MSI has the capabilities to assemble nearly any product. The diversity of types of products, and level of prospective customer sophistication varies widely across a broad spectrum.
Choosing to partner with a trusted contract manufacturer provides manufacturers and businesses a wide range of benefits including cost savings, scaled-up production, bolstered quality control, risk mitigation, and more efficient management of resources.
Before your organization can enjoy these benefits, you’ll need to lay the groundwork. Whether being a newly founded startup or established business, we advise doing your research before you sign a contract to ensure a smooth onboarding process. Follow the steps below to save time, energy, and money as you begin your new partnership with MSI.
The following is offered as a guide to help prospective customers enjoy a better understanding of what is needed to engage MSI in service.
Step One: This Information is Vital Before Starting a Relationship with MSI
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.
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 below.
- 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)
Start-ups, Entrepreneurs or New Product Developers
- 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
Step Two: Timing and Schedule
One of MSI’s core values is flexibility, however, preparing space for product assembly, adequately training technicians, and developing quality processes and work instructions, takes a little time. This investment of time enables MSI to offer consistently high-quality outcomes. It is advisable to allow at least three weeks for onboarding, after the manufacturing agreement is signed.
Step Three: The Onboarding Process
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.
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!
Relevant Onboarding Information
- 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.