Looking to have your product made in China but feeling lost? Don't worry, you're not alone. Lots of new inventors face this challenge, trying to find the right company to mass produce their products.
MacroTrends’ global manufacturing report says China manufacturing output for 2021 was $4,8 billion, a 26.04% increase from 2020. At the time of writing, China manufactures just about 30% of the world's goods.
In this short guide, we're going to demystify the process of mass production in China. It's not as easy as you may think, but by the end of this, you'll have a clear roadmap.
For those who'd rather watch than read, we've got a handy video summary ready for you too.
Mass Production in China - Learn the Game Before You Lose $50k
Want to make your product in China? First, you need to understand the business landscape here. Lots of small manufacturers can handle quick, small-scale orders, but for larger projects, you need bigger factories - and they're not easy to find.
Statistics from 2018 show 85.3% of Chinese businesses were very small, 13.2% were small, and just 1.3% were large enough for big projects - China Macro Economy reports.
So, finding the right production partner in China? Your odds are about 1 in 100. And it's not just about finding any partner, but the right one for your product. Many will say "Yes" to your business (we call them "The Yes Men") even if they can't meet your needs.
Yet, we still see high-tech products from China in Western markets. How? The successful companies learnt the rules of the game or they simply used an experienced contract manufacturer.
Take note: about 30% of Morpho's clients have already lost an average of $50k partnering with the wrong Chinese companies.
How to Manufacture a Product in China in 5 Steps
Here’s what you’d have on your shoulders just to begin with. But you need to read this to understand how things are typically done. After, I’ll give you actionable info on avoiding all the mistakes the 30% makes.
1. Find a Product Manufacturing Company in China
Start by finding a Chinese company that can make your product. You can search online, ask for referrals, or visit trade shows. But be careful - some fake companies claim to be top manufacturers without even having a physical location.
Also, know the difference between:
- OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer (they produce your design),
- ODM or Original Design Manufacturer (they design and produce for you based on your idea),
- Another option is going with a CM (contract manufacturer, like MorphoMFG - they help you throughout the entire product development process).
CMs are generally the best fit for mass production in China. Will explain why in a minute.
2. Order a Prototype
Once you've chosen a manufacturer, get a prototype made.
This will let you test the product's quality and the company's capabilities before you go for the full production. Make sure the prototype meets all your needs. It will also help you get any third-party product certification that you need for your product.
Quality control is an essential part of your entire supply chain. From the materials you use to where you have the product manufactured, you need to implement rigorous manufacturing and testing processes. Consistent quality control is the only viable solution when maintaining a reputable trading company.
Again, all of this nitty-gritty work can be avoided by using a CM, that’s why so many Western brands choose to do so. And you get to keep full ownership and get some extra help in IP protection as well.
3. Set Terms of Services (TOS) for Mass Production
Once you have finalized the prototype and are ready for mass production, the next step is to set terms of service with your manufacturing company.
Is it important?
Yes, it is because the terms of services will cover all the critical aspects of your product manufacturing. It will include details like the price, minimum order quantity (MOQ), delivery time, payment terms, and much more.
But how does it work?
The terms of service will act as a written agreement between you and the manufacturing company. So, it's essential to be clear about all the details before signing on the dotted line! Once you and your Chinese supplier sign this contract, it's legally binding.
Most people ignore this part and later face many issues with their manufacturer. So, don't make the same mistake. Set the TOS before starting your made-in-China product manufacturing project.
4. Establish a Quality Control / Inspection Process
Next, set up a quality inspection process. This ensures your products meet your standards and you don't end up with a shipment of poor-quality items. Consider hiring a reliable custom manufacturer to oversee the process, especially if you're not based in China.
If you’re going the contract manufacturer route, experienced/capable ones will have an insanely detailed in-house QC team. Related reading: Offshore Manufacturing in China
5. Handle Logistics and Shipping
Once your products are done, it's time to ship them to your business overseas.
You have two choices: do the shipping yourself or let your manufacturer handle it.
If you decide to do it yourself, remember you'll need to handle customs and other paperwork and every headache that comes along with it.
On the other hand, if you want your manufacturer to ship, talk to them about it beforehand. It needs to be part of your agreement, as most companies won't ship unless it's specified.
Now, you know what mass production of products in China looks like. But, you might be thinking it’s a long and tedious process.
Yes, it is.
How will you manage it while in another country or busy with other business operations?
No worries. We’ve got you covered - but how?
Let's find out!
Choose Stress-Free Product Manufacturing in China with a Contract Manufacturing Company
Remember the contract manufacturing model we talked about in the previous section?
Now it's time to put it into action!
If you want a stress-free way to run your new product manufacturing projects, then going for a contract manufacturing company is the best option.
How will it work?
You just need to find a reliable contract manufacturing company in China like MorphoMFG and outsource your new product manufacturing project to them. They take care of the whole manufacturing process - from onboarding suitable manufacturing companies to shipping the products to your business address.
So you can focus on other essential aspects of your business while they will handle the manufacturing project for you. If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. There’s a catch here:
The Chinese market is full of contract manufacturing companies. Finding a reliable one is the catch. Most companies claim to provide the best services, but only a few are worth your time and money.
So, how will you find a contract manufacturer that you can trust?
Should You Use a Chinese Mass Production Company or Go Elsewhere?
