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Product Design Vs. Industrial Design: Know the Difference

Are you confused about the difference between product design vs. industrial design? While the terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to two distinct disciplines within the design world. Understanding the difference between product and industrial design is critical for anyone involved in the design process, from entrepreneurs and product managers to designers and engineers.

We’ll explore the key differences between product and industrial design in more detail, examining the unique challenges, goals, and skill sets required for each discipline. We’ll also provide practical tips and insights for entrepreneurs, designers, and product managers looking to navigate the complex world of product development and design. So, whether you’re launching a new product, optimizing your production process, or simply expanding your design knowledge, this insight will serve you well. Read on to discover the differences between product design and industrial design.

What Is Product Design?

Product designers are responsible for creating products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and user-friendly. They identify user needs and pain points and then develop solutions that address those needs in a practical and visually appealing way.

Product design involves many skills and considerations, including sketching, prototyping, and testing. Designers may work in various industries, from tech startups to consumer goods companies. They may specialize in different areas, such as industrial design, user experience design, or interaction design.

One of the critical aspects of product design is the iterative process of prototyping and testing. Product designers create multiple product versions and test them with users to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t. They then use that feedback to refine the design and create a better product that meets the target market’s needs.

Ultimately, successful product design requires a balance between form and function. A beautiful product that doesn’t work as intended will not be successful, nor will a functional product that is unattractive. The best product designs seamlessly integrate form and function to create beautiful and useful products.

What Is Industrial Design?

Industrial design is a multidisciplinary field that combines art, engineering, and business principles to create functional and aesthetically pleasing products. It involves everything from conceptualizing new product ideas and conducting market research to creating sketches, 3D models, and prototypes.

Industrial designers are responsible for ensuring that products are visually appealing, user-friendly, durable, efficient, and cost-effective. They work closely with engineers, manufacturers, and product managers to ensure that the products they design can be manufactured at scale and meet the target market’s needs.

In addition to user interface design, industrial designers may also be involved in creating packaging, branding, and marketing materials. They may also ensure that products comply with safety and environmental regulations.

So, while industrial design involves designing a product’s user interface, it is not solely focused on form. Industrial designers are responsible for designing products that are functional, efficient, and meet the needs of both users and manufacturers.

Product design and industrial design are two distinct fields with different areas of focus and scope. While there is certainly overlap between the two, understanding the differences can help companies and designers choose the right approach for their specific needs.

Do you need an industrial designer or a product design team to help realize your product’s vision? East West Basics can help. Contact us today to learn more about our process and find out how our team can bring your designs to fruition.

Lean Product Development: Definition & Principles

Are you tired of developing products that fail to resonate with your target audience or drain your resources without delivering the desired ROI? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at lean product development. This methodology, which emerged from the Lean Manufacturing movement, is designed to help businesses streamline their product development process, reduce waste, and create products that deliver maximum customer value.

We’ll define what lean product development is and how it differs from traditional product development methods. We’ll examine this approach’s core principles, such as minimizing waste, maximizing value, and continuous improvement.

From startups to Fortune companies, businesses across various industries use lean product development to drive innovation, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

With ever-increasing pressure to deliver more with less, companies that embrace lean product development are better positioned to stay ahead of the curve, outpace their competitors, and impress their customers.

What is Lean Product Development?

Lean product development is a process of developing products and services that meet customer needs with the least amount of waste possible. The concept is based on lean manufacturing principles, which focus on eliminating waste in every aspect of business operations.

Lean product development is a structured approach to product development involving the following steps:

  1. Getting Feedback Early and Paying Attention

Getting feedback early and listening to it is one of the most important parts of a lean product development methodology. Feedback from users, customers, and stakeholders will help you make decisions about your product or service. The earlier you can ascertain feedback from these people, the better able you’ll be to make changes before going too far down the wrong path.

Feedback is vital in that it can help you understand what motivates each type of user/customer/stakeholder who will interact with your product or service. How do they want information presented? What questions do they want answered? How much time do they spend researching before buying something new (or old)? By understanding these things early in development, you can tailor your design accordingly so that everyone involved has an enjoyable experience using whatever they buy from you!

