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Getting Something Made; Contract Manufacturing

    • 1 posts
    July 27, 2012 1:02 AM EDT

    That's Great. MJ has provide such good knowledge regarding contract manufacturer . I was just wanted to know from some experienced person and i just got this forum and found it good.

    • 1 posts
    May 31, 2011 6:32 AM EDT

    Hi guys,

            THis is Howie from EpsilonChina. I am currently running a manufacturing company in China, looking for US customers aiming for outsourcing. I'd glad to become your contract manufacturer.  Shoot me an email at and I am more than happy to provide quotation to you.



    • 1 posts
    May 3, 2011 4:32 AM EDT

    For free manufacturing quotes, try WMI (Weaver Manufacturing Inc) in Columbia Missouri.  They are a small contract manufacturer that has been doing business for over 27 years and remain competetive in both domestic and international markets.


    • 1 posts
    March 14, 2012 9:20 AM EDT

    I am looking for a contract manufacturer to build a product I have designed.

    I have a prototype that I had made up at a local metal shop.  It is very simple and simply requires two peices to be welded together. Would love for it to be american made. Anyone know of a CM that would handle this kind of work. All I keep finding is electronics manufacturers.  Mine might be too simple.



    • 15 posts
    August 22, 2012 11:17 PM EDT

    To add to the list of business portals I would like to recommend my website

    Kenny Schwimmer, Online Marketing Executive

    • 343 posts
    May 2, 2006 7:37 AM EDT

    An old friend is the principal of a company that has been working in China and Taiwan since the early 80s. Worked with him on several projects. Has an office on both countries - maybe moreby now. Great guy to work with. Chris Davis is his name. Does a lot in apparel and has been overseas for so long, he has the "in" with many factories and the personal contacts, too. MJ above appears to have the right experience and knowledge as well.

    ACI International 2018 East Prairie Circle, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 768-0888

    Great Thread!


    Richard Arnold · Key Concept Writers · Business Communication: The "Key" To Success· Law of Attraction Blog · Life Ain`t Brain Surgery Blog

    • 13 posts
    April 30, 2006 7:36 AM EDT
    For those who need consumer packaged goods manufactured in Southern California I would recommend my co-packer Pacifica Foods (Corona, CA). They are a smaller co-packer who really go the extra mile for start-ups.

    It`s the little things they do that help us with each of our runs. Providing temporary storage (free of charge), connecting us with great raw material providers, and a willingness to answer as many questions as we can throw at them.
    • 13 posts
    May 24, 2006 7:38 AM EDT
    Follow-up to my previous post.

    I think what makes our contract manufacturer so good is their clientele as a whole. About 70% of their business is small business work. This is great for us because they are used to getting start-up questions. For almost everything we ask they have solved some time in the past. Nothing helps you sleep better than having a competent business partner.

  • MJ
    • 3 posts
    April 5, 2006 5:45 AM EDT

    Finding Contract Manufacturing sources can be a daunting task for any company, let alone a fledgling organization with tight cash flow constraints.

    In today`s hypercompetitve marketplace, it is vital to work with a company that has significant presence in low-cost countries throughout the world. Today it is China and India, tomorrow it will be the Korea`s, and the next day countries in Eastern Europe. It is continually evolving and technology is of course driving this evolution.

    Companies need to be able to leverage low cost country sources to effectively compete in a global marketplace.

    - Constrained resources
    - Lack of local presence/expertise
    - Long, complex product flows
    - Evolving regulations
    - High costs of poor quality (failure)
    - Managing flexibility & responsiveness

    Common Issues in going offshore: Not having a clearly defined strategy for your product, not having clear concise drawings/specifications or prototypes, relying on ISO/QS certifications, freight estimation, using price as the key deciding factor, only speaking with one factory or single sourcing the contract manufacturing, not having a back-up factory should the terms become unfavorable, and finally, finding a relaible freight forwarding company to work with the factory to ship and ultimately clear customs.

    When working with clients to find contract manufacturing opportunities, whether it be Stateside or Offshore, here is my approach:

    This approach assumes you have a prototype built and are ready to launch your product. It also assumes you have performed your due diligence and market analysis of what you can ultimately sell your product for to the consumer.

    1- First and foremost, does your product have a high labor content? If yes, then you need to go offshore. With US labor rates upwards of $15-20/hr. fully loaded, you will never find a factory competitive enough. If no, then you will be able to find a good quality source within the USA with relative ease.

    2-  Understand your budget and your "True" cost of manufacturing the product here in the United States. What does it actually cost you to produce the final product? This is a key piece of the model which many people overlook.

    3- Develop a "Target" price for your product to be produced. In essence, what would you like your total spend to be per unit. Understanding your total cost is extremely important. 

    4- Find a company who can work with you in various capacities to help you find contract manufacturing sources in low cost countries. Prior to searching for a partner, decide how you want the relationship to develop. For instance, do you simply want to pay a 1-time fee for an introduction to a factory or group of factories in China/India/etc? Or, do you want the company to play a larger role in the introduction, negotiating terms, negotiating freight, and program mangement of the goods? Either scenario is fine, you just need to understand how in depth your role will be. If you choose the former, you can antipate traveling to the factory at least on a quarterly basis to maintain the relationship.

