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Finding Overseas Manufacturer To Produce My Product Ideas?

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Their biggest hurdle in importing products from overseas is finding the right overseas manufacturer to produce their products or ideas. It is not always easy to find a reliable overseas manufacturer that consistently delivers on-time deliveries and quality products that you can sell.

To find a reliable overseas manufacturer to produce your product ideas, here are some basic steps you can take: 1) Find a reliable agent to help you find manufacturers, 2) attend trade shows in your industry, 3) research online, 4) talk to trade organization and 5) try to get a referral from someone in your industry.

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One of the most significant challenges in importing products is locating a trustworthy overseas manufacturer capable of bringing your product ideas to life. Securing a manufacturer that produces high-quality goods and ensures timely deliveries is a task that demands careful consideration and strategic planning.

To embark on this journey, there are several practical steps you can follow: enlisting the aid of a knowledgeable agent, participating in industry-specific trade shows, conducting thorough online research, engaging with trade organizations, and seeking referrals from industry peers.

These approaches can guide you towards finding a manufacturing partner that aligns with your product vision and business goals.”

Finding a trustworthy supplier to manufacture your products overseas is not always easy. There are many common sourcing mistakes that many people make as they are trying to source new products. To help you avoid these mistakes, check out our blog called 6 Common Product Sourcing or Product Procurement Errors, What You Need to Know.

Here are some ways you can find a reliable supplier to manufacture your products overseas:

Find a Buying Agent Who Knows Your Industry

A buying agent who lives and works where you want to manufacture can be an invaluable asset. An outstanding agent can help give you some great insights into the country you are looking to buy from and the factories that can or cannot produce your products.

A good buying agent can help you save time, money, and effort. Here are a few things you should look for in a buying agent:

  • Knows Your Industry – Find an agent that knows your industry. They should have many contacts from the manufacturers and fully understand the products you want to source or manufacture.

    Some agents will say they can find you anything. I would look for an agent with good contacts and relationships within the industry and with the manufacturers so that you can produce your product. This relationship and knowledge will be precious. For example, an agent now primarily sourcing and exporting shoes may not know much about bicycles and vice versa.
  • Has Local Knowledge – The buying agent should also have some local knowledge. To have this knowledge, they should live and work in the country you are buying from or have a hands-on team in the country you want to purchase from. This is important as it will help you get some excellent local manufacturing insights.
  • Be Quality-Focused – You will want to have an agent who can understand your quality requirements. This is another reason why having an agent who knows your industry is so important. For example, if you are looking to export wooden toys, they should know the rules, regulations, laws, compliance issues, and quality standards to export wooden toys to your country.

If you start exporting or sourcing products overseas, I would not suggest buying directly from a manufacturer. Some people want to do this as they think they will get a better price. This is not always the case. A good buying agent will also help save you money, time, and headaches.

Attend Trade Shows

Most countries will have trade shows where manufacturers and others will show their products. A good trade show can also show you what is already in the industry. You can learn a lot about your competition and what is new in your industry by attending trade shows.

I attend many trade shows, so I fully understand the value and purpose of trade shows, but I have also seen a decline in attendance at most trade shows. One reason is that people may not see the need for trade shows, with the internet has opened up everyone’s ability to search for manufacturers online. Another reason is, of course, travel restrictions due to coronaviruses or other issues.

Do not assume that all the best manufacturers attend or show at a trade show. This is not at all true. In many trade shows I have heard, many of the very best suppliers or manufacturers may not attend or even show at the trade shows. One reason may be that they are busy with their clients, so they may not see the need to attend a trade show.

Attending Trade Shows
Attending Trade Shows can help you with product sourcing,

Search Online at B2B Websites For Manufacturers And Trade Contacts.

Many websites are set up to help with business-to-business (B2B) trade. One of the largest and best-known is Alibaba. Though Alibaba is a Chinese-based company, they also work with other countries worldwide, so you can source many products from around the world by going to their website.

