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The Benefits Of Low-Volume Manufacturing In China: Boosting Efficiency And Lowering Costs

The Benefits Of Low-Volume Manufacturing In China: Boosting Efficiency And Lowering Costs

China’s Low-Volume Production for the New Product

Many customers create their own products, frequently in the electro-mechanical field. Some get big pre-orders and launch with a bang. They are the fortunate ones, at least in terms of commerce. Many others manage to locate a suitable manufacturer in China, and their goals are more modest, initially requiring only low-scale manufacturing. I thought I would offer some advice to businesses in this predicament.

Liquid Silicone Rubber(LSR) Injection Molding Manufacturing Process
Liquid Silicone Rubber(LSR) Injection Molding Manufacturing Process

Benefits and advice

Take care of the design work yourself.

In terms of aesthetic design, this is a no-brainer. You shouldn’t rely on Chinese providers to complete this task well. (Special case: search for an enclosure that is already available on the market if aesthetics are truly not a concern for you.) You will most likely have trouble finding a manufacturer who will take care of engineering tasks (CAD drawings, electronics, firmware, etc.) for you. Accept the harsh truth. No OEM manufacturer in China or Vietnam will devote a significant amount of engineering and managerial work to obtaining minor orders. They don’t operate on that model. In fact, it is suspicious if they do (are they going to offer the goods to their other clients?). It implies that you will have to work with a design firm, employ a staff of your own (but will it be financially feasible? ), or search Upwork for technical resources (but if your project is sophisticated, you will have challenges: who’s going to make the decisions?).


Verify that the parts can be acquired and put together for the appropriate price and quality.

Obtaining one or more components will likely be the primary obstacle. New products often have some new pieces, which is where problems often arise. The intricate coating on that metal component could be challenging to get perfect, and tiny batches turn off the few truly excellent plasters and painters. Otherwise, take a different tack. Opt for a more conventional treatment, experiment with different alloys and/or colors, etc. This will be difficult to handle, regardless of whether the goods are for a business-to-business market where you are able to afford far more than consumers would. It can irritate you greatly. Volume, volume, and more volume are the main objectives of component suppliers. They don’t make an effort to comprehend your company and modify their strategy.


Whenever feasible, use standard parts.

A novel item comes with new pieces, as I mentioned previously. However, all that “newness” can be minimized in several ways. For instance, if your product contains electronic components and you anticipate making a few thousand pieces throughout the course of the product life cycle, it is probably not the best idea to start manufacturing using an Arduino model. Conversely, do you have to start from scratch when designing and developing your own PCBA? Perhaps, but perhaps not. A quick search on AliExpress for “PCBA” will turn up a number of pre-made boards for widely used applications; one of them could work well for you. (That’s not that common, but if you pursue this line of thinking, you might come up with another use for an existing object.)


Collaborate with an assembler who does not have a minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Small quantities as well as low-volume manufacturing are disliked by the average Chinese or Vietnamese firm for a number of reasons: Their goal is to turn a profit on the goods they produce. A little quantity usually translates into a small total margin. (Often, they aren’t even aware of how to create an invoice for their work!) A specific percentage of the order goes to the salesperson. A little commission on a little order equals a low incentive. Because their employees are compensated by the component and are hesitant about learning how to create a new product (with poor effectiveness in the initial hundreds of pieces) just to switch over before they attain high efficiency, they simply wish to put comparatively large batches on the manufacturing line. The manager may feel embarrassed about taking a modest order, but he or she enjoys bragging about big quantities and clients.


Use an ODM provider if you require specialized or complex technologies.

If you anticipate having a small overall margin and a limited production volume, then starting from the beginning makes less sense. It’s usually a simple choice if the goods you sell can integrate a module that an ODM supplier has built and is available! Many times, some modifications will be required. Even so, it will be substantially quicker than starting from scratch. Have a different factory build and package the entire product if you don’t want the OEM to know what it will be used for (usually a very sensible decision).

Liquid Silicone Rubber(LSR) Injection Molding Manufacturing Process
Liquid Silicone Rubber(LSR) Injection Molding Manufacturing Process

Tips for purchasing low-volume off-the-shelf goods or creating your own textile products


  1. It may be necessary for you to employ standard materials or components, consent to a larger order size, or purchase a larger amount of a crucial material and need the supplier to hold it in stock.


  1. Depending on what is in stock at their local market, the factory may have to substitute a vital commodity on a regular basis, something they may not disclose to you.


  1. If you are unable to purchase directly from China, consider purchasing the identical product through another exporter in your nation. They simply need to place an order for more pieces.


  1. Dealing with a trading business won’t help much if one can buy directly from China because they typically don’t keep inventory.


  1. Steer clear of purchasing items that fall into sensitive areas (for infants or youngsters, electricity, in contact with food, etc.), as you will most likely need to pay for expensive laboratory testing.


  1. There are low-cost, fixed-cost options for branding your product. Steer clear of those that do (such as a plastic injection mold customized with your own logo).


  1. Consider your company plan. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to rival others on pricing. Target specialized markets, set yourself out, etc. Purchasing superior products and promoting their advantages in your market can often be effective.


  1. Consider logistics carefully, as they can significantly increase your total expenditures.

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