With the proliferation of emerging technology, the retail space has become a battlefield with all sides vying at once for the attention and loyalty of the customer. Not only are brands competing with each other but they are at war with the convenience of eCommerce. Now, more than ever before, product presentation is crucial to the success of any program. And no longer is it just about making the product visually appealing, now it’s about creating positive brand experiences, engaging the customer and opening a dialogue. Modern consumers expect just about everything to be social, mobile, and “smart.”
When it comes to choosing a partner for your display manufacturing needs, it’s about more than just selecting the most inexpensive provider. Read on to discover how you can secure the right partner for your upcoming product launch.
1) Size Matters
The size of a manufacturer can be broken down into three categories:
- Length of time in business: A company with a long history of doing business is likely to be more stable, have more resources, and show maturity in their production process as far as developing a trustworthy system that guarantees goals are met on time and on budget.
- Capital: Display design and manufacturing is a competitive industry. When a company shows a strong economic base it reflects a history of steady leadership and reliability. A company in a strong financial position is also more likely to have experienced, qualified staff on hand to oversee the production and design process.
- Production Ability: Does the manufacturer have the infrastructure in place to deliver on the scale you require in the time frame specified and the demonstrated ability to do so?
2) Consider a “Hybrid” Vendor
Hybrid manufacturers are domestic companies that have an overseas presence. Vendors versatile enough to offer hybrid capabilities, leverage established relationships with international vendors as well as lower production costs to offer better pricing. In addition, you’ll be able to work with an established partner in the United States that already has “feet on the ground” overseas.
A company with hybrid capabilities is often the best choice because they will be able to handle the entire process for you seamlessly as a full turnkey solution from design and production to direct shipping to the distribution center. Should you choose to work with a hybrid manufacturer, they should be a tried and trusted supplier with their own representatives on-site doing complete QC, reviewing all packouts, and ensuring that products meet company labeling standards. Even then, it’s always good practice to send your own QC employees to validate claims and verify production standards as you begin building a long-term business relationship.
Most reputable hybrid suppliers will have no issue ensuring transparency in the process by opening up their doors to your representatives. Those companies are worth vetting closely since you may find that you can save time and money while still choosing a company that adheres to a higher standard than most. As you can see, there are many reasons to do your due diligence, no matter what your decision as to where to source your manufacturing.
3) Evaluate In-Person
Whether you begin your search online or rely on a recommendation to come up with a list of prospective manufacturers, you cannot underestimate the value of an in-person visit. Seeing the facilities and meeting the principals for yourself allows you to properly note the quality of their production and capacity. Ask questions about Q/A, the staff, tools and machinery, and standards and upkeep.
4) Follow up with References
Would you buy a car without reading reviews from other drivers? How about purchasing a house without talking to the neighbors? Engaging a manufacturer is no different. You are making a major commitment in terms of time and finance. Make sure to get as full a picture of what you’re getting as is possible. It is imperative that you find out how other companies feel about their experience with the manufacturer.
Once you narrow down the search to a few vendors, begin researching their reputation. Ask them for direct contact information for their references and follow up with them. If the company uses sub-contractors, make sure to repeat the process with them as well.