Some countries may have websites that list suppliers in their country. To find these websites, try to do some searches on Google or other search engines.

To list some of the local Vietnamese websites to help you source products from Vietnam, check out our blog called Is Vietnam Easter than China to Source Product From? Tips to Help.

Search Google And Other Search Engines

Do some searches on Google to try to find some potential suppliers. Most manufacturers do have a web presence. For example, if you are looking for wooden furniture in Vietnam, you can do some searches for:

  • Vietnamese Wooden Furniture Manufacturers
  • Vietnam Furniture Wood Manufacture
  • Vietnam Wooden Furniture Supplier
  • Furniture Wood Supplier Vietnam
  • Wooden Furniture Supplier Ho Chi Minh
  • Vietnam Wooden Furniture Vendor

In other words, you can check various keywords in various ways and in word order. Each one of these could give you some different results. Besides Google, you can also try other search engines like Bing, Firefox, and Safari to see if they will give you other results.

Contact the Trade Office Of Your Embassy And Other Trade Organizations

Many Embassies will have a Trade office or a commercial officer. The United States has the US Commercial Service Offices. Still, the purpose of the US Commercial Service is to sell American products and services overseas, not to help companies to export goods, products, or services to be sold in America.

For this reason, the US Commercial offices will usually not help you with your export or buying needs.

If you are European or of another nationality, I have heard that some of those Embassies are very friendly towards helping you find manufacturers to manufacture products and services. So it would not hurt to go to your Embassy to find out what information you can find.

Most countries will have some foreign Chamber of Commerce organizations. The Chamber of Commerce or other trade organizations will generally deal more with the country you want to export from.

For example, there is an American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and a European Chamber of Commerce. I have attended luncheons with both of these organizations, where they had speakers discussing trade issues.

Most of these organizations will also welcome non-members to come to their luncheons, so if you are in town when they have a luncheon, it could be an excellent place to find some local business connections.

A worker loading cartons to load a container, Vietnam.
A worker loading cartons to load a container, Vietnam.

Get Referrals From People In Your Industry

One of the best ways to find good manufacturers is to get a referral from people in your industry. But this is also one of the most complex types of information to get.

Giving away your production sources is generally considered a company trade secret. Most companies will not reveal their manufacturing sources, especially if they see you as a competitor.

Podcast – How Can I Find The Right Overseas Supplier?

I have had people ask me for this information, and I will typically tell them no or not to address the request. But this is generally a good resource if you are lucky enough to get a good and honest referral from someone in the industry. I say good and honest as someone may give you a name, but it may not be an excellent resource.

Someone once told me that finding a good business partner is as difficult as finding someone to marry. There is a lot of truth in the idea that finding a good source or manufacturer you can work with for a long time while developing trust between you takes time and effort.

Generally, when a manufacturing relationship is started, both sides are cautious. You are unsure if they can produce your products, and the manufacturer is also cautious as they do not know you. So trust has to be built over time, and working together is the only way to build that trust.

When you start to source or procure products from overseas, you need to have a long-term view and understand that finding the right manufacturers will take time and effort. But once you find the proper manufacturer, it will be a relationship that can last a long time and be very profitable for both parties.

If you were interested in learning more about how we can help you create, develop, and manufacture home decor and furniture products in Asia, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact Mondoro and Anita by clicking here.

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact me, AnitaCheck out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

Mondoro gives out a FREE Lookbook to anyone interested. You can receive a copy of our latest Lookbook by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Global Trade GalYou can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out listening to one of our podcasts by clicking here. 

Subscribe to our Mondoro Company Limited YouTube Channel with great videos and information by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make Sure a Manufacturer Does Not Steal My Product Ideas?

If you have a product or design that you are worried will be stolen by the manufacturer, then you can take a few steps to try to ensure this does not happen:

Do not show them everything – You do not need to give them every detail to know if they can produce the product. Just show them enough to see if they can produce and manufacture it.

