The Challenge of Finding Great Manufacturing Vendors

Have you found the perfect vendor for your products?

Have you found the perfect vendor for your products?

As I’ve written about before, the quality of the vendor you choose to help design, manufacture, and assemble your product can literally mean life and death, not only for your company, but also for your customer. Choosing a vendor to help create your product can be one of the most important decisions you make for your company’s future.

You have a lot riding on your vendors, which is why it blows my mind that so many people choose the vendor who turns in the lowest bid, or the vendor with a factory close by, or the vendor that takes them to the fanciest restaurant during the bid process. The problem many companies face is that finding a good vendor is hard! Here are the reasons why:

Finding A Good Vendor Takes Time

Finding a good vendor, and I mean a really, really good vendor can take time, especially if you have a specialized or highly technical product. You’ll first have to identify several vendors, possibly tour their facilities, establish a bidding process, and manage communication with multiple vendors all trying to get your business. Everyone will make grandiose promises. They may try to wine and dine you. You may even feel like some of your vendors or potential vendors are your friends.

It can take weeks, months, even years sometimes to find a really good vendor and establish a solid working routine. With the amount of effort required to build a good vendor relationship, you may be tempted to stick with a sub-par vendor rather than go through the process again, especially if you’ve been burned by bad vendors in the past.

The Bidding Process Can Be A Nightmare

The bidding process. I can hear you shivering at those words. Opening up a big manufacturing project for bids can take hundreds of hours of your time and fray your patience. You’ll likely feel like your entire life is spent on the phone or in meetings with vendors competing for the bid or hastily dispatching emails. You may have to fly around the country or even internationally to tour factory floors and speak with the vendor’s management team. When the bids do come in, you’ll need to figure out how to compare them and prioritize cost vs. creativity vs. innovation vs. reputation and track record and a dozen other things. In many instances, the bids will go back for edits and polishing. This could last for several rounds.

And when you finally choose a vendor…you may not even get what you asked for!

Walk-Throughs And Trial Periods Might Not Be Enough

Sometimes a vendor can sweet talk you right off your feet, send in a pristine bid, or offer a price so low that you can’t say no. But all the walkthroughs and strategy meetings in the world aren’t going to give you the full picture. Maybe the vendor doesn’t train its workers well, and they don’t build your product according to spec. Maybe they don’t have the capacity to double output when you get a big new client. They may try to skimp on materials to meet their extremely thin margins, which means your product could break or wear out faster than you intended and destroy customer loyalty. The truth is that until you actually work with a vendor, you really can’t know how they’ll perform, especially over the long-term.

With all these challenges, it’s no wonder that so many companies stick with a mediocre vendor. As the saying goes, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

I don’t buy this. In fact, I’ve spent years building a network of the highest quality, most responsible and trustworthy vendors available. My entire purpose is to be your vendor conduit. You don’t have to cast out a wide vendor net, endure the headaches of the bidding process, or get surprised when a promised shipment doesn’t show up on time. I’ve done all this work already. I am here to help you get your products manufactured the right away and on time. You never deal directly with the vendor, just me. I handle all the communication, instructions, and oversight on your behalf using the best vendors for your specific needs.

Save yourself from vendor headaches and frustration so that you can focus on doing contributing meaningfully to your company! Contact me at (925) 516-2082 for a FREE consultation.

Speak Your Mind