There is no definite answer of when a startup should start to communicate with manufacturers. Many different factors play a part in when you should start to think about finding a manufacturer such as the complexity of the product, date of expected delivery, expenses and more. However, since manufacturing will, at one point of time, be the most important part of your launch, we suggest to communicate with one as earlier as possible.
Developing a business is no easy task, you need to worry about the marketing, pricing, design, supply chain and much much more. However, the manufacturing part of the startup is always a stressful area in which most entrepreneurs don’t fully understand and procrastinating to find your manufacturer can lead to rushed production which can potentially lead to defected parts, late shipments, inventory control problems and more, all which aren’t planned in your budget. Partnering with a reliable manufacturer in the early stages of the process will help relieve some of the stress and let the manufactures do what they do best thus freeing your mind to focus on what you do best.
For a startup, manufacturing and engineering go hand in hand. Partnering with a proactive team will be able to design the products to be manufactured. This will efficiently and cost effectively get your product into production. Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a very important concept because for production, you need to fully understand the production process and also the material characteristics that you plan on using. Not fully being aware of the materials and the process’s can delay production. And then the hassles and increased costs start to pile up.
One of the most important reasons to start earlier is to build trust with your supplier. It’s no secret that dealing with manufacturers can be a terrible experience which can end tragically. However, building a relationship earlier on in the process will benefit the supplier as they have time to fully understand your needs and also build your confidence that you are dealing with a professional team.
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