Doing Business with MSI
MSI has the capabilities to assemble nearly any product. The number of inquiries received each month by MSI concerning the assembly and/or manufacturing of various products is sometimes surprising. The diversity of types of products, and level of prospective customer sophistication varies widely across a broad spectrum.
The following is offered as a guide to help prospective customers enjoy a better understanding of what is needed to engage MSI in service.
What Information is Needed from Established Manufacturers?
Established manufacturers generally have access to a resource base that includes professionals for planning, engineering, prototyping, marketing, costing and pricing, safety and IT support that positions them to adequately present an assembly project to MSI:
- Current Drawings (with redline revisions, if applies)
- Sample Part/Product (when possible)
- Start Date for Initial Build
- Expected Completion/Delivery of Initial Build
- Expected Volume for Initial Build
- Expected Ongoing Volume(s) & Schedule(s) (Monthly, Annually, Steady, Seasonal, etc.)
- Anything Unusual (Specific Certifications, Potential Safety Risks, Extended Lead-Times, Expedited Delivery Dates, Anticipated Delays, etc.)
- Project Meeting(s) (allowing both parties to discuss and come to agreement on the various details)
What Information is Needed from Start-ups, Entrepreneurs or New Product Developers?
Even with a relatively simple product, less developed entities have numerous boxes to check-off before bringing their idea or product to MSI. Often this group is further challenged, without the benefit of an experienced team of professionals to guide the process. Before bringing a project to MSI, and to best set yourself up for success, it’s advisable to have a good handle on the Existing Manufacturers list above, and:
- Established Corporate Entity (LLC, Partnership, C or S Corp, etc.)
- Professional Services (Legal, Tax, Financial, Marketing, etc.)
- Viable Business Plan including Budgets for all Categories
- Adequate Funding
- Marketing Plan
- Supportive Feasibility/Market Study(ies)
- Budget for Assembly (can vary greatly, generally 15-30% of retail depending on nature of product)
- Expected Retail Price
- Prototype(s) or Sample(s)
- Components Specified & Sourced
- Tooling & Equipment Sourcing Specified
- Packaging/Shipping Materials Sourced & Designed
- Estimated Material Cost per Unit
- Product Liability Insurance
- Online Presence (Website, LinkedIn, FB, etc.)
- E-Commerce Platform Account (ShipStation, Shopify, Squarespace, etc.)
- Product Distribution/Supply Chain Plan
- Printed Product Literature (Instructions, Labels, Tags, etc.)
- Marketing and/or Sales Materials
- Inbound & Outbound Transportation Costs
- Regulations or Restrictions (Safety, Regulatory, HazMat, etc.)
- Other Items Specific to Product/Industry
Timing & Schedule
One of MSI’s core values is Flexibility. Yes, we are flexible. However, preparing space for product assembly, adequately training technicians, and developing ISO 9001:2015-level quality processes and work instructions, takes a little time. This investment of time enables MSI to offer consistently high-quality outcomes backed by MSI’s 100% Zero-Defect Guarantee. It is advisable to allow at least three weeks for onboarding, after the manufacturing agreement is signed.
After the quoting, estimating, negotiating and scope of the project is established, a prospective customer is ready to transition to a current customer or client. Be prepared to provide relevant onboarding information to advance the process:
- Customer Information/Profile – provides basic customer contact, legal entity and billing information.
- Credit Application – provides banking and credit information on which MSI makes credit approval decisions.
- Guarantee – provides MSI with a personal guarantee from the company principal in the event of matters affecting a corporate entity.
- Submittals – Purchase Order, Current W-9, Certificate of Insurance naming MSI as named insured with $1,000,000 of coverage, Tax-Exempt Form (if applicable), Packing Slip Template (if applicable).
These documents must be completed, signed and returned to MSI. Upon credit approval, MSI will prepare a Contract or Scope of Work for Services (SOW), which will represent the written agreement. The SOW defines the schedule, volumes, description of production, pricing and terms of the agreement. MSI cannot provide any services without a signed SOW. Once signed, we’re ready to rock!
Hopefully, this information has been helpful in assisting you with realistic expectations as you prepare to get your assembly or sub-assembly underway. Should you have questions, thoughts or would like more information, please complete the form on this page for a prompt response during business hours.
Thank you! We look forward to providing solutions to your manufacturing challenges.