  1. Prioritizing Features Carefully

The next step in lean product development is to prioritize features carefully. You need to know what to build and when to ensure your team is working on the right things at the right time.

There are many ways of doing this, but one of the simplest is user story mapping or another feature prioritization tool. These tools help break down user needs into smaller chunks that can be developed separately from each other. Further simplifying each large scale project into smaller parts based on complexity level and estimated effort will help streamline processes, reduce downtime, and minimize waste even before development begins.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Direction

One of the most important things to remember when developing a product is that you don’t have to be married to your initial idea. You may think that you know what your customers want, but it’s more likely than not that once they get their hands on it and try it out, they’ll have their own interpretations and perceptions. This is not a bad thing. While it’s great to have a strong direction, pivoting is also welcome. Maintain your point of view but also know when it’s time to make a shift.

  1. Conduct Some Small Experiments Regularly

The idea here is to test ideas and assumptions quickly so they don’t get wasted on large scale projects that may not pan out. This allows you to move forward confidently in your decisions and makes it easier for you as a team leader or manager to communicate those decisions with customers and stakeholders who are waiting for them (and maybe losing patience). While conducting these experiments, make sure that everyone on your team knows what experiments are being done and how useful they will be in helping them reach their goals.

Interested in learning more about how lean product development can transform your manufacturing efforts? East West Basics is here to help. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Brainstorm Your Next Product Idea

Are you struggling to come up with your next big product idea? Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned business owner, or a creative professional looking to launch a new project, brainstorming is a critical first step in the product development process. But where do you start? How do you generate innovative and profitable ideas that will resonate with your target audience? In this post, we’ll share how to brainstorm product ideas. From conducting market research and identifying customer pain points to exploring new trends and technologies and leveraging your unique strengths and experiences, you’ll find everything you need to know to generate fresh and exciting product concepts.

Listen to What Your Customers Say

This is the most obvious yet overlooked method for coming up with new product ideas. If you’re not listening to the masses, how can you know what they want?

  • Pay attention to social media: Customers are often more vocal here than elsewhere, especially when they have a negative experience, or something goes wrong with an order (real-time feedback). You can also use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to monitor specific keywords that indicate a need for a new feature or a product offering in your market space.
  • Regularly check out review sites:  Review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Amazon provide insight into what people think about companies like yours. Someone who has taken the time to write a review clearly has an opinion, and opinions are worth listening to when you’re brainstorming new product ideas.

Look to Similar Products for Inspiration

Your competition can give you great insight into what to do and what not to do. Similar products may have customers who voice their concerns or ask for modifications; can you fill those voids with your product?  Whether you use their concept as a starting point and build off it or take your product in an entirely different direction, it’s always useful to see what those in a similar space are currently doing.

Connect with Other Entrepreneurs

Another way to develop product ideas is by connecting with other entrepreneurs. These people could be from your local community or someone with a successful online business. The key here is to find someone who has what you want and ask them how they got there. You won’t want to replicate their path step by step, but understanding what it took to achieve their success can teach you quite a lot about what you should do moving forward. Additionally, consider expanding your network. Attend events and meetups with other entrepreneurs. If you need help figuring out where to start, many websites list local startup communities (like Meetup). Or just Google “startup community” plus your city name!

Consult Your User Data

If you’re not already doing this, it’s time to start. You can access user data on Google Analytics or another analytics platform and see what people are searching for in your app/website and what they click on most often. This will give you a better idea of what they want out of their experience with your brand and help inform the next product or feature idea that comes along!

Examine Trends 

Analyzing trends is a great way to get inspiration for your next product or service. Look at what people are talking about online, in magazines, and on social media. Are there any new topics that have emerged that you could create content around?

If you’re looking for something more specific, look into current events and issues people care about. For example, suppose there’s been an increase in news coverage of climate change (or something similar). In that case, there might be an opportunity for someone who can provide information on how we can help solve this problem by making smarter choices as consumers – and maybe even sell them products along those lines!

Once you’ve brainstormed a new product idea, the next step is to create it. East West Basics can help make that happen. Contact us today to learn more about product design, development, sourcing, manufacturing, inspection, and more.