    When an existing customer or a potential customer approaches us, we work in various ways. For instance, we have a client who owns a Baby Clothing company who sources everything in China including all of the textiles as well as the production of the finished goods. He hired us to Program Manage the order flow. He hired us on a monthly retainer to cover 6 separate factories throughout southern China for the life of the Programs. He supplied us with a complete schedule of goods including the volume per unit, samples of each product, drawings and specifications. In addition, the schedule also lists how many of each product should ship on a monthly basis. We then deploy a designer that is on our W2 in Hong Kong to each respective factory. This person is solely responsible in executing the "checks and balances". If the product produced does not match the sample our client supplied, it never leaves the factory. This of course saves a tremendous amount of money for our customer in time and frustration.

    Having an office in Hong Kong allows us to take much of the guess work out of finding contract manufacturing opportunities for our clients. We have over 17 years in experience throughout Southeast Asia including China and India.  The company you ultimately choose should want to work very hard to understand your business model and ultimate goals and objectives. They should have a local presence in China or India with interpretors who truly understand OUR culture.  If the company has an American citizen who runs the offshore facility - even better.  This will help shorten the success curve!

    Hope this helps.


    Rich2006-5-1 11:4:56
    • 335 posts
    April 5, 2006 3:44 AM EDT

    For those of you who`ve already hung the "Open for Business" sign and are operating your businesses, you may have forgotten how mysterious, intimidating and confusing starting up a business can be. And it seems especially difficult for newbies to figure out how to get something made - whatever their product might be.

    It`s one of the most commonly asked questions on our radio show: "Where can I find a manufacturer?" One entrepreneur wants to have athletic shoes made. Another wants to have a new type of enclosure made. And the list goes on...

    What they`re looking for is a "contract manufacturer" -- companies that make products for people according to the customer` specifications and a purchase order. They`re located all over the U.S. as well as in low cost-of-labor hotspots around the world.

    I`d like to draw upon those of you who have already made a go of a business and have had your products made for any great resources you know of to help people locate great contract manufacturing.

    One resource we refer people to is The Thomas Register, which lists makers of all kinds of components and products. But contract manufacturing often requires custom work, specific tooling, etc.

    Do any of you know any good reps for contract manufacturers? 

    Rich2006-4-5 8:46:50

    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    April 5, 2006 6:03 AM EDT


    awesome stuff! just got my auto-notification and BLAM! here`s turnkey advice.

    thanks, mj!

    so, in the most basic way, where does someone go to find their contract manufacturer? is there a clearinghouse of leads for something like this? 

    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 2 posts
    May 4, 2012 5:52 PM EDT


    I just joined this website today (great site).  I have a startup metal fabrication shop and am very interested in reviewing/quoting your product... if I have not already missed the boat.  My business is a one man show right now but I have CNC cutting equipment as well as welding capabilities.  My current full-time job is as a manufacturing engineer.  I have experience with oxy-fuel, plasma, plasma/punching, and laser cutting.  I also have experience with press brakes, robotics, and various metal finishing machines.  I routinely work with design engineers to make products more fabrication friendly.  If you (or anyone else reading this) are interested in getting a quote for the fabrication or design consultation of your product please send me a private message with your email address and we can get the ball rolling.


  • October 24, 2012 10:09 AM EDT

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to add that Mexico has a large variety of contract manufacturing companies that are worth looking at. I will use my company as an example of the advantages to working with a company that is commercially based in USA and manufactures in Mexico. Please keep in mind these advantages could apply to other types of CMs as well!

    If you are looking for an electronic board contract manufacturing please check out or contact me (

    Being commercially run from San Diego, CA and manufacturing in Tijuana, Mexico gives us distinct advantages over Asia:

    -Labor costs and currency rates stable in Mexico. Constantly increasing overseas.
    -We ship out of San Diego giving us much lower freight charges
    -We allow higher flexibility in shipment schedules. We can accommodate shipments 1/week vs 1/month often seen overseas. This can help keep your inventory down.
    -Gauranteed better payment terms and flexibility
    -You will benefit from better communication and higher customer service.
    -We can do high and low volume at a high volume rate
    -We keep more business in America (ie: component purchasing, logistics, engineering, sales)
    -Much lower risk of counterfeit threats

    I encourage everyone to keep this in mind when searching for your next contract manufacturer. Working with a US based company with manufacturing in Mexico has numerous advantages! Let me know if you have any questions!

    Best of luck!

    Nicolas Floresta


    • 42 posts
    May 30, 2006 11:43 AM EDT

    what a great thread!  I have researched and researched for a particular hinge and have found nothing!!! I`ve tried researching companies that offer to make this hinge and tried emailing them with a description of what I was looking for and rec`d no comments back... One thing I was told but have not tried is to go to a college and speak with the head of the engineering group to see if they could do a class project to make this hinge.  The problem is, if they make the hinge, then where to go next?? and, is it necessary to have to by a container load of hinges?  They truely make it hard for the `small` companies.  Any suggestions?

    Marcy Shuler
    Scrapbook Furniture and Organizers

    • 1 posts
    July 12, 2010 1:33 PM EDT

    Hello Everyone,

    I am just starting out and thought myself very lucky to have found a local company in California with people on the ground in China. Unfortunately, eighteen months later I have instead ended up with a company that seems to not keep to schedules or costs for prototype work. Add to this the fact that I had already lined up appointments with retail buyers, only to cancel them because the prototypes were not here as promised and are now over due by twelve weeks. This company wants me to pay them $3600 for provisional patent work (which I refused to use because it was horribly written) and consulting but I haven't seen anything.

    Is this standard in the industry? Is it reasonable? They did do some consulting but by no means was it worth $3600. We do not have any type of contract in place. Can someone recommend sites or templates for a standard agreement.