Getting a Supplier or Manufacturer on board!

Supplier and Manufacturer’s

Time and time again, many entrepreneurs end up hitting a stone wall and losing momentum as it pertains time to really source products. If it be manufacturing your personal product or finding a supplier to buy wholesale from, they aren’t always simple to find.

In this post, we’re likely to consider the basics of sourcing a supplier for your following project. We shall look at some places to locate, how you need to approach them and what things to ask.

The Basics – What Are You Looking For?

For the goal of this post whenever we make reference to suppliers, we’re discussing anyone that’s the ability to offer you products and inventory. This encompasses manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

There are always a ton of helpful resources can be found online by simply searching Google. However when you begin, there are certainly a few things you need to know and decide.

First, you need to figure out what type of supplier you’re looking for. This can help determine the terminology you will need to use within your research.

There are many options, with common being:

  • A supplier to make your personal product idea
  • A supplier, who are often a supplier, wholesaler or distributor to buy already existing brands and products
  • Someone to provide products and fulfill orders of already existing brands and products
  • Domestic vs. Foreign Suppliers

A vintage question when trying to find suppliers if you intend to manufacture or wholesale is whether you intend to source domestically or from overseas. Foreign suppliers can make reference to any location overseas but usually, and for the goal of this post, identifies Asian countries like China, India and Taiwan.

You likely already know just that it’s more often than not cheaper to source your products somewhere else in the world but there’s much more compared to that decision than simply the upfront investment and cost per unit.

Both domestic sourcing and sourcing from somewhere else in the world have their advantages in addition to disadvantages which we shall have a look at below:

Domestic Sourcing

Advantages

  • Higher manufacturing quality and labor standards
  • Easier communication without language barrier
  • Marketing appeal to be produced in North America
  • More straightforward to verify reputable manufacturers
  • Faster shipping time
  • High intellectual property right protection
  • Greater payment security and recourse

Disadvantages

  • Higher manufacturing costs
  • Less product choice (There are many items which just aren’t produced in North America anymore)

Overseas Sourcing

Advantages

  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • Large number of manufacturers to pick from
  • One-stop services like Alibaba have caused it to be simple to navigate suppliers

Disadvantages

  • Lower perceived quality from customers
  • Possibly, lower manufacturing and labor standards
  • Little intellectual property protection
  • Language and communication barrier could be difficult to navigate
  • Difficulty/costly to verify manufacturer and visit on-site
  • Longer shipping time
  • Cultural differences running a business practices
  • Product importation and customs clearance
  • Less payment security and recourse

 

Good websites we found, for those particularly in the UK but can be used anywhere are The UK Trader and The Wholesaler websites which have large directories for suppliers and wholesalers.

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