Prototyping is the first step in the real-time manufacturing process and no businessman would want things to go wrong at this stage. Designs are final and what you now want is a sample replica of the final product. Chinese companies specialize in manufacturing prototypes and that too pretty cheap – but should this be the only aspect that needs to be considered when selecting a China prototype manufacturing company? Certainly not! Chinese manufacturing companies have a reputation in the international market that pertains to either their inability or they appear not to care to incorporate changes in designing or corrections and amendments are usually ignored by many Chinese companies. Hence you would want to be careful when you contract for prototyping with a Chinese manufacturer. These are the things that you would want to probe and research before going ahead and finalizing a Chinese prototyping company:-
- Understand if the China prototype manufacturing company that you wish to engage with understands English well and has a decent level of written and spoken communication skills. This is important for the communication to be clear and precise, both ways.
- Make it absolutely clear to the manufacturer verbally and in writing (via a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA contract) about Intellectual property rights and the consequences of infringement of the same. This needs to be signed by the manufacturer and also the sourcing agent, if one is involved in between.
- It is advisable that foreign buyers first look for a reliable trading company or a sourcing agent who can deal with the local factory professionally and as per relevant culture. When you interact with a factory direct, they will, in order to win a contract, offer lower prices but higher Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). However, a third party involved will scout for a company or factory that will be able to take the prototype manufacturing order as per your design requirements, specifications and standards. They will also be able to get optimized MOQs.
- Also, when you speak to a Chinese prototype manufacturing company, they might agree upfront to all terms and conditions you mention because they are interested in the entire order. With an intermediary in between, all aspects of prototyping manufacturing will be well taken care of.