Enter Offshore Manufacturing With Your Eyes Open

Offshore manufacturing is a common strategy to reduce costs, but make sure you carefully research this option before you commit yourself legally or financially. Here are some tips to consider:

Be aware of everything that is involved.

Will your intellectual property be respected and protected by your offshore manufacturer? Are the manufacturer and its personnel qualified to make your products? Are your offshore partners reliable? Are there any import restrictions or quotas?

Evaluate all of your costs.

Cost reduction is one of the most common reasons why businesses use offshore manufacturing. Make sure you look at all of the costs, both direct and indirect, of moving your production offshore.

Plan how you will manage your offshore team(s).

Will you have a good working relationship with your offshore partners? Will there be language or culture barriers to overcome? Do you have the time, money, energy and willingness to build and maintain those relationships, whether it’s by phone, email, video conference or in person? Are you willing to hold teleconferences during off hours to accommodate different time zones? Are you willing to travel?

Seek legal counsel.

Enlist the help of an experienced lawyer before you commit your business to a new partnership or joint venture, or before you sign any contract(s).