Is my product suitable for outsourcing?
The essential question is one of labor savings versus time and shipping costs. While tooling and labor are significantly less expensive in China, it takes time and money to ship a product around the world. Here are a few considerations:
- Quantity: Chinese producers are best suited to mass-production. The number required to reach this level depends strongly on the nature of the product, but as a rough guideline this number should be greater than 500. More is better!
- Labor: A good opportunity has significant value added. As-molded or as-cast parts may well be less expensive to manufacture in China, but you will see more significant savings on products that require machining, joining, painting, plating, or other such value-added processes.
- Product value density: Roughly speaking, the product should have a value density of at least $10 per cubic foot when packed for shipping. If the value density is lower than this, it is likely that shipping costs will preclude outsourcing.
How long does the process take?
For a well-developed product with custom tooling, first articles can be available in as little as 4 weeks. Production can begin immediately after first article approval. As for shipping, customers on the East coast should allocate 5 days for air transport and 35 days for ocean transport. Elsewhere in the US, these shipping times will be lower.
How much can I save?
Depending on the nature of the product, total costs (including shipping, tooling, labor, etc.) are typically reduced by 15-50%.
I have a great idea and don’t want it stolen! How will you protect my intellectual property rights?
Your intellectual property rights are a serious concern. Working with reputable factories is the most important defense. Other protections include withholding or consigning parts (for example, key components and software), and spreading components over multiple factories, with a final site responsible for integration.
My product needs to conform to UL/CSA/ASTM/CPSA/etc. specifications, can your factories accommodate these strict requirements?
No problem. Our suppliers are familiar with American standards for product requirements. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that your product will meet all necessary requirements and is ready for import.
Can I visit the factory?
Absolutely, Acquest is happy to arrange for, and even accompany you on, a factory visit.