When it comes to outsourcing your manufacturing, building a strong relationship with your factory is key. After all, they are going to be responsible for producing your designs, so it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page. Here are a few tips for building a successful relationship with your offshore factory.
1) Establish clear expectations from the beginning. Make sure both you and your factory are aware of what you expect in terms of quality, delivery time, and price. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
2) Make sure you have a project manager who can act as the middleman. This will make sure any issues are communicated back and forth effectively, without any complications or miscommunications. A good project manager will have experience in the country you’re manufacturing and understands the cultural norms and nuances of your factory.
3) Be patient – things may not always move as quickly as you’d like them to. While many factories pride themselves on their fast turnarounds, sometimes this can get in the way of quality. It’s better to ask for slightly slower production times if it means getting a higher standard of product. Quality is important – both to you and your customer!
4) Plan ahead and give yourself enough time for any unforeseen delays. If you give yourself a few extra weeks to get the products ready for shipment, you’re more likely to have a smoother experience and will put less pressure on the factory.
5) Don’t micromanage. You cannot do everything yourself, and that’s okay! Leave room for your factory to try new things and be creative with their work. After all, they know what sort of methods are working well for them day-to-day. If you’re too hands-on, you might interrupt the flow of production and slow things down – especially if they’re already under pressure.
6) Act like a true partner. Show your factory that you appreciate their work and the effort they put in for your business. Celebrate successes together and learn from the failures. This will help cultivate loyalty and trust between both parties, ensuring smoother production times in the future. Trust us, they appreciate it more than you can imagine!
7) Pay on time. No one wants to deal with an unreliable customer. Make sure you pay all outstanding invoices in a timely manner, and provide clear payment instructions for your factory. This will make it easier for them to keep track of payments and ensure they get the money they are owed.
8) Use their knowledge to your advantage! They’ve been in business far longer than you, so they may already have suggestions for how things could run more smoothly. For instance, if you’ve never worked with a shipping company in their country, ask them for a referral. They will be more than happy to help!
9) Be flexible with your timelines and willingness to change or adapt ideas if necessary. Being stubborn about things isn’t going to get you anywhere – in fact, it might just slow down progress. Remember that everyone works differently – so don’t be afraid to try something new!
10) Lastly, don’t stress out. If you’re constantly worrying about deadlines and budgets, it’s probably time to take a step back and see what changes need to be made. The more relaxed you are, the easier things will go for everyone involved.