Entrepreneurs and established retailers are creating their own personal label, direct-to-consumer products for ecommerce. But the majority of these DTC sellers do not plan to manufacture those things in their facilities using their own work force, tools, and materials. Rather these businesses require a manufacturing partner.
Identifying a provider, which might be located thousands of miles away in another country, is no small undertaking. Nevertheless, it is not distinctive . Many companies have done it successfully.
Whether or not a competitor is a enormous business such as Apple or a small company selling skateboards, there’s most likely an investigation tool or an important record somewhere showing where your competitor has its own products manufactured.
I recently spoke with Greg Mercer, CEO of Jungle Scout, an Amazon and ecommerce evaluation instrument. He explained his company’s new provider identification platform.
“We published something quite cool about a half a year ago…it’s a platform to find suppliers, but the information that we use for it’s data that we receive from the government organization that’s accountable for political and customs shipments that are being imported in the U.S.”
“So through the Freedom of Information Act from the U.S. you can get access to government information, and we managed to do that.”
The Jungle Scout provider tool lets users look up products, such as skateboarding shoes, of competitions.
“What’s cool about this is we basically have all the information from all imports coming in the U.S.. When I say information, I am talking about who’s importing it…who fabricated or created the merchandise, and other information like numbers and weights… However, why this is so strong… [is that] it is possible to see what factories different organizations are using to manufacture their products.”
When you know who makes your competitor’s widget, it might be easy to visit the factory and request something similar. Perhaps you will ask a few improvements based on customer reviews of this competitor’s thing.
Some in the industry believe that is what Canadian merchant Peavey Mart did for its private label, duck fabric coats and overalls. The products’ design and cloth are extremely much like Carhartt coats and overalls.
Peavey Marts duck cloth overalls could be fabricated by the same mill as Carhartt, a prominent brand.
You may even take this a step further and find out if your competitor would be prepared to make for you, also. Mid-states Distributing Company, a retail membership organization representing 38 ranch and farm chains in the USA and Canada, recently launched a private label pet food manufacturer, Wildology.
Rural King, a thriving farm and ranch series, is a part of Mid-states Distribution Business. Rural King sells the Mid-states brand Wildology, which is produced by a competitor.
At the time of writing, Wildology is fabricated by Schell & Kampeter, Inc., doing business as Diamond Pet Foods. Diamond, a rival to Wildology, manufactures cat and dog food for many brands.
Attempt to discover who’s manufacturing one of the top brands in the marketplace and ask that business to earn your products, too.
Supplier directories are another choice for identifying potential production partners.
Among those best-known directories in the USA is Thomas Register and its Thomasnet site . This directory lists over 500,000 providers. It describes the things those providers make and the services they supply.
Thomas Registry will help identify a provider, including U.S.-based makers.
You may also try Global Sources, which has a similar directory of global suppliers. It’s particularly good at identifying component manufacturers — manufacturers of consumer electronics.
Global Sources is another exceptional directory, particularly for electronics.
And remember Alibaba. It lists pre-assembled goods to order and market almost instantly. It can connect your company to China-based manufacturers, also.
Alibaba is a favorite site for finding ready-made products or China-based makers prepared to work with brands of all sizes.
No matter the directory, get samples and references to make sure your prospective manufacturing partner will produce an excellent product.
“If you speak to 1,000 vendors and said’hey, tell me a horror story about importing products,’ most of these would be about the character of the goods,” Jungle Scout’s Mercer said. “Because lots of times people will shop around [for a production partner] on price. However, they don’t possess a terrific way to evaluate the quality of the goods.”
The First Step
Finding a maker takes legwork, whether you use a tool like Jungle Scout or search for providers on Thomasnet, Global Sources, and Alibaba.
Thus identifying prospective partners is just step one. You’ll have to vet themand they might want to vet you.
Furthermore, you will probably undergo a detailed and at times lengthy product design process, identifying, say, the product’s Pantone color code and the depth of the cardboard to bundle it.