Product sourcing process diagram
Ensuring you have a maker of your great, new product is almost as important as the idea you have for that product. Undertaking the choosing of a manufacturer is called “product sourcing” and that entails getting the product produced, packaged and ready for the market you’re introducing it in and managing it with a robust product sourcing software. Here is how to choose a product manufacturer that will make sure your product has the best chance possible of succeeding.

Look for a Partner

The manufacturer you choose has to be as invested in your success as you are. If they’re not, your needs will suffer. Make sure you take the time research the market with a sourcing software solution, identify a quality manufacturer, develop the manufacturing process with them and include them as much as possible so that they feel they have a vested interest in your success.

Map out Your Needs

This is often an area that suffers in product manufacturing and development. Your needs are what will help drive the success of the product, but if you do not tell anyone about them, you run the risk that your manufacturer will fall short of your expectations and not even know it. Take the time to map out quality, schedule, delivery, packaging, communications and troubleshooting processes and expectations so that you are working off the same page throughout the process. If possible, use sourcing software suppliers to get you the best vendors, materials and manufacturing processes.

Develop a Quality Assurance Process

Your manufacturer will undoubtedly have their own, but you need to have your way of checking the quality consistency of what they are producing. US President Ronald Reagan once urged “trust but verify” as a foreign policy strategy and the same applies here. Do not rely solely on their quality assurance processes as if there’s a problem with them, you will not discover them in all likelihood until it is too late.

Build in Contingencies

Every production process will have issues that have to be addressed. How you handle those issues as they arise will determine if you are successful or not. Think long and hard about where quality issues, bottlenecks and supply chain issues could arise and map out contingency plans for if they become issues.

Setting up a successful production process involves a lot more than just finding the right vendor. You have to make sure your process is built to ensure a quality product with a timely delivery, which means you have to start planning for that early and manage the entire process with a robust product sourcing software.

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