Selecting a manufacturing partner

We asked Khanh and Jakob how their trip to Asia was and how far the selection process for manufacturing partners is. Here are their answers:

Khanh and Jakob, how was your trip to Asia?

Khanh: First of all, exhausting! We were travelling around quite a bit within 10 days, because we wanted to meet as many people and potential partners as possible. It was very interesting to see different factories and how they work. And of course, we also had some fun during our time in Asia! That was our travel itinerary: 

Day 1: Switzerland - Hong Kong - Shenzhen
Day 3: Hong Kong - Hanoi
Day 5: Hanoi - Hong Kong - Shenzhen
Day 6: Hong Kong - Xiamen
Day 7: Xiamen - Hong Kong - Shenzhen
Day 10: Back to Switzerland 

How did it help to be there in order to actually select a manufacturer?

Jakob: We think it is always important to have personal contacts with people whom we give such an important task. So we created a short list with companies that someone from us or our network had worked with before but wanted to confirm and see for ourselves. We also realize that one of us will have to be in Asia for several weeks in case we do decide for a production company in there, but that is just what is necessary to ensure effectiveness and quality. However, we’re also speaking to Swiss and European manufacturers, some of which proved to be even competitive in pricing, when one looks at the whole picture with language barriers, logistics, ...!

How do you decide for a production company? 

Jakob: As a startup, we need to find a partner who can support us with all the challenges that might occur and still offer us a reasonable price. Quality is a must, all short-listed companies we have visited have been making products for the big brands. We also wept out many unqualified manufacturers. We are looking for a trustworthy partner that wants to join us for a longer time, so that the collaboration is sustainable. We’re now down to three potential partners from over 15 we have reviewed.

Khanh: You’ll hear from us, once we have selected our partner!