Good communication with manufacturers is an essential part in the manufacturing process. Here are 7 tips for better communication.
Tip #1 – Use Their Initial Responses as an Indicator
Once you submitted a communication to the manufacturer you have to be vigilant when it comes to duration on how long you will receive a response from the manufacturer and how responsive they are of the questions.
Their responsiveness in the early stage of the process is a good indicator on how responsive they’ll be in the next process. You should receive a response from the manufacturer within 48 to 72 hours otherwise if there will be no response within the said period it will indicate inefficiency of communication.
Tip #2 – Know Who Makes the Decisions
Don’t assume that whoever you’re communicating with is the decision maker. The person you’re talking to may not have the authority to make decisions. Know who the decision maker is. Deal only to the authorized person if you want to get clear information and a favorable decision.
Tip #3 – Get Everything Down on Paper or Email
Phone negotiations are not the preferable way of concluding a transaction. You must see to it that agreements are made in writing or through e-mail. In that way you have a proof to show whenever a problem occurs in the communication in which the parties previously agreed.
Tip #4 – Be Wary of Things That Are “Too Good”
Be cautious to the unreasonable considerations being offered to you particularly when it comes to the price because this could be a sign of not being reliable. Although there are differences among manufacturers but one manufacturer cannot usually offer big difference than the other manufacturers unless they cut somewhere else so that they can give a very low price to their clients.
Tip #5 – Expect Renegotiation
Don’t assume that just because a contract had been agreed upon means that there will be no changes anymore throughout the working relationship because it is common to the manufacturers to renegotiate the agreement that had been made in the contract.
One way of minimizing changes in the contract is making lock-in clauses for important parts of the contract. These clauses can lock in specific agreements for certain period of time which often last for a year.
Tip #6 – Add a Safety Buffer to Your Timelines
Always consider time allowance when planning, especially when time accuracy is being considered because it cannot be avoided that unexpected and fortuitous event may happen along the way. Having 2 to 4 weeks time allowance would be enough to cover the necessary requirements for efficiency. Hence you cannot make business decisions on the exact date in which the product is suppose to be delivered.
Tip #7 – Quality Control, Quality Control, Quality Control
You should be concerned on how the product being manufactured because through this the manufacturer will determine that you really care on the quality of the product, so that the manufacturer will work harder of producing good quality product.
You should ask product samples and check it carefully. Ask weekly reports look how the product is being manufactured and if possible visit the factory or you may ask a third party inspection in the production area.
Quality control is very important to produce good quality product. If the company produces a poor quality product it will definitely lead to unsatisfactory result of the product whereas if quality control is efficient it will help to assure the delivery of good quality products.
These are the 7 tips for improving communication with your manufacturers.