Alright, let's address the million-dollar question: Is it smart to choose China for mass-producing your goods?
The answer isn't a simple yes or no. It really depends on what you're after. Some folks believe that China is all about cheap, low-quality stuff. But we’ve been here for a decade now and I can tell you first hand: That's a myth!
In fact, China is like a giant mall, cranking out everything from budget-friendly items to luxury goods. The manufacturing cost varies depending on factors like your product type, its quality, the quantity you need, and more.
So, it boils down to what you want and need.
China is well established in the manufacturing industry with top-notch infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce. It's also well-integrated with the Western market and brands, making it a powerful force in the global manufacturing landscape!
What Can Go Wrong in Mass Production in China – The Unseen Risks
Cost-effectively mass producing your product doesn't mean picking the manufacturer with the lowest price tag. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Our clients at MorphoMFG shared their past experiences of being duped while manufacturing products in China. Many had a similar tale – they were shown high-quality prototypes and given low quotes for mass production. However, once they placed orders, they received inferior products that didn't match the prototypes. Too late for a U-turn!
Why does this happen? The answer is simple - you’re nothing but a number to them and they only care about the deposit. Quality and attention to detail doesn’t matter much to these providers. They are not in the business of building a reputation. They are simply eager to secure the project, whatever the cost. Many don't even own production facilities, they outsource to lower-cost manufacturers instead, often at the expense of product quality.
The best defense against such scams is to visit the manufacturer's facility before ordering. Can't do that in person? Partner with a reliable contract manufacturing company who will manage your mass production project in China and make sure you get what you bargained for.
MorphoMFG has been in the business right here in China for close to 10 years. We’ve shipped thousands of products overseas and we’re only interested in taking on high-end products. That’s the reason we send away over 60% of the leads we get.
Why Manufacture Products in China? What are the advantages over other places?
There are numerous benefits to partnering with Chinese manufacturers:
You Will Profit More - While not all about choosing the cheapest, Chinese manufacturers are generally more affordable than Western ones due to lower labor costs.
You’ll Work With Experts - Many Chinese suppliers have over a decade's experience in the field. Choose the right one, and they'll have all the know-how to bring your ideas to life.
The Chinese Are Crazy Efficient - The right Chinese companies often bundle various production stages together. It's more efficient than hiring different companies for separate tasks.
You’ll Waste Less Money on Taxes/Duties - Known as "the world's factory", China has some of the lowest taxes and export duties worldwide.
These are just a few benefits, but you'll only enjoy them if you select the right manufacturing partner from the start.
Teaming up with a professional contract manufacturing company like MorphoMFG (I have to mention my company, it is what it is:)) ensures you work with top manufacturers, receive high-quality products, and don't stress over subpar materials or shipping issues.
MorphoMFG - Your All-In-One Solution for Mass Production in China
As a leading contract manufacturing firm in China, with eight years in the game and several offices across the country, our skilled team of engineers, sourcing agents, and quality control experts are ready to give you top-notch services and products.
Big brands like Kickstarter, Ecobloom, and Western University Canada trust us. Wondering how we can assist you? Let's dive into how MorphoMFG operates!
You begin by sending us your inquiry. One of our account managers then gets in touch to understand your needs. Next, our expert engineers step in, diving deep into your product requirements and crafting a tailor-made solution.
With our "Component Control Method", we assess whether your product is single or multi-component, then our sourcing department takes over. They pick the best-fit manufacturers from our tried-and-tested panel of companies, guaranteeing quality and competence.
Worth mentioning: Our unique “CCM” method also helps with IP protection seamlessly.
Although our onboarding process takes around 30 days, we're committed to partnering only with top-tier manufacturers. Once we find the perfect match, the manufacturing begins. Our quality control team ensures your product is made to international standards, with progress updates available anytime from your dedicated project manager.
Before delivery, we inspect your products meticulously and run functionality tests. If there are any issues, we fix them before shipping.
That's the MorphoMFG way!
Interested in learning more about our services? Schedule your free call to see if we’re a good fit. We're always ready to help, even if you're still unsure about mass producing your product in China. We’ll gladly answer all your questions. Thanks for reading.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Products Can Chinese Manufacturers Mass Produce?
There's really no limit to what Chinese manufacturers can mass produce, from automotive parts to toys, medical devices, and consumer electronics. What you need is a reliable (and proven) contract manufacturer.
2. Do Chinese Manufacturers Make High-Quality Products?
Definitely! China isn't just about cheap trinkets. If you're partnered with the right company, they'll deliver quality to match your budget. The misconception that China produces only low-quality goods comes from companies ordering low-cost items to maximize profit, among other things.
3. Is Mass Producing Products in China Cheap?
It's not as simple as saying "yes" or "no". The cost of manufacturing in China hinges on various factors like product type, quality, lead time, quantity, delivery methods, etc. But it’s obviously cheaper compared to the West.
4. Can I Efficiently Manufacture Products in China While Living Abroad?
No reason why you couldn’t! With manufacturing contributing hugely to China's revenue, many international companies operate from offshore. The trick is to closely monitor product quality and work with trustworthy manufacturers, which can be challenging from another country. Whether it’s us or another CM, your only concern here is getting onboard with a reputable, experienced, and competent CM who’s going to take all the responsibility.