A great factory relationship for a product development team is nothing short of a god send. However, until you have that relationship established, usually through a lot of business, the entrepreneur or startup can find themselves in a difficult situation with costs, quality and delivery.
Quality can often be the center of attention when product starts arriving to customers and the feedback is not all positive.
So how does an entrepreneur / startup team avoid quality issues when working with new or existing factory relationships?
One way NOT to handle it is through traditional finger pointing. Fewer things outside of finger pointing will guarantee irreparable damage to your customer / factory relationship quicker than asserting blame instead of focusing on solving the most pressing problems that are hording resources and stalling the product development lifecycle and manufacturing.
Often entrepreneurs / startups are quick to terminate the relationship with the factory based on quality , costs and delivery issues. We always encourage working with the factories and vendors already in place to resolve issues. The reality is, there will always be issues regardless of how good the team or factory is. Identifying a new factory, moving tooling and getting contracts into place with no guarantee of resolving the current issue at hand can be a tremendous waste of time and money.
If you find you and your team in over your heads with your current factory relationships, it would be a good time to bring in a project based or hourly consultant that has experience in your industry and relationships with factories. By doing so, you are reducing risk and decreasing your time to market.
If you have questions about your factory relationships and quality control, please contact us.