Starting and maintaining a manufacturing business is more difficult than a customer service business as a lot of space and equipment is required. It also tends to take a longer time to start making a profit.

So you must play your cards right from the very beginning. Know that once you establish a manufacturing business it will usually last for a long time. This article will go over some tips that will guide you when you plan to start your manufacturing business.

Research

It is important to understand the market before starting a company. You need to do extensive research to know how various manufacturing sectors operate, the requirements of your company and the level of competition.

Key manufacturing sectors include food, automotive, industrial, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Without research, you cannot determine what sector you will choose for your venture.

You can always use the internet or buy books to research but trade fairs or exhibitions are a good idea as not only will you get to learn about the market but also get to connect with people.

Location and Daily Operations

Choosing an appropriate location is very crucial for your business. You need to determine where you will set up your operations and sell your products.

You might be able to go by with a small home office at first, but eventually, you’ll need to move over to commercial space as you start utilizing more specialized equipment.

For a small manufacturing business, transportation is one of the biggest concerns as it significantly adds to the price of the products. Try to choose a location that is connected to urban areas but still far away enough to follow the zoning rules in your city.

Your daily operations as a manufacturing entrepreneur depend on your level of involvement.

Initially, you’re going to spend most of your time looking for a market for your products or refining and managing on the actual manufacturing process.

You’re going to be facilitating many roles like sales, public relations or inventory management. Only after you’ve raised enough revenues will you be able to hire employees, outsource your tasks to third parties or freelance project managers.

Start Small

It is important to take baby steps in the initial stages of your business. Depending on the specifications, the expertise required and capital expenditures, producing physical products can be expensive.

Mistakes at this stage are unaffordable. To avoid mistakes in the initial stages, it is a better idea to lease or rent equipment rather than buying them immediately.

The product will go through several minute changes in the first few months so depending on manual labor and low investment tools is a better idea. Also leased equipment is considered an overhead tax-deductible expense.

Keep revisiting your bill of materials to look for efficiencies and leverage tools that cost less to operate. With this in mind, start small, consider equipment leasing options and expand with purchases once you have a solid footing.

Partnerships

When you start your manufacturing business, there is a good chance you may not be able to withstand competition from bigger manufacturing companies.

Use this to your advantage to create incentives and partner with selected manufacturers to subcontract different phases of your operations.

Also, you can outsource manufacturing overseas based on the varying degree of need for projects as you build your brand. Also, do make sure to have multiple options rather than focusing on one good partner.

Inventory Management

Focus on supply chain management.

Manufacturing supply chains