Manufacturing a new, unique product is interesting for retailers and a wonderful opportunity for growth. Learning how to manufacture a product, however, can be a formidable path, especially if you don’t know where to begin.
How to manufacture a product? Several essential steps to follow are listed below:
Develop a product concept
The first stage in the process of how manufacturing a product is developing a product concept. This means considering a new product idea that is both original and attractive to your target market. Anything less will lead to products that customers can gain elsewhere or don’t want at all.
The two most essential components you should be thinking of at this stage in product manufacturing are need and target. If your product meets an unfulfilled need and there is a target market to sell it to, these are signs of your product’s success on the market.
Create a prototype
Once you have created a product concept that is financially practical and meets the need of your target market, it is time to create a prototype as the second stage of how to manufacture a product.
A prototype is a preparatory product model from which you and your manufacturers will produce your final product. Your prototype can be either physical or digital, but either way, it needs to be a tangible enough rendering of your vision that your producers can use as the basis for the products they manufacture for you.
Some producers have a product development process where you can manufacture and develop prototypes alongside your manufacturer.
Once your prototype is prepared, it is time to find a manufacturer that can manufacture your product so you can get to selling.
The first thing you will need to do is decide what you need your producer to do. Think of the following criteria and ask your manufacturer about them:
- Logistics: How rapidly can they manufacture and ship products? What carrier(s) do they employ? How much money do they get for shipping and handling? What packaging do they utilize?
- Quantity: Are there minimum order quantities (MOQs)? Can the operation scale? Do they provide custom order sizes?
- Price: How does price scale with quantity? Are there affordable options?
- Reliability: Search for a supplier with a good background, full licensing, and a trustworthy production line. You should also examine the Better Business Bureau and any other company reviews to make sure there haven’t been any complaints registered.
- Capability: Before cooperating with a manufacturer, you want to be confident whether the product you want is within their manufacturing capabilities.
- Labor practices and safety: Labor rules and practices differ by country and manufacturer. A good way to evaluate a manufacturer is to see whether it is verified by the Fair Labor Association or has received any other labor and safety licenses.
- Environmental impact: Another factor you may want to take into account is your manufacturer’s environmental impact.
Acquire quotes from multiple sources
Once you have found a few suppliers, verified them for reliability, and ensured that they will be able to deal with your logistical, cost, and quantity requirements, it is time to start obtaining quotes. Quotes are price estimates based on your requirements.
To get a quote, you will need to be in contact with suppliers, typically through email. The last thing you want to do when starting a working relationship is to bombard your producer with emails, so incorporate all the related information upfront. That includes:
- Needs: Be clear about what you want from the supplier (i.e., I would like to potentially cooperate with you to manufacture a new furniture product for my store and would like to ask for a quote).
- Details: Give as much detail as you can about the product you want. Ideally, you will incorporate images of your prototype or 3D renderings, material information, and any other related info about your product.
- Numbers: The last thing you must include for obtaining a quote is numbers—typically how much of the product you want. You should also include if you want to rush manufacturing or any other numerical considerations that might affect the price.
Based on your quotes, you should then reduce the number of your top manufacturers, typically based on the price at this stage. It is recommended to select at least two practical options so you can juxtapose their final products and make a final decision based on quality.
With your top competitors chosen, you can then take action and order samples. Samples are test products produced in single or very small quantities for retailers to evaluate before starting full production.
A sample is essential for making sure that your final product is what you want it to be and can act as a point of development with your producer to manufacture the final product.
Ordering samples is very easy. All you have to do is ask for a sample via email from your producer and provide your prototype and any guidelines; the manufacturer will utilize that as the basis for a sample product.
Set your terms
Once you have chosen a producer and tested and finalized your finished product, you should then start to negotiate with your supplier.
At this stage which is regarded as one of the most important stages of how to manufacture a product, the main issues you have to talk about and possibly negotiate are your payment terms, order quantities, and logistics.
Manufacture your product
At this point in the process, there is little to do other than be in contact with your supplier and wait for your products to be produced. While definitely not a requirement, you can gain a patent for your product at this time.
There are several appealing and compounding steps towards bringing a product dream or design to reality. We must apply ourselves to every stage of that process to accomplish a good result.
Learning how to manufacture a product is a critical concern of most producers and they should be fully aware of all the requirements and steps to know how to manufacture a product.