When creating a physical product, the materials you use can make all the difference in the quality of your end result. It’s essential to clearly understand the level of quality and price point you’re aiming for, as this will guide your material sourcing decisions.
To create a budget-friendly product, you may compromise on durability and choose less expensive materials. However, investing in the best materials is crucial for a high-quality product. Of course, it’s also important to consider your budget and cash flow when making these decisions.
Sourcing materials carefully is vital
Today your business must be sustainable, meaning your products and the materials that go into them. Sustainability is not your only concern when sourcing materials; you must also understand industry standards and identify where to source materials.
Get Familiar with Industry Standards
To find the best materials, you need to understand them. Presumably, you learned about various industry standards when you were designing your product. However, you might need to do some more research into which materials are best for you.
Even when you think a material might be straightforward, there are particular factors you might need to consider. For example, if you’re sewing a robust garment or clothing accessory, a specialist Kevlar thread could take it to the next level. You may not have come into the industry with much knowledge about standards and technical aspects.
Visit Trade Shows
Visiting trade shows is an excellent way to source your materials. Unlike when you shop online, you can look at samples of products there and then. Of course, suppliers won’t be able to show you all of their stock. But they can often offer you swatches or even do product demonstrations.
A trade show lets you get a feel for more than the materials. It also allows you to engage with the supplier and get a taste of what it might be like to work with them. If you can buy the same material from two different suppliers at the same price, you want the one that provides better service.
Attending trade shows and exhibitions can also be the market research you must do. It can help you learn more about the available materials, prices, and quality.
Find Suppliers Online
The other primary way to find suppliers is to look online. It can sometimes be overwhelming, as you’re sure to discover plenty of options. You might be able to find a list or database of suppliers for your industry. Online directories are a good source for potential suppliers, including ThomasNet, and Global Sources.
You could source your materials domestically, or you might use international suppliers. Whatever you choose, check out the products’ quality before placing a bulk order. You can usually order a sample, which might even be free, depending on the material and supplier.
Visit Manufacturing Sites
Visiting manufacturing sites can help you evaluate the materials’ quality and manufacturing process. This can help you identify potential material issues and make informed supplier decisions.
Test and Evaluate Materials
Testing and evaluating materials can help you determine their quality, durability, and suitability for your product. This can help you identify the best materials for your product and avoid potential issues.
Negotiating the Best Deal
Getting the best deal is a massive part of sourcing your materials. You’ll need to negotiate the minimum number of units to order, the price, delivery, and return options.
With your delivery requirements, you can choose a fulfillment center to reduce shipping costs. You might not have much experience with this, so take your time. Don’t rush into buying anything, or you could end up with inferior materials. Even if you want to save money, you still need your materials to be good enough to create an attractive product.
Sourcing materials is an integral part of the production process. Do it carefully, and you will protect your product and your business.