There are several ways to manufacture a product. Each method can come with its own pros and cons. If you’ve come up with an idea for a product and you are unsure how to manufacture it, weigh up these three options.
You may decide to manufacture your product by hand. This can prevent the need to invest in expensive machinery, saving you money upfront. You also have more freedom to customize individual products. The fact that each product is unique and the fact that you have put hard labour into each product could also allow you to charge more per item – customers are often willing to pay a lot more for hand-crafted items.
Of course, you will be spending more time and effort per item, which means you’ll have to manufacture at a slower pace. This may not matter if you’re able to make one product per week and sell each one for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, it may not be such a good business model if every product takes a week to make and is sold for $20.
Hand-crafted items are best suited to people that possess a craft skill while being able to build at a rate that justifies the price of each item. In some cases, you may be able to hire multiple craftsmen to build at a faster rate. Many luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Gucci rely on such practices (although sometimes incorporate elements of machinery).
Use your own machines
If you’re looking to mass produce your product without hiring a hundred craftsmen, you’ll want to look into machinery. One option could be to acquire your own machines and start your own factory.
This requires quite a big investment upfront – you may have to buy machinery and factory space. Of course, buying machinery on loan/leasing machinery and renting factory space are options. Certain complex products may require you to build your very own machines. This could involve having to shop for parts such as specialty wire or specific dies in order to build the machine you need. You then need to consider whether to hire workers to man your machinery.
While the initial costs of using your own machinery may be very expensive, you could save money in the long run compared to making a product by hand. Being able to produce products at a much faster rate can allow you to sell them in greater volume more quickly. You could soon pay back the cost of any machinery and start making a big profit.
You don’t have to handle the manufacturing process yourself. It’s become common for companies to outsource manufacturing to other companies. This could be a local factory or a factory overseas.
Outsourcing manufacturing can save you time having to manufacture yourself. It can also save you money upfront by not having to acquire your own machinery.
The cost of using a manufacturer is of course something to weigh up – you could end up spending more money in the long run. That said, the convenience could be worth it. Some companies may use a mixture of outsourcing manufacturing and doing some of their own manufacturing.