Personal references are preferable, but sometimes the internet serves up the best candidate.
Personal references to factories in China are rarely possible for inventors, startups and small businesses who don’t have an existing manufacturing network and/or who are mass producing an entirely new product. So, just as in hiring employees, to find a contract manufacturer for your product, you ask friends, get references to friends of friends, and search for reputable agents and/or a brokerage platforms.
That common-sense approach is the foundation of our “Pyramid” approach to factory sourcing.
However, we execute this process more reliably and quickly than you could yourself.
Our Pyramid is wider than yours. We have a much larger tier 1 and tier 2 network, which gives us a greater chance of finding a direct link to your potential supplier.
We’re better at mining the 3rd tier of the Pyramid. Even lacking a direct link, we have vetting methodology, tools and experience which allow us to more effectively identify high-potential “gems” on web platforms and trade databases.
Here are three guiding principles we follow that anyone can use together with the Sourcing Pyramid to give themselves the best chance of finding a good factory in China.
All other factors being equal (price, turnaround, etc.), rank your factory candidates from top to bottom.
Prioritize your search from top to bottom. Always start your search at the top and work your way down. That doesn’t mean waiting to hear back from personal contacts before checking Alibaba, but start your search at the top and give its followup your highest priority.
There is more potential for a “gem” (a perfect fit) the further down the pyramid you travel. Don’t discount new options simply because you don’t have personal references.
We always look forward to your questions and referrals. Please comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder to all that Chinese New Year (CNY) is February 8th. Communication with our factories indicates that 1/15-20 will be the final days of meaningful production activity and that the post CNY ramp up will be in early March. Please plan accordingly.