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September 17, 2014

Looking for the Right Contract Manufacturer?

Great, maybe we can help! Before we do, we need to make sure you are ready to conquer the world!

Step #1 Protect your Intellectual Property.

Do you have a patent? Or have you filed for your patent or received your provisional patent. (Maybe you need to contact a patent lawyer at this stage).

Looking for the right contract manufacturerStep #2 Do have a design?

And by design, I mean something more than the back of the napkin. Why? Well, once you have your idea you are going to need engineers to build it. They are going to ask for a ‘complete drawing package’. Great, What is a complete drawing package? Our manufacturing engineers are looking for 2D or 3D and/or Solid models with material specifications and dimensional requirements with assembly instructions if need be). What if your idea involves electronics? Well, then you will also need BOM (Bill of Material – which components), Gerber Files (more Electrical Engineering stuff.) This is another critical stage and you may need a design engineer to help pull this together.

Step #3 Building the prototype.

A working real-life model of your napkin idea has come to life. You can see it, touch it, feel it, redesign it possibly, make changes (there are always changes to be made). Where do you go for this? Simple. You need to find a prototype company that can help build a few to test your hypothesis. Maybe you need a 3D (link) printer, or a machine shop, or an EMS or some combination to build your initial (yes, there made new generations) prototypes.

Step #4 The Business Plan.

You have an idea – and if you could get them made then you could sell them globally! Somewhere between start-up mode and obtaining just 3% of the global market -- which will give you revenue in the $$ Billions --- you need a plan to get there. Craft your idea, seek advice, and test your theory. It’s one thing if you think your idea is fantastic. It’s another if other people are willing to buy it!

Step #5 (or 6, read below) Initial Production.

It may be a few hundred or a few thousand. We recommend finding a domestic short-run (small quantity) contract manufacturing to load up your garage. Yes, you will pay more for these but you need to achieve some sales success before you load up a warehouse! (See #7 below)

Looking for the right contract manufacturerStep #6 Sales and Marketing.

What is your go-to-market strategy? If you have a friend, who has a friend, who knows a buyer at a Huge Retail Chain and your plan is to sell them millions, you still need to show some market success. I.E. Sales! So you need to achieve some sales before someone gives you a PO (Purchase Order… you’ve seen by now engineers love acronyms) that will launch your business onto the pages of INC. (link) magazine. Maybe you decide to license your idea or product (should your license or try to sell your own product piece – with pros and cons?)

Step #7 Success is at your door. Now what?

Now you should consider a global contract manufacturer. Global, as in achieving efficiencies of scale by manufacturing overseas. That’s a story for another day. (What is Global Contract Manufacturing?)

You know what the two hardest obstacles are between #1 - #7? It takes more time and more money than you think! Most of these steps are capital-intensive (i.e. you become a check writer!) We have found that we add the most value once you have reached the point where you need mass production.

So if you are ready to launch – we’d love to speak with you! Give us a call at 404.268.8767 to see if East West is the right global contract manufacturer for you. If you are still in the process, keep plugging away. Idea creation is hard work and the payoff is going to be amazing!

East West Manufacturing

Filed Under: Business