A Simple Guide to the Product Design Process

Have you ever wondered how your favorite products, from smartphones to sneakers, go from a concept to the end result? The answer lies in the product design process. Product design is the art and science of creating products that are visually appealing but also functional and practical. It involves a series of stages, from ideation to prototyping to testing, that allow designers to refine their ideas and create products that meet user needs and exceed expectations. In this article, we’ll break down the product design process into its key stages and explore how effective product design can drive business success.

Identifying the Problem to Solve

The first step in the product design process is to define the problem. For you to be able to meet a need and fill a void in the market, you need to first understand what is lacking. This requires identifying the problem: what needs to be fixed?

Consider who is affected by this problem and what part of their lives could be improved if it was solved. Ask yourself: “What is most important about this?” Look into how other companies have tried solving similar problems to avoid making similar mistakes. Similarly, it’s important to know what they have done so you don’t try to replicate their successes without understanding why what they did worked or didn’t.  

Research and Analysis

The research and analysis stage involves learning about your target audience and how they will interact with the product. This means gaining an understanding of the people who will use your product, including their spending habits, their preferences, and their priorities. You will also need to learn about your competition and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Spend time familiarizing yourself with the market in which you will sell your product or service. If it’s a new market, ensure there is enough demand for what you’re offering before investing too much time in development!

Ideation and Sketching

Sketching is an essential part of the product design process, as it provides designers with a quick and easy way to explore ideas and concepts. Unlike more formal design methods, sketching is a low-pressure way of testing ideas and seeing what works and doesn’t. Sketches don’t have to be perfect or even look good – the goal is to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper or a screen. You can sketch alone or with others; doing so may help you iron out certain problems before committing time and energy to create something more permanent.

Prototyping and Testing

Once your product concept has been designed, it’s time to make a prototype. A prototype is a final product model that can be tested for usability and feasibility before moving onto manufacturing. The prototype process will call attention to flaws in your design and will address them through various iterations before the final “golden sample” goes into mass production.

Initial prototypes can be made from anything – paper, cardboard, clay, or even wood – but eventually they should be made from the actual material of the real product.  

Final Product Design

The final product design is the culmination of all the previous steps. It should be a holistic representation of the product with all aspects taken into consideration. From aesthetics to function to design intent and manufacturing constraints, everything must be accounted for in the final design.

The goal at this stage is not necessarily perfection; it’s iteration and refinement. Focus on simplicity through iteration until your team feels confident that they have something great.

Launch and Maintenance

Once you’ve launched your product, the next step is to monitor sales and performance. Then you’ll want to maintain quality and eventually improve upon it if need be. Collecting feedback from customers on what they like about the product, how they use it, and if there are any bugs in the system will help you tweak, refine, and adjust as time goes on. If you’re getting a lot of positive feedback, negative comments, or suggestions for improvement, consider making changes to meet customer needs.

Design is a critical component of the services we offer at East West Basics. Understanding trends and competition is crucial, as is finding the right factory to produce your product designs. Our team is here to support you throughout the entire design, development, manufacturing, and inspection process. Experienced, knowledgeable, and process-oriented, we have a proven track record of success. Learn more about how we’ll simplify the product design process for you and your team when you contact us today.

5 Amazon Listing Optimization Strategies That Actually Work

Are you an Amazon seller struggling to get your products noticed in the crowded marketplace? With millions of products listed on Amazon, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition and get your products in front of the right potential customers. But what if we told you that there are proven Amazon listing optimization strategies you can use to increase your sales?

Amazon listing optimization is about improving your product listings to make them more appealing to both Amazon’s search algorithm and potential buyers. Optimizing your listings can increase your visibility, attract more clicks, and ultimately drive more conversions.

In this post, we’ll share the top Amazon listing optimization strategies that work. From conducting in-depth keyword research and crafting compelling product descriptions to optimizing your product images, leveraging customer reviews, and pricing your products strategically, we’ll cover everything you need to know to turn your Amazon listings into lucrative sales.