Watch and Listen – Do they offer to manufacture for you or copy a product you know is a propriety product? If so, walk away. They will do the same to you as they did to others.

Ask them to sign a non-disclosure – You can ask the manufacturer and your agent to sign a non-disclosure. If they will not, then I would also walk away.

Have your legal paperwork in order – If you have a patent, trademark, and other paperwork, show it to them or let them know. They will know you are serious about the product you want to manufacture.
Many suppliers do not understand that for a manufacturer to produce your product is also a risk. Most manufacturers do not profit from a sample, product development, or even the first order. It is the repeat business where they make a profit.

What Are Some Benefits Of Global Sourcing?

There are a lot of great benefits to global sourcing. Some of these include:
Quality products – a reliable manufacturer knows quality and can produce a quality product.

Skills that your home country may not have – Not everyone is good at everything, which is true for countries and people. Some countries have a skill and labor advantage in certain products. You can use those skills and labor advantages through proper product sourcing and procurement.

Reduced Costs – Most people go overseas as it also reduces the cost of goods while giving them exceptional quality.

Research and Development – A good manufacturer will be up on technology and have done much research and development. You can then build on their knowledge to develop a better product than you would have without their skills and knowledge.

What is global sourcing?

Global sourcing is the practice of sourcing goods and services from the global market across geopolitical boundaries. It aims to exploit global efficiencies in the delivery of a product or service, including low-cost skilled labor, low-cost raw materials, and other economic factors like tax breaks and low trade tariffs.

What challenges are associated with global sourcing?

Challenges include dealing with different languages and cultures, adhering to international trade laws and regulations, managing longer supply chains, potential quality control issues, and increased risk of supply chain disruption.

How does global sourcing affect supply chain management?

Global sourcing can complicate supply chain management due to factors like longer lead times, the need for more complex logistics, currency fluctuations, and the necessity of managing relationships with suppliers across different countries and cultures.

What factors should be considered when choosing a global supplier?

Key factors include the supplier’s reliability and track record, production capacity, quality assurance processes, cost, communication efficiency, and adherence to ethical and environmental standards.

How can businesses mitigate risks in global sourcing?

Risks can be mitigated by diversifying suppliers, conducting thorough due diligence, establishing clear contracts and quality standards, maintaining strong communication, and developing contingency plans for supply chain disruptions.

Can global sourcing contribute to a company’s competitiveness?

Yes, by reducing costs, accessing unique products or technologies, and enhancing product quality through global expertise, global sourcing can significantly contribute to a company’s competitiveness in its market.

What is the impact of global sourcing on local economies?

While it can lead to job creation and economic growth in supplier countries, global sourcing can also result in job losses and industry decline in the home country if not managed with a balance of local and global sourcing strategies.

What Is Stronger Rattan Or Bamboo?

Bamboo is more robust than rattan. Some bamboo is known even to have a higher tensile strength than steel; this is why bamboo is used as scaffolding in construction in many parts of Asia. Rattan is a vine that grows in the jungles; when rattan is manufactured into furniture, it can be solid.

You can learn more by reading our blog, What Is Stronger Rattan Or Bamboo? by clicking here.

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To manufacture or make bamboo lampshades, you need to 1) properly prepare the bamboo materials, 2) build a metal frame, 3) wrap the metal frame, 4) secure the bamboo onto the metal frame, 5) spray color on top of the bamboo shade if you desire the lampshade to be a color other than natural and 6) spray a top coat on the entire shade to protect the bamboo shade’s finish.

You can read our blog about How Do You Make A Bamboo Lamp Shade? All About Bamboo Lampshades by clicking here.

Rattan Vs. Bamboo – The Differences Between The Materials Explained

Rattan and bamboo are not the same material, as they have different characteristics and uses. For example, bamboo is hollow and grows straight as a tree would. Rattan is a solid material that is easily bent and grows in rainforests as a vine.

You can learn more by reading our blog, Rattan Vs. Bamboo – The Differences Between the Materials Explained, by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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