For well over a decade now it’s been common thought in Australia that if you want something made, get it done in China. With the emergence of e-commerce supergiants like Alibaba, never before have we been so connected to Chinese manufacturers, providing cheap, reliable, and quality manufacturing at the click of a button. Or so it seems...
Unfortunately, this ideal scenario is too often far from the truth. In reality, dealing with China can result in horror stories of months-long shipment delays, communication errors resulting in complete mis-understandings of briefs, poor quality and workmanship, intellectual property theft, hazardous material use, and unethical workplace conditions.
That’s not to say there aren’t great reliable manufacturers in China, there are, but it is important to consider the risks you are taking on when looking to manufacture overseas. Too often, a narrow-minded price-centric approach to the complex business decision of selecting a supplier is used by startup businesses looking to get a footing while keeping costs down. Unfortunately this can often backfire and cost more in the long run as it negates the many other factors at play in such an important decision, such as time, communication, quality, intellectual property, and ethics, all which affect bottom-line.
When considering suppliers from a more business oriented and holistic approach, Australia remains very competitive with China.
For instance, the most obvious benefit being you won’t have to deal with messy import situations, shipping delays, and tariff restrictions. The last thing you want is your products held up at the docks for months during a union or trade dispute, affecting your cashflow and placing your business in a compromising position.
Secondly, sourcing local manufacturers means you can be sure of what you’re getting. No language barriers and a boots-on-the-ground approach to physically visiting the factory where your product is being made will give you a much better understanding of the intricacies of your idea through the lens of production, highlighting any cost saving revisions before it is too late and giving you the ability to call out poor quality or workmanship much easier if needed.
Furthermore, the timeframe between sample production and review can be drastically reduced due to the domestic nature of Australian manufacturing, resulting in a shorter lead time from first sample to last unit.
You can also be sure your products are made in an ethical and safe manner in Australia, we have stringent OHS laws in place here for a reason, and often this ideal working environment leads to better quality products with no cut corners.
Finally, you can be sure that your idea is protected under our IP laws. No need to worry about dodgy suppliers ripping off your idea and getting away scot-free. There are harsh penalties here for any illegal behaviour.
Securing a quality, affordable, and reliable supplier is crucial to a product’s success. When approaching this decision from a rational and holistic business mind, it’s important not to write Australia off too soon, there are a lot of business benefits to locally sourcing production.
At B.Product, we have been making award winning products here in Australia for over a decade now and have a wealth of reliable contacts across all industries. If you would like to discuss further about whether it’s possible to manufacture here in Australia and avoid the headache, click here to organise a free consultation.