  1. Optimize Your Product Title

The product title is the first thing potential customers will see when they search for your product. It’s also one of the most important elements in your listing since people will use it to find you on Amazon. Adhere to Amazon’s guidelines for product titles and you’ll have a better shot at improving the visibility of your listings.

  1. Add Keywords to the Body of Your Product Description

Another important aspect of Amazon listing optimization is using the right keywords to describe your product in the body of your product description.

The first thing you should do is ensure that your keyword phrases are included in both the title and bullets of your listing and any other areas where they may be included. You want these keywords to be used often so customers searching for them will find what they’re looking for when they type them into Amazon’s search bar. With that said, be mindful of keyword stuffing. Overusing keywords will make the product descriptions look unnatural and could hurt your listings.

  1. Use Bullet Points to Highlight Key Features

Bulleted lists make information more accessible to digest by breaking up long paragraphs into shorter ones that readers can scan easily for quick facts about your products (or anything else). They also make it easy for people who are skimming through the page without reading every word carefully-something that happens quite often when browsing online. If your product has a unique feature or benefit that sets it apart from the competition, include it in your bullet points. This can help you stand out and attract more buyers.

  1. Create an Eye-Catching Product Image

This is the first visual potential buyers will see when they look at your product listing, so it’s important to make it as appealing as possible.

  • Choose an eye-catching image that reflects the item’s quality and value. If you don’t have professional photos of your own, hire someone who can take them for you or use stock images from sites like Shutterstock or Fotolia (which allow photographers to sell their images on a royalty-free basis). Another option is to use Amazon’s built-in tools for adding professional-looking product images – just keep in mind that these will only work for certain categories of products.
  • Use multiple images with different angles and views so customers can get a feel for what they’re getting before making their purchase decision; this also gives people more room on their screen when scrolling through products without having everything crammed together in one small square frame!
  1. Optimize the Amazon Product Listing for Mobile

Mobile is the future, and Amazon has been steadily increasing its focus on improving the mobile experience on its platform. This means that if you haven’t optimized your product listing for mobile buyers, you’re missing out on potential sales.

No matter what you’re selling on Amazon, you’ll need a trustworthy sourcing and manufacturing team to help get your products into the hands of future customers. East West Basics is here to help. We’re pros at navigating the complex international logistics landscape. Learn more about how we can turn the goods you’re selling on Amazon into a long term success when you contact us today.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Product Creation

Product development is a multi-step process that starts with a single idea. Conceptualizing the type of product you want to make typically comes from meeting a need in a given market. Once you determine what type of product you want to create, the next step is to actually put it into production. Creating a product isn’t as simple as 1,2,3. It requires product design, engineering, sourcing, acquiring suppliers, partnering with the right manufacturing teams, aligning with the right factories, and so much more. Read on to learn how to create a product that will capture market attention and bring you the ROI you’re looking for.

7 Steps of Creating a Product

Before creating a product, the first step is to assess the market and determine if there is demand for it. This requires doing market research and involves getting to know your target audience. Once you identify what their wants, needs, and priorities are, you’ll be better able to meet them with your product creation.

1. List Out Your Prospect’s Needs

It’s imperative that everyone on our team understands your business from the ground up. Creating a bestselling product requires knowing how the product itself works but also why it is being created in the first place. Never forget the “why” with product development. Get specific with this and write it out. This will help guide your marketing strategy and overall business plan. Afterwards, update the product specifications as you progress through product development and manufacturing.

2.  Conduct Market Research for Your Product

Understanding your target audience is key to product development. Conducting market research will help you, your product designers, and your engineers design a product that gives the people what they actually want. Research and development (R&D) involves doing a deep dive into the market, your competition, and historical accomplishments early in the product creation process.

3. Design Your Product

The product design stage of product creation is where the “how” comes into play. This is where you’ll illustrate how your product works, what it looks like, and what it does. The design stage could start with simple drawings and progress to 3D renderings. Conceptual, preliminary, product, and industrial design are all involved in the design stage.

Creating a product is a collaborative process that often requires the involvement of several parties, product designers and engineers included. Partnering with a full-service product design and manufacturing firm like East West Basics is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that this process starts off on the right foot and that the aesthetics match the functionality.

