As we have discussed on our blog before, selecting a Contract Sewing Partner is no easy feat. Many things need to be taken into account: open, honest, and consistent communication, access to product or fabrics, on-time delivery of high-quality products, and more. Despite the fact that there are over 6,000 contract manufacturers in the US alone, many people choose to manufacture their product internationally rather than domestically. There are many differences between working with a domestic sewing contractor vs. an overseas sewing contractor.
Selecting an overseas sewing partner can be extremely difficult, especially if you go into it blind. The easiest way to select an overseas contract manufacturing partner is through a referral. Referrals can come from anywhere: online sources, other people in the same profession as you, from fabric manufacturers, or even from a domestic contract sewer who happens to have overseas connections. Knowing that an overseas company has worked well and delivered quality work to another company is always a source of comfort before you go into business with them.
A major deciding factor for people when selecting a Contract Manufacturing Partner is the cost. Working with an overseas manufacturer could mean up to 80% less in labor costs than teaming up with a domestic manufacturing partner. There is also a cost difference in an oversized production while using an overseas vs. a domestic, which is another reason that oftentimes major production runs are sourced overseas.
So, yes, you will pay less if you import your product.
However, consider the other costs:
- Quality Consistency: While both domestic and overseas manufacturers run the risk of poor quality consistency due to the speed with which they produce and the fact that your product passes through multiple sewers, to this day people view overseas production as inferior. This could be due to lack of strict or unenforced labor laws in some factories.
- Property Protection Risk: Most countries have less intellectual property protection laws, which could put your idea – and your business – at risk. NDAs (Non-disclosure agreements) could be less strict or non-existent. US Manufacturers maintain strict property rights protections, and therefore your product model will not be copied.
- Time: The turn-around time for an overseas manufacturer is always going to be longer. That means you need to plan for a larger window of time before your product will arrive. This is due to not only the distance, but because of complicated customs and imports processes.
- Even with the comfort of a referral, communication can be difficult due to time differences, language barriers, and misunderstandings.
These costs can all be more detrimental to a business than spending a slightly more money for the security of a domestic contract manufacturer.
All of these costs are in most cases things that can be avoided when working with a Domestic Sewing Contractor. “Made in the USA” is not only a selling point, but a statement synonymous with “high quality products”. The US also has many property protection laws and NDAs that must be followed in order to ensure protection of your designs, your ideas, and ensure confidentiality through the entire production process. Another positive is that – in most cases – you can actually visit the production floor while your product is made. Suffice to say this is easier when your Manufacturing Partner is on the same continent as you. This also contributes to timely communication, fast turnaround, and oftentimes, ensured timely delivery.
For some, a lower price point of an overseas manufacturer often overshadows the convenience of physically walking into a domestic contract sewing facility. You don’t realize how easy it is to reach someone, until you are in an opposite time zone and there is a production crisis. As a domestic contract manufacturer, we are advocates for domestic production; however, more than that, we aim to promote knowledge of both sides in order to allow you to make an informed decision based on the facts.
If you’re interested in getting a quote for your Custom Sewn Product, fill our our Request A Quote Form and one of our representatives will get back to you.