Why you should create competition among your manufacturers

Olivia Carr from Shhh Silk talks about the complexities of overseas manufacturing

16 November 2018

For every product business, quality assurance is critical, especially when you’re negotiating with manufacturers, particularly in Asia.

Olivia Carr, founder of Shhh Silk sleep accessories produces her range in China, and says that she encounters challenges almost daily.

“In the early days, we relied on one large factory because you think you’re getting the best pricing when you give one factory all your work,” Olivia said.

“But that means when you have quality issues and lead time issues, you have nowhere to go.”

Olivia’s solution was to spread their production load across multiple factories, creating competition among her providers for more work.

“Sure, they don’t like it and it’s not an easy conversation to have and is one I have almost daily,” Oliva said.

“But the one that consistently performs well and consistently has great lead times, we obviously start to feed them with more work, and the one that in’t performing we replace them with someone else.”

“[Manufacturers in] China are very clever - they see products on our website that they haven’t even touched, and my response is that they need to do better.”