Designing a functional product requires meticulous planning and specificity. Every product creation process is different based on the industry and type of product being manufactured. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Components
  • Materials
  • Colors
  • Surface finishes
  • Software
  • User interface
  • …and more

4. Find the Right Manufacturers to Create Your Product

Sourcing the right manufacturers will make all the difference in how sellable your final product is. The right manufacturer and factory can make or break  the creation of a product and may impact its long term success. To find the right manufacturer, you’ll need to explore capabilities, cost, working conditions, and several other factors. Not having experience in this field can result in costly mistakes. This is why many first-time product manufacturers partner with experienced sourcing and manufacturing agencies like EWB.

5. Prototype, Test, and Iterate

After defining your concept, your team will need to start constructing prototypes. A physical model of your product will address design questions and enhance market research. You can see it, test it, obtain client feedback, and try other solutions with the prototype.

6. Plan for Production

Production planners, manufacturing engineers, quality engineers, and supply chain experts turn the whole product specification into a supply chain map, production plan, and quality system. All off-the-shelf components are sourced, unique tools like injection molds are designed and ordered, each manufacturing step is detailed, and a quality inspection and tracking system is set up.

7. Manufacture Your Product

Once the aforementioned stages are complete, manufacturing can finally begin! Still, just because the initial design stages are complete, that doesn’t mean the product development team’s work is done. Proper production is iterative and interactive. Lean manufacturing may enhance and eliminate waste from every link in your supply chain and production plan. Measure and track quality to improve your product. Your major responsibility as the person at the wheel of this operation is to ensure that you achieve the set targets for budget, time, and quality.

A Quick Introduction to Prototype Product Development

Developers use prototypes to visualize products before mass manufacturing. Prototyping is a great way to determine whether your idea is technically possible and if customers want to buy it.

Designers and manufacturers develop successful products through thorough research, testing, critiques, feedback, and revision. Revising product design is par for the course with prototype product development. Making tweaks and changes to your product can take it from good to a bestseller.  Starting with high quality prototype product development is crucial to the long term success of any product. Finding out more about how prototyping works with manufacturing will help you make more educated decisions about the future initiatives for your product development.

Why Use a Prototype?

Designers build prototypes to save time and money as well as to test the market. Before large production can go into effect, prototypes will give you an idea about several things for your product.

First, a prototype will show you what works well. Second, it’ll also show you what you need to change or modify. Third, if you roll out your prototype to a test market, it may offer valuable insight into how potential customers interact with your product.  This is instrumental in the early days of production. The worst thing you can do is mass produce a product with errors or with features that customers don’t want.

Prototype product development allows you to achieve four crucial things:

  1. Validate your product idea by solving consumer problems.
  2. Test functionality—the design must produce a working product.
  3. Iterate until the prototype passes all tests.
  4. Prepare for manufacturing using design specifications.

Steps in Prototype Development

Developing a prototype goes through the five stages of a feasibility study, research, drafts, detailed designs, and final designs. Here’s what occurs during these stages:

  • Stage 1: Feasibility Study

Before proceeding, you must determine if a new product idea is practical. This proof of concept step involves extensive research and your initial set of drawings.

  • Stage 2: In-Depth Research

Researching the market, products, and customer data is critical in determining if your idea is really worth something. Even if you’ve already developed your product idea, the jury is still out on whether the final product will be profitable.

Qualitative and quantitative research  that looks into customer appeal, manufacturability, marketability, competition, price sweet spots, margin potential, and other factors are all important. If possible, engage in objective, third-party research to avoid justifying findings to fit your conclusions.

  • Stage 3: Drafts and Specifications

After your study, write out your product idea. You can draw anything, but quality prototype product development is best reserved for experienced product designers, as they will be able to conceptualize your vision as specifically and accurately as possible. Utilizing their best practices and experiences from previous projects will only support your initiatives. Additionally, expert product designers will be able to advise you on materials and supplies (i.e., suggesting one vs. another for functionality, price, etc.).

