How will customization come into play with your private label product?
Are you thinking to customize as little as possible?
Or are you planning on really doing some heavy-duty design work?
This is the 4th installment on starting the private label journey.
Customization increases supplier interaction.
Customization adds to the amount of time spent in development.
There’s more back-and-forth on designs.
You’ll have to invest serious time in emails and chats in explaining designs.
Late night or early morning hours are spent in convincing a supplier not to give up on you.
Obviously a visit to China or the country of origin decreases the electronic back-and-forth.
The easier the factory’s life is, the easier your job will be.
With less customization comes faster and more exact quotes.
Notice I said “more exact” quotes.
It could be an item the supplier frequently makes and there’s still chance they screw up the quote.
The less tweaking and changing, the better the service from the factory.
The factory is more eager when they see quicker quote-to-production times.
This makes sense.
It’s human nature to like to see our labors bring quicker fruit.
Keep in mind that if you’re a new buyer to the vendor, you’ll have less sway in special requests.
The factory, starting out will be less agreeable to certain requests.
Customization comes with cost
Generally when you’re developing a product, there’s more money upfront involved.
There’s fees for designs.
Setup and mold costs.
When you do custom production, seldom is the first sample right. They’ll be more back and forth on sampling.
Each sample may not cost extra money.
But if you’re a new buyer to the vendor, each package freight will.
Higher minimum quantities.
There’s higher minimums for custom products.
The factory requires larger purchases in order to make it worth their while.
Sometimes these minimums are negotiable. But you want to be careful.
You don’t want to negotiate a factory to accept such a quantity that they no longer care.
I’ve seen many custom projects that were a pain to develop and get right. The quantity was low and the factory wasn’t making any margin.
By the time the mass production rolls around, the factory no longer cares. Mass production finishes the merchandise is substandard quality.
With more customization, bells and whistles, comes more factory control.
Not to mention all the blood sweat and tears you pour in getting the sampling or the print or the mold right.
Now comes the actual mass production. You know, that time where they start making the goods in bulk.
This is the time where you sweat it out.
Now a deposit has left your grasp.
Whenever a factory produces something they’ve never done before, the chance for errors is very much there.
Just because a sample is right doesn’t mean mass production goes well.
Some samples are done via simpler processes.
Or on different production lines than bulk production.
A sample can be even more precise than mass production when it’s done slowly by one set of hands.
You’ll have to control the production via:
- Series of samples and video views of mass production.
- Possible visit during mass production.
- Don’t even think about not sending in a QC team after production.
If you’re anxious to get started and get to market, fully developing a new product increases your time lines.
If you’re a new buyer starting this cold, there’s time involved in simply establishing who you are. As mentioned above, there’s the hours spent on the raw back-and-forth.
Then there’s sampling time.
Mass production time may take longer than less custom processes.
***This isn’t to dissuade from chasing of your dream of developing a wonderful product. I’m simply laying it out so you can count the cost. In the next installment, will be alternatives to heavy customization.