Have you noticed that it’s a little tough to get in touch with a manufacturer? Especially, if you are a small business does it seems that they all only have time to for the bigger accounts?
Let me share with you 3 tips on how to get not only a call back but also service when working with your manufacturer.
Tip #1: Ask the right questions.
Manufacturers are busy, especially your rep. They manage multiple accounts (100) not uncommon with multiple sku’s, retail requirements Think of how long you have agonized over what to name the product, finding the perfect bottle and creating a label…now multiply that by 100 and you start to understand their lack of responsiveness.
So how do you handle their busyness and get their attention? Ask these questions:
1. What are your minimum orders? Ask minimum per sku for both private label (stock products) and custom products.
2. Can you do X? Is X organic, is X working with raw goat milk? is x finding gold packaging? Ask and be specific and clear.
3. Ask their preferred method of communication. Maybe it’s email, phone or text and there will be time for all three but ask the best way to get in touch with them and when to expect a call back.
Tip #2: Do as much upfront work as possible once you’ve decided on a company and product line.
2. Have a graphic artist mock up the label. The manufacturer should review them before it prints but definetly get it mocked up first. Save the artwork in both a pdf and native files like AI.
3. Choose your names and upc codes if unnecessary before you start and decide if you want an outer display box before you get started in the process.
Tip #3: Be realistic. Product development takes 4-6 weeks.
Period, end of story. If you need to get out sooner than you need to take a stock product, make no changes and have artwork ready and maybe you can get it out in 2 weeks. Otherwise be prepared for initial product development to take some time. And it’s not a bad thing, there are a lot of steps in between.
Was this helpful? What is your frustration when working with manufacturers? Leave a comment below and let me know!