  • Stage 4: Detailed Designs

After developing the early designs, the next step is to hire engineers and product designers for well-executed product designs. In this stage, product designers will deliver precise drawings and may also provide 2D and 3D renderings, depending on your needs. It may also be necessary to hire a dedicated engineering department to help determine manufacturability.

Alpha and beta testing can help produce a variety of prototypes for evaluation in this stage. Essentially, alpha testing is the simplest prototype of your product and often prioritizes utility over aesthetics. This testing stage also focuses on your product’s appearance. The prototype may not be functional but it will accurately display the product’s appearance.

By contrast, beta testing lets you see a working product prototype that you can test with your sample target market.

  • Stage 5: Final Design

At this stage, the prototype’s final design is ready for manufacturing. This comprises a pre-production prototype and manufacturer-specifications. After finding a manufacturer,  the next step will be to define quality standards off of which you can evaluate your manufacturer.

Outsource Prototype Development

A renowned sourcing, manufacturing, and procurement firm can help investigate and design prototypes for you. Work with a firm like East West Basics that provides research tools, helps with your research, and teaches you how to utilize a network of designers, engineers, and manufacturers to your advantage.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Take Manufacturing Overseas

Manufacturing a new product can be an exciting endeavor, but figuring out the most cost-effective way to get it done is a challenge in and of itself. Many people turn to manufacturing overseas as the obvious choice. Whether or not there’s truth to that depends on a variety of factors, some of which include the type of product you’re manufacturing, the quantity, MOQs, the teams you align yourself with at home and aboard, and more.

Manufacturing overseas can be beneficial in a number of ways; that said, there are always going to be things you need to look out for, regardless of where you choose to do your manufacturing. To help you determine whether or not overseas manufacturing is right for your business, we’ve put together some insight. Learn from our experience and use it to make a qualified, educated decision for yourself.

Advantages of Manufacturing Overseas

  • Availability of Inexpensive Labor Force

Foreign countries, particularly those in Asia, are desirable locations to outsource overseas manufacturing because of their large workforce. China’s labor costs are 25%–30% lower than those in the US.[1] Vietnam’s workforce can be acquired for an estimated one-tenth of the cost of what it would be in the US.[2] Inexpensive labor costs can make a huge impact on production costs and may drastically improve profit margins.

  • Access to A Wide Network of Manufacturers

Product developers have many overseas manufacturer options. Before the pandemic, China did 28.7% of world manufacturing. Having access to a wide network of manufacturers is beneficial for variety as well as quality when manufacturing overseas.

  • High Capacity of Output

Manufacturing your products overseas increases production capacity. The large workforce means capacity can be at an all time high. This allows overseas producers to rapidly scale up and manufacture large volumes, which can result in cheaper raw materials provided customers meet the minimum order size requirements.

  • Proximity to Raw Material and Component Suppliers

US factories simply don’t have the same kind of access to raw materials and components as factories overseas because of their proximity. That doesn’t mean they can’t get these supplies, but being closer to the source always expedites things, especially when it comes to time-to-market. Overseas contract manufacturers have mature supply chains and are more readily accessible to all raw materials.

  • Increased Number of Skilled Workers

In addition to having an inexpensive labor force, manufacturing overseas in Asia also provides an increased number of skilled workers. This can make all the difference if time and manpower are of concern. Countries such as China and Vietnam are amongst the leaders in expanding the volume of skilled workers in their countries.

The Challenges of Manufacturing Your Product Overseas

While there are numerous reasons to take manufacturing overseas, there are some potential drawbacks that could occur as well. Before sourcing internationally, product development teams should consider the following factors:

  • Increased Shipping Rates and Lead Times

Manufacturing overseas will always come with the cost of paying shippers, customs, and handling other expenses. These expenditures are par for the course and are to be expected, but they need to be factored into the overall budget.

  • Cultural Barriers

Partnering with an international manufacturer may present language and cultural challenges. Negotiating contracts, prices, procedures, ethics, and cultural differences can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the customs and the traditions. The great thing about partnering with an international sourcing and manufacturing company like East West Basics is that we are perfectly primed to handle that for you. Our team members are multilingual and experienced in the everyday trading practices for which China and the greater parts of Asia are known.

