Do you want to use a Chinese manufacturer for your company’s new products but aren’t sure how to do it? One way you can find the right manufacturer is to order a sample and check its quality. If you have questions about what to consider, here are several factors you should think about before ordering a sample.
1. Be very clear about your product requirements to the manufacturer.
You must share critical information with the manufacturer if you want the sample to meet your exact requirements. Send detailed designs, drawings, and product specifications beforehand if you have them. You can also include a list of materials and any other information that would be helpful. The more clear you are about what you want the sample to look like, the less likely there will be a misunderstanding later on.
2. Move on to another manufacturer if they can’t get the sample right.
If a manufacturer is unable to produce samples that meet your specifications, even after there have been several revisions, you should go to their competitor. When a manufacturer can not make samples according to your specifications, it could be an indication that they can’t follow instructions or they lack the capacity to make the product. If you continue to work with the company, you will probably waste a lot of time and resources. Luckily there are many manufacturers in China, so the odds are good that you will find one that is competent and can make your product.
3. Establish a budget for how many samples you would like to order.
The cost of your sample will vary depending on the type of product and its material. It could be as little as $50 or cost thousands of dollars. Samples may become more expensive if the manufacturer has to buy additional tools, molding, or other material to make your sample. If you are ordering samples from multiple manufacturers, make a budget for how much you are willing to spend. Some factories may also waive the sample fee if you promise that you will place a large order with them in the near future.
4. Ask the manufacturer if they have quality control in their plant.
There is a possibility that the sample you receive will be slightly different from the future products that are mass-produced. Find out if the manufacturer you want to work with has a system for quality control that will weed out any products that do not measure up. Mass production can test the manufacturer’s ability to work at a considerably higher volume and pace. This can make them stretch their resources and create a low-quality product.
5. Investigate the cheapest and best way to have the samples shipped to you.
If your sample is relatively small in volume, the manufacturer will probably ship it to you by air since it is more convenient and efficient. However, they may have to use a cargo ship for larger samples. Since manufacturers typically work with certain mail carriers to send product samples, ask if they can offer a discounted shipping rate.
6. Organize, Categorize, and Store Your Samples For Future Reference
After you have ordered samples from a list of potential manufacturers, it is important for you to create a system so you can keep track of them when you receive them in the mail. Take a picture of the sample, place it in a bag or box and label it. Make a note about the product, supplier, and any other information you would like to document. When you have all the samples, compare notes and choose the manufacturer you like best. You can also use the sample as a reference to see if the product’s quality has changed over time.