How to Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product

Congratulations! You’ve launched a new product. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), you’ve iterated through several developments, refining your design until you’ve settled on the production design configuration, passed relevant safety tests and completed design verification and validation. However, this innovative new product can’t launch until you find a factory to make it.

This is where many OEMs realize they can’t do it alone, and they need topartner with a contract manufacturer who has the factory necessary to put their product into paying customers’ hands.

And it’s not just small OEMs that outsource their production to a contract manufacturer. Even larger firms get to a point where the benefits of teaming up with an outside factory are just too compelling to ignore.

You may be looking to either augment or fully outsource your production. And you’re wondering, how do you find the contract manufacturer right for your product(s) and your company?

We’ve compiled just a few of the things you should look for in a potential contract manufacturing partner.

1. Look for a contract manufacturer who specializes in your industry and product type

Is your product an implantable medical device? Do you make plastic children’s toys or consumer electronics? Are you an apparel maker?

To start your search, look for a contract manufacturer with experience making the same type of product you do. Each industry has its own technical, logistical, regulatory and competitive challenges, so you’ll want to look at what each contract manufacturer specializes in. Then, you can pick a factory that has encountered and successfully resolved all of them before. Such a contract manufacturer can also help optimize material, cost, performance, yield, production volume and turnaround time that you may or may not have considered on your own.

2. Find a contract manufacturer that has a large supply chain network

By partnering with a contract manufacturer, you can benefit from their bargaining leverage with suppliers. The benefits for you are lower part costs (which can increase your profit margin and keep your retail price competitive) and shorter lead times. These are just some of the reasons many smaller OEMs opt to hand over a Bill of Materials (BOM) to a contract manufacturer and let them do the sourcing and part procurement, as well as the assembly, packaging and distribution.

3. Select a contract manufacturer that is ISO 9001 certified

Choosing a contract manufacturer that’s ISO 9001 certified increases the odds that your contract manufacturer’s quality system will match the exact regulatory requirements yours does. Not only does this decrease your noncompliance risk if you’re in a regulated industry, but conforming to these standards ensures better products, higher quality and gives you peace of mind knowing that their ISO registrars regularly audit them.

4. Evaluate the Scalability of Any Potential Contract Manufacturer

You want a factory that can deliver the scalability you need. If you’re a small niche manufacturer, that may mean minimal production runs of hundreds of units. For larger OEMs, you’ll require millions of units every year. When you’ve whittled down your list of potential contract manufacturers using the above criteria, visit and personally inspect the remaining top suppliers.

Scale is about much more than just the square footage of a shop floor. Inquire about the age, conditions, preventative maintenance and throughput of their machines. If your product requires a custom-made printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), ask how many pick-and-place machines they have and what their components per hour (CPH) rates are.

If you’ll be relying on your contract manufacturer for the warehousing of parts and finished product, consider the size of the warehouse area and temperature and humidity controls. Especially if housing your product in an unregulated area could cause degradation at elevated temperatures or moisture levels.

5. Can you handle their minimum order quantity?

Remember that initial small-scale production is just as important as meeting future demand as the product’s popularity grows. Overseas factories often require much larger minimum order quantities than contract manufacturers based in the US, so that is one reason to pick a domestic factory.

By joining forces with a contract manufacturer that meets all the above criteria, you will be well on your way to enjoying the logistics, cost and other benefits of outsourced manufacturing, all while staying focused on some of the other essential tasks of innovation, strategy and sales.

With all of the contract manufacturing partner choices out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. Partnering with RiverSide Integrated Solutions has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

About RiverSide Integrated Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly and product assembly. We employ more than 350 people and provide services to OEMs worldwide. We operate two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the US.

With all of the choices in contract manufacturers out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. RIS has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

As your one-stop shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards and resources to support all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is complex and very time-consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity.

Our total-package solutions include:

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your manufacturing project, or click contact us for a quote.

How to Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product
Article Name
How to Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product
When you’re looking to outsource your manufacturing, there are many considerations to keep in mind to help you find a factory that fits your needs.
Publisher Name
RiverSide Integrated Solutions
Publisher Logo