Jerry Haynes Law


Your relationship with a manufacturer is a very important partnership. Your manufacturer will strongly influence the quality of your product, your time-frame to the market, and your reputation amongst retailers and consumers.
Here are three things you should do before establishing this crucial relationship:

  • Do your research
  • Consider hiring a representative
  • Look overseas

There are thousands of contract manufacturers in the market today. You can do most of your research on the internet or at a library. And you can also browse products that are related to your product at retailers to find out information about manufacturers.

To start the process you must first determine which manufacturing code covers your product by way of a system called the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Secondly, scour the country for manufacturers in that code. Also consider contacting trade associations and/or get1 the help of a local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) counselor. Attend trade shows for the industry most relevant to your product. Search the Thomas Register online for U.S.-based manufacturers. With an internet search, it’s also possible for you to find overseas manufacturers you wish to target for your invention.

Manufacturers’ sales representatives’ job is to bring in new accounts like yours and work out a contract in exchange for a fee or a percentage of revenue generated by product sales. So they can be very helpful if there happens to be a good fit for you in their customer portfolio. Industry directories and trade shows are great places to find them.

One of the first questions you may have about your product is whether you can afford to have it manufactured in the United States. If it’s a complex product, its components are heavy or you have short lead times, then making it in America is probably still the best choice.

Alternatively, you should consider a foreign manufacturer if your product has a low-margin, if you need it to be manufactured in large quantities, and if long lead times aren’t a big issue for you. Overseas suppliers now can compete with American companies in quality and consistency for products with these attributes.

But counting on a foreign manufacturer can also pose problems. Some overseas countries have been known to steal the intellectual property of their client companies. And shipping costs and delivery issues can also be troublesome.

Finding a good manufacturing partner is a crucial next step in bringing your invention or new product to the open market. In today’s world, by way of the internet and networking techniques, you can target a great manufacturering partner in the US or from around the globe.