Growth in China has enabled companies from across the globe to do much more with less capital and fewer employees than ever before. Today, small companies can use the same manufacturers that the Sony’s of the world use and be cost effective and competitive in the same marketplace. But, how do you know that product development services are for you? And, how do you find a Chinese manufacturer, communicate your ideas and technical specifications and ensure quality product?
Let’s start with the easy question …
Is Product Development in China Right For Your Business?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, our team at Trans-Pacific Facilitators recommends you continue reading to learn more about product development in China and the many ways it can help your business grow and succeed.
- Are you ready to bring a new product to the market?
- Do you need help manufacturing your first sample product?
- Have you already designed a product and would like to start manufacturing in China?
- Does your project require outsourcing to be competitive and you’d like a western professional to manage it in China?
- Do you require quality control and inspections yet don’t have the time for multiple trips to China?
- Would you like to manufacture products in China at a fraction of the cost compared to western countries?
- Do you plan to partner with a Chinese production company but don’t know how?
Making Product Development in China Successful For Your Company
Ensuring that product development in China is successful for your business requires a few steps of pre-planning on your part.
First, you must research and find a China sourcing company whose technicians work closely with your suppliers from the beginning of your project and who can translate your specific technical information into Chinese. It is vital that the company assists your supplier from the initial product design through quality control, manufacturing, safety inspections, packaging and shipping, as these people will be your eyes and ears on the ground in China.
Second, you and your chosen China sourcing company must ensure that the Chinese manufacturer is experienced in the type of manufacturing process you’re interested in. While your sourcing company will be instrumental in recommending a facility, it is important that you understand there are two main types of product development companies:
China Product Development Companies That Are Good at Copying
Nearly 90 percent of China development companies fall into this category. They are excellent when you can “tell them what to do,” but fall short when a product needs to be designed from the ground up. Product developments at these types of companies require clients to bring their own samples, or to go to a showroom and make a selection. These facilities are also great if you just need to make a few small changes or want assistance with logos, labeling and packaging.
China Product Development Companies That Are Good at Understanding Drawings and Specifications
More and more, the capability of Chinese manufactures to assist clients in developing a product from concept to shipping is growing. This is a small niche of companies, however, and it is imperative that your sourcing company has the relationships in China to introduce you to these types of companies.
Not all product development companies are the same. Experience and expertise should also play a great roll in your decision, as should the types of products they have manufactured in the past. Always ask for references of past clients.
How Do I Protect My Intellectual Property in China?
Intellectual property violations are a big concern for foreign investors in China. Many U.S. manufacturers believe that because they have a trademark at home, it will hold up in China, but that is simply not the case. In China, the first person to register a trademark owns the rights to it, regardless of whether or not that person was the first to use the trademark.
We have seen many unsuspecting companies experience the following scenario: Someone registers what you think is your trademark. Then, when you’re about to ship millions of dollars worth of product, your product is held up at the port. You get a phone call from this person saying you’re using their trademark and they’d like to sell it to you for several hundred-thousand dollars a year. If you don’t pay them for the trademark, your goods will never leave China.
An experienced sourcing company can assist you in placing your trademark application in China to avoid such theft. It is not always an easy process, but one that is necessary to develop products in China.
Let Expertise Guide Your Experience in China
Our team at Trans-Pacific Facilitators manages your project from concept to safety-approved product, operating as a single source. We make sure that your costs, design, materials, production schedules and packaging work together to deliver a quality product to market. Let our team of experts help you determine if product development in China is right for you. Connect today.