Small Minimum Orders
As a start, in searching for a prototype manufacturing service provider to create your new product, opt for one with small minimum orders. All custom manufacturing companies or manufacturers of metal products have a minimum order quantity (or MOQ requirement), which you need to comply with to let them work on the job. Usually, MOQs range from 100 to 10,000 pieces. If you have a small-scale business, it is best to remain within your budget. So, look for a prototype contract manufacturing company that only requires small minimum orders, so it is easier to go to market.
Tooling and Molding
Next, remember that you are creating something that has never been done before, so you have to find a custom manufacturing company that could make your prototype; this provider also needs to make tooling and molds to produce your product. The prices of tooling and molding can range from $1,000 to $250,000 or even more. Reputable custom manufacturing service providers will try to lower your costs of investment for you – to be able to invest more in the actual product development and marketing.
One more thing to pay attention to when choosing a manufacturer is shorter lead times. A manufacturer of metal products, whether for your prototype or final product, has to be capable of giving fast turnaround times. If your product cannot be produced in time for your pre-sold products to be delivered, or inventory to be restocked, you can be sure to see an increase in returns and refunds. The prototype manufacturing company that will be able to deliver a continuous supply of goods can contribute to the success of your business.
Bill of Materials
Also opt for a manufacturing company that will help in the breakdown of costs of materials. No matter what is used, it is important to know the cost of each and every material, including the smallest items, and a good manufacturing company will provide you with a breakdown to show transparency on the materials used.
Last of all, it is important to ask the manufacturer for an explanation on their quality assurance processes for the finishing and transport of your products. The use of computer numerical control (or CNC manufacturing) can greatly increase the quality of your products. At times, companies that make use of this process are categorized as CNC manufacturing companies. When you choose such a company, you can be sure that this firm will be very reliable and consistent, since they have an automated rather than a man-operated production line.