  • The Possibility of Service Issues

Manufacturing of any kind, whether at home or overseas, comes with the risk of quality issues and standards not being met. This challenge is not unique to manufacturing overseas; that said, not having boots on the ground in the country in which your goods are being made can exacerbate these issues. Another reason to consider partnering with an international team like EWB is because we have personnel onsite. With a board of directors based out of the US and an independent quality control team on the ground in Asia, you can be sure that nothing will slip through the cracks.

Make an informed decision about overseas manufacturing by equipping yourself with the right team. Start sourcing the right way when you partner with East West Basics today.

Reasons to Consider Small Scale Manufacturing

The boom of e-commerce and manufacturing overhauls in recent years have been a catalyst for companies around the world to reassess their manufacturing strategies. Buying online was already popular prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the change in world regulations caused the e-commerce space and internet purchasing to just about explode. With that came supply chain interruptions, and to some degree, a reinvention of small scale manufacturing.

When manufacturing a new product, it’s common for most companies to look overseas. Many explore China and other parts of Asia for its high product output and low production costs. Some companies already have products on the market and may have a reliable manufacturing partner. That said, given the change in market dynamics, it may be time to examine more cost-effective and secure alternatives. That’s where small scale manufacturing comes in. 

China and various parts of Asia are known for being premier manufacturing hubs. Whether large or small, the right sourcing and manufacturing partner will be able to connect you with the proper suppliers and factories to support your initiatives.

What Is Small-Scale Manufacturing?

If you’re looking to test the market, do a limited run of a brand new product, or manufacture just a few products at a time, small-scale manufacturing may be right for you. This method of manufacturing is just as it sounds. It scales down what would otherwise be mass production into something more niche and low-volume.

Small-scale manufacturing can involve any industry and any type of product line. The quantities may vary depending on what the business owner considers to be “small” or limited. Additionally, production methods may also vary. There are small scale manufacturing plants in China and Asia that can test out products for a limited run as well as mom-and-pop type of shops that conduct their own small-scale manufacturing in-house.

There are several reasons to explore small-scale manufacturing, some of which we touched on above.

Market Testing with Small Scale Manufacturing

A great way to test the market and see if there is demand for the product you’re looking to make is to start with small scale manufacturing. Smart business owners and entrepreneurs know that it’s not wise to go from 0-60 right out of the gate. Finding a manufacturing partner in China that offers small scale manufacturing, and may be able to transition to large scale manufacturing, is the best way to safely test the market while securing production as your company grows.

Small Scale Manufacturing Maximizes Quality

It’s no secret that the larger entities become, the harder it is to stay on top of every single good and product that gets shipped out from a factory. East West Basics is adamant about ensuring that quality standards never get sacrificed regardless of how large the production order is. That said, it’s infinitely easier to catch even the slightest hiccup before it becomes problematic when you’re operating on a smaller scale.

Flexibility to Scale Production

Leading small scale manufacturing facilities in China, like the ones we partner with at EWB, know the benefits of batch manufacturing. Batch production is a standard manufacturing method that produces 1,000 final assemblies in a week instead of something like 100 over 10 weeks. This strategy lets you acquire material in bulk, focus on employees, and shift resources to other things. Small scale manufacturing may not start this way, but having the option to grow to batch manufacturing is a benefit offered by many small scale production plants. This may not be the case with facilities that want to start big immediately.

Gear Up with Small Scale Manufacturing with EWB

Global manufacturing is constantly evolving. Small scale manufacturing can be a cost-effective, timely solution to learning about your target audience, demand for a given product, and may help you gain valuable insight before you transition to mass production. Whatever scale of manufacturing you need, it’s imperative that you work with a reliable sourcing company. Find exactly what you’ve been looking for in product design and manufacturing with East West Basics. For more information, contact us today!

Contract Manufacturing: Definition and Benefits

Negotiating a short-run manufacturing arrangement or simplifying a design to reduce production costs can be stressful for entrepreneurs. If you’re one of the many who struggles in this area, know that you’re not alone. A useful solution to these challenges is contract manufacturing, which can be instrumental in streamlining production.

