When it comes to running your business, there are a million decisions that need to be made. From choosing your location to building your online presence to generating new leads, businesses often have a to-do list a mile long. And usually, one of the things on the top of that list in the early stages is identifying a manufacturer for your products.
One of the most important factors that come into play even before choosing who your manufacturer is, is first choosing where to manufacture your products. Your products are the strong foundation of your business and the thing that attracts your customers—so it’s important to closely evaluate all of your options when you’re looking at different manufacturers. And one of the first, pivotal moments will be deciding if you should keep the production in the United States or send it overseas. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of both options to help you make this tough decision.
Higher Labor Standards
There are many benefits to keeping your manufacturer in the United States. Unlike overseas factories, the U.S. is known for its high standards when it comes to labor and ethics. If you choose an American factory, no matter where in the country, you’re assured a high-quality work environment that treats its workers fairly. That means you can feel good about how you’re making your product, and as a result, your customers can also feel good about buying them.
Close Proximity & Easier Communication
Another big perk of domestic production is easy communication. Because there isn’t a language or cultural barrier, nothing will get lost in translation as you work with your manufacturer, and you will always understand the process and where you stand. Because the location is domestic, you can also oversee quality control and your supply chain much more closely, and visit the factory directly if a problem ever arises.
Less Lead & Shipping Time
Because a domestic factory is close in proximity, it also means that there are less lead and shipping buffer required when it comes time to actually produce your products. Instead of getting stuck in customs or taking the time to ship overseas—which can take weeks or even months—your product will get to you quickly and easily from an American manufacturer.
Intellectual property protections are stronger in the United States than they are overseas, which is a major perk for domestic factories. When you’re working with American companies, you can be sure that your products and designs are always safe.
Though there are many advantages to domestic production, there is one major downside: cost. U.S. manufacturers are almost always more expensive than their foreign counterparts, and usually, it is because of all the associated perks. Labor laws in the United States require higher wages for workers and better facilities overall, which results in an increased cost of doing business that is then passed on to the customer.
Overseas manufacturers are typically more inexpensive than domestic manufacturers. That means you can earmark that savings for other parts of your business, like business development, marketing, or lead generation. International manufacturers also allow you to create a larger volume of products, and usually much more quickly and for a lower cost—resulting in fewer production runs for the same quantity.
Easy to Source
International manufacturers are often easier to source than domestic ones. Because of the sheer volume of factories in countries like China, it gives businesses many options that are usually quick to find through reputable marketplaces or online searches.
Unlike in the United States, foreign manufacturing is fairly unregulated. That means that there are inconsistent conditions for workers, unpredictable pay for staff, and fewer regulations around intellectual property. Though there are high-quality international factories, the lower level of regulation requires that American companies spend more time doing due diligence to ensure the ethical treatment of workers and peace of mind around their intellectual property like proprietary designs or materials.
Longer Shipping Time
Because of the distance, there is a much longer shipping time required for internationally produced products to reach the U.S. Companies also should consider the extended transit time and additional costs that are often added when products go through customs when vetting overseas manufacturers.
A large downside of foreign manufacturing is consumer perception. Because of the questionable conditions that have been uncovered in many countries, customers often do not approve of things made overseas—they view foreign goods as inferior and unethical compared to those made domestically, though that is not necessarily the case in actuality.
Choosing What’s Right for You
When it comes to making this decision, there is no right answer. Instead, companies need to evaluate every pro and con and choose what makes the most sense for their business. Though cost is an important component, there are many more factors to weigh than just the price per unit. Evaluate the overall goals of your business, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision that you and your customers can feel good about.
At Riva Precision, we’re here to help you make the best decision for you and your jewelry collections. We offer a range of services to ensure that we can turn any of your designs from just an idea into a reality. From product development to diamond setting and laser engraving, we have a trained team of experts that have honed their skills over decades to make the process easier for you.
We also have extensive manufacturing experience. From casting to mass finishing to chain manufacturing to die and metal fabrication, our services expand across the spectrum of jewelry making so that we can bring your vision to life. Our team also has only the strictest quality controls in place to ensure that your designs are produced reliably and consistently so that you know exactly what to expect from us each and every time.
Get in touch with our team today to learn more about scaling your brand and manufacturing your collections in New York,