In a developing economy, manufacturing plays a key role by availing products in bulk. It has now become even more important to make production and early-stage product development locally accessible. However, establishing a manufacturing plant is easier said than done.
Bringing your product idea to life after obtaining a patent requires huge commitments of time, capital, strategy, and expertise. Once you hire the necessary employees, you’ll have to bear the responsibility of running and managing a manufacturing plant. While overseeing the manufacturing process can be overwhelming, it can be done.
The sheer amount of personal satisfaction and financial rewards that follow the success of a company makes every moment of struggle and hard work worthwhile. Below is a detailed outline of how you can start manufacturing once you’ve secured a patent for your product idea.
Outsource to a third-party manufacturer
As a startup, you may be limited in available resources that can be used to produce your product in bulk. After all, what good is a product idea if you can’t adequately produce it? You may have a firm understanding of the materials, design, and budget needed for your product vision, but you may fall short in terms of other crucial resources like skilled labor and equipment.
This exact situation is why most businesses venturing into the manufacturing world have to rely on third-party manufacturing facilities to turn their prototypes or ideas into tangible products. But how do you find an ideal manufacturer to produce your product in bulk? Before you hire a manufacturing facility and start the manufacturing process, there are a few things you should take care of.
Perform market research
Investigating and studying the market will help you ensure that a customer base who is willing to buy your product exists. Assess the level of competition within the industry and how your product stands out from similar products before committing precious financial resources.
License your product
Here, you’ll have to decide whether you want to license the idea to the third party with experience or sell the product yourself. Licensing your product concept is essentially renting your idea to the manufacturing facility to handle production, marketing, and distribution, so you don’t have to.
Test your product through a prototype
The manufacturer you hire produces the products according to your specifications. This is why it is important to test out a prototype before beginning mass production.
Overseas manufacturers vs. U.S. factories
There is no right way to settle the dispute between overseas manufacturing and domestic manufacturing. Whether you should have your products produced in the U.S. or overseas depends on your budget, product type, and personal preference.
Both options have unique logistical challenges. If you choose U.S-based factories, you can benefit from the massive audiences that prefer the U.S. made products over products that are manufactured overseas. Opting for domestic manufacturing also allows you, as the designer, to order small batches of a product from these factories.
With overseas manufacturers, they often require product designers to place large orders before they agree to ship. Remember, ironing out logistics kinks will, undoubtedly, be simpler if your manufacturer is in close proximity to your business. However, be sure not to rule out overseas manufacturers, as they can offer lower prices and have easy-to-meet prerequisites.
What you should look for in a third-party manufacturer
Look for a factory that is already producing similar products. It will be easier to deal with a company that already understands the ins and outs of manufacturing likeminded products.
Demonstrates experience and knowledge
You should also partner with a company that is well-versed in the manufacturing business and can answer your queries with ease. A company with experience in the industry can recommend other service providers that can enhance your product’s quality.
Strike companies that have a bad name off your list of possible third-party manufacturers. Avoid, at all costs, those companies that have records of non-compliance with manufacturing regulations or those companies with a record of malpractice.
Start your own manufacturing plant
If you decide to take the solo route, here are several tips to ensure the success of your manufacturing endeavors.
Consider the location of your manufacturing plant
Planning your manufacturing plant location requires a two-fold approach. Firstly, you’ll want to determine which location is the best for you to set up a shop. To keep the operation cost low in the initial stages of the business, you can opt for a work-from-a-home strategy. Secondly, you’ll want to determine where you intend to sell your products. Conduct research on several market channels to determine how the location will affect your market reach.
Make the production process more efficient
Efficiency goes a long way in the realization of your production goals. An efficient and streamlined production process will not only keep your production cost low but will help you ensure you produce more product per day. Maintain a close relationship with your product design team and the production team to minimize production setbacks.
Another effective way of promoting efficiency is to implement automation systems. Big or small, it’s best to partner with an industry expert like Telstar Instruments when it comes to automation systems, as the smallest bug or glitch can cause massive headaches for your production team.
Start small and plan ahead
Manufacturing tangible products can be expensive, depending on the level of expertise required, specifications of the product design, and capital expenditures. During the initial stages of production, you can’t afford to make any expensive mistakes, which is why it’s crucial to run lean and mitigate any associated risks when possible. As you initiate the manufacturing process, make sure you maximize on manual labor, and regularly review your bill of materials to establish leverage tools that don’t cost a fortune.