Working with contract manufacturers has numerous benefits for both small and large organizations. Outsourcing certain services and hiring externally may allow you to make high-quality products quickly, all for a cost that both you and your customers will love.

What Is Contract Manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing involves outsourcing production to a manufacturing business. Contract manufacturers offer many services to enterprises, some of which include:

  • Creating detailed computer models of products to facilitate the manufacture
  • Manufacturing things utilizing skilled labor or 3D printers, CNC machines, and other instruments
  • Finishing products
  • Packaging
  • Supplying inventory warehouses
  • Quality Control
  • …and more

Contract manufacturers benefit most industries and businesses due to the broad scope by which they operate. Smaller companies outsource manufacturing to cut expenses, while larger companies employ it to streamline production. Contract manufacturing can benefit a business regardless of the industry or product complexity. Delegating tasks in this manner allows entrepreneurs to dream big and create innovative products.

Benefits of Contract Manufacturers

There are multiple reasons every business should consider working with a skilled and experienced contract manufacturer rather than staying in-house. Some of these include:

1. The Opportunity for Better Products

Contract manufacturers can make great products, sometimes of better quality than you might get with your own internal resources. Having access to a contract manufacturer’s team means you will get to work with qualified engineers and innovative production gear, including CNC machines, 3D printers, and accurate cutting, drilling, and milling tools. Many of these resources may not be accessible to you otherwise and could result in a finished product that is better than what you thought was possible.

2. Lower Costs with Contract Manufacturing

The cost of keeping everything in-house may be more than what your company can handle at any given time. Manufacturing instruments, operators, product designers, and plant/warehouse upkeep can all add up. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, consider moving these to a contractor and you will likely see a reduction in overhead and an increased ROI.

3. Resource Conservation

Contract manufacturers save significant resources in multiple ways. Lean manufacturing reduces waste, which reduces costs and carbon emissions. Additionally, working with a contract manufacturer frees up time so your employees can focus their efforts on branding, marketing, and other vital duties instead of production details.

4. Labor Savings

Scaling a business to the level of mass manufacturing requires a massive crew of plant managers, engineers, operators, and experienced materials workers. Contract manufacturers manage their employees efficiently; their sole purpose is to provide the benefits of a large staff without the hassle of hiring, wages, or scheduling.

5. Faster Market Entry with Innovative Technology

Contract manufacturers can help you quickly build your products using the latest manufacturing tools and knowledge base. CNC and rapid prototyping are techniques and tools that accelerate these processes, enabling businesses to go to market exponentially faster.

6. Scalability

Even as output rises, contract manufacturers negotiate low bulk raw material prices. If you start small (say, 1,000 components), you can immediately scale up production without significantly higher costs. Contract manufacturers record your manufacturing preferences and product models to increase production swiftly.

7. Contract Manufacturing is Perfect for Startups

Startups and small enterprises in particular can greatly benefit from contract manufacturing. These enterprises generally lack the budget, people, and resources for in-house manufacturing. Outsourcing initiatives allows them to compete with larger firms at a lower cost.

8. End-to-End Options

End-to-end contract manufacturers handle the full process from start to finish. They design, buy, manufacture, assemble, package, and ship products. Keeping everything under one roof minimizes your business’s expenses and complexity. This is something you would ideally do if operations were in-house but taking it to another team eliminates the hassle and maximizes productivity.

9. Industrial Solutions

The experience contract manufacturers bring may help you identify niche, innovative, and improvised design solutions in your sector. For instance, suppose you wish to make a particular surgical device. You can find a medical contract manufacturer with specific industry expertise to create your product, sometimes at a higher quality than you would be able to if you did it all yourself.

10. Accurate Cost Estimates and Deadlines

Quality contract manufacturers should give you a clear budget for the entire process. The manufacturer will provide a thorough cost estimate upfront. Their experience with the process means you’re less likely to encounter unexpected costs or delays.

Contract manufacturers offer many benefits, but they must be skilled and experienced. Find a reliable contract manufacturer with industry knowledge to maximize your benefits when you partner with East West Basics today.