Finding Producers for Your Ecommerce Electronics Site

Do you dream of running your own electronics store online? Are you confident in your ability to come up with the next hot piece of wearable technology or audiovisual equipment? If you can conceptualize it, there’s likely a market waiting. But there’s one problem: You have to take your idea from the page to three-dimensional life. Unless you have a garage full of specialty production machinery ready to go, you’ll need the help of a manufacturer.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when you’re finding producers for your ecommerce electronics site.

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Check Their Certifications

It depends on the exact grade and specification of electronics you’re seeking, but reputable companies usually have some certifications to show. An example would be meeting the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization. At the very least, any potential partner should be able to produce case studies and reportage demonstrating their ability to meet deadlines, as well as build quality products and deliver on their promises.

Assess Their Manufacturing Capabilities

You’ll need to find out what kind of equipment and materials the manufacturer uses. First of all, you must make sure that their tools are capable of producing the exact kind of electronics devices you require. Next, evaluate the quality of the products as this will be a major component of deciding the success of your ecommerce business.

Ask for samples so you can see what the manufacturer is capable of. You’ll also need to look into their industry experience to see the devices they’ve already built. Also, use this as an opportunity to evaluate the skills and talents of their product designers. A truly good producer will be able to provide a critical review of your product designs and offer useful suggestions.

Be sure to request the list of equipment the manufacturer has and investigate their materials suppliers. 

Find Out How They Test Their Products

It’s the manufacturer’s job to perform comprehensive product testing. As a client, you need to find out how they will do this and decide if these procedures are sufficient for your products. Testing is an essential part of any manufacturing process as it’s necessary to identify design flaws.

Your manufacturers must provide a detailed product testing report, which you can use to improve your designs. They also should offer a quality post-production care. This includes troubleshooting any issues with faulty products and their efficient repair. Find out in advance how their repair and replacement service works as you’ll have to adapt this information for your future buyers. Be sure to negotiate the costs of replacement parts and repair services in advance.

Consider Manufacturer Location

When you enter the electronics market, you face a choice: should you produce your products domestically or outsource the workload to an overseas manufacturer? While up-front costs of international manufacturing may appear cheaper, Harvard Business Review notes it’s important for business owners to factor in the potentially heightened costs of transportation, tariffs and training foreign workers.Manufacturing close to home cuts down on transit time. And don’t forget that you can’t just buy the electronics. You’ll need to run advertising, buy custom printed boxes for your electronics, and many other expenses that come along with running a business.

Make sure any manufacturer you use meets labor standards for their equipment and work environment or you’ll be in hot water. Remember the deadly factory building collapse in Bangladesh a few years ago that killed over 1,100 garment workers? A government report found the building “was constructed with substandard materials and in blatant disregard for building codes,” as the New York Times reports.

In order to sell electronics with a clean conscience (and legal record), it’s important to build your ecommerce empire on a foundation of ethics, workers’ rights and research so you can choose the right manufacturer at home or abroad.

Ask Reputable Sources for Referrals

Clients and entrepreneurs love to sing the praises of a great manufacturer—or warn others about the pitfalls of a poor one. A manufacturer who’s organized and responsive to customer needs is worth recommending; one who misses deadlines, uses a clunky manual workflow process or lacks the necessary equipment is certainly not.

Ask among your professional and personal contacts for recommendations and hit the search engines to get the scoop on various manufacturers. Take into account reviews, testimonials and case studies (giving more weight to vouchments from people you know and trust—of course). 

Find Out If They Are Environmentally Responsible

The consumers of today are highly conscious of ecological issues. Therefore, advertising that your products are eco-friendly can give your ecommerce electronics an edge it needs to stand out.

However, you will need to provide a full disclosure of your manufacturer’s production facilities to support those claims. Finding a company that uses environmentally friendly equipment and supplies is worth the extra work. Research your targeted customers to determine if employing the services of such manufacturers is worth the extra money they are no doubt to charge.

Gather Competitive Quotes

Next, gather quotes, ensuring you’re actually comparing apples to apples. Take stock of what the given quotes do and don’t include: such as shipping, duties and customs, insurance, materials, taxes and etc. To determine if a manufacturer’s quote will work for your fledgling electronics business, you’ll need to calculate possible profit margins. According to Investopedia, average profit margins for companies within the electronics sector (with positive earnings) is about nine percent.

With this information in hand, the question becomes at what price would you have to sell your products to make a profit? If you see yourself struggling to maintain a positive cash flow, you’ll have to either look for a more workable deal, or adjust your production process.

Before you can launch your exciting online store, you have to find producers for the ecommerce electronics products you’ll sell on your website. In so doing, you want to partner with a reputable company capable of creating the products you need at a viable price point.

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