UK Manufacturing Companies: Finding the best solution for your product

Remay Villaester (May)

Had a fantastic idea for a new product? Once you’ve come up with the initial concept, the next step is to make a prototype - and for this, you’ll need to look into UK manufacturing companies.

But how do you go about getting a product manufactured, and finding the right manufacturer to use? Is using a manufacturing consultant a good idea? We’ll answer all of these questions and more here in this handy guide.

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How to find a UK manufacturer for your product

Before you start scouring the internet for potential manufacturers for your product or prototype, you’ll need to work out exactly what you’re looking for. Start thinking about technical detail and design specifics, unit numbers, shipping speed and of course, how much you’re willing to pay.

Let’s start with the types of supplier you can choose from.

Types of manufacturing company

There are a few different types of manufacturer you may come across while trying to get your product made. These are:

  • Manufacturers - the factory which actually produces the products
  • Suppliers, wholesalers and distributors - these companies can supply you with products from existing brands
  • Dropshippers - these companies supply products as well as fulfilling orders of already-existing products and brands.

Where to look for manufacturers

There are a few different places you can find manufacturers for your product. The first is of course, online. Here are a few places to start your search:

Another way to find a manufacturer is through word of mouth, or through referrals through your professional networks - both online and offline.

Key things to look for in a manufacturing company

Here’s what you should aim to find out before making a final decision:

  • Lead times - how long will it take to produce and ship your items?
  • Costs - you not only need a cost per unit for the manufacturing process itself, but also a price for delivery of the finished order to your door. You can also ask about discounts and lower prices for bulk orders, if that’s relevant to what you need.
  • Minimum order quantities - does the manufacturer require a minimum order amount? This could be a problem if you’re only looking to get a prototype made.
  • Other fees - will the company charge any setup fees, for example to cover equipment or tooling needed to make your item?
  • Technical capabilities and custom orders - this is crucial, as you need to be 100% confident that the manufacturer has the skills, resources and willingness to create the product you want.
  • Values and ethics - if it’s important to you, does the manufacturer share your values? For example, a commitment to eco-friendly and ethical manufacturing processes.

You may also need to look for other qualities, such as ISO or other quality certification (if you need it), a good industry reputation and any additional services they may offer such as dropshipping.

A quick check to find out whether the company is financially sound is also worth doing, as the last thing you want is for them to go out of business once you’ve placed an order.

Should I use a manufacturing consultant?

Finding a manufacturer, negotiating prices and managing orders can be complicated and time-consuming. If your business grows and you need even more products made, it can become a full-time job keeping on top of the manufacturing process.

This is why many companies consider business process outsourcing, where a manufacturing consultant takes control of the whole process. A consultant takes care of the following:¹

  • Creating specifications for components and assembly
  • Establishing the design and system process
  • Managing materials and logistics
  • Developing a strategy for efficient manufacturing
  • Setting benchmarks for delivery
  • Identifying parts of the process to improve cost-efficiency and quality.

Hiring a manufacturing consultant can of course add to the cost of getting your products made. But in the long run, it could be worth it for a smoother, better value manufacturing process, completed at a lower cost with a reputable supplier.

Save money when you pay manufacturers overseas with Wise

Offshoring can often be much cheaper, and it could suit your business better. If you’re considering using an overseas manufacturer, check out Wise for Business when it comes to paying invoices.

With a Wise account, you can pay international invoices in the supplier’s local currency for low fees and the real, mid-market exchange rate. It’s convenient, secure, and could be cheaper than using your bank. And it’s up to 19x cheaper than using PayPal.

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So, that’s pretty much it - all the essentials you need to know about finding and comparing UK manufacturing companies. We’ve covered where to look, what to look for, and whether or not outsourcing to a manufacturing consultant could be a smart, time-saving move.

After reading this guide, you should hopefully be in a good position to start searching for manufacturers and placing orders. Good luck with your product!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Zippia Blog post

Sources checked on 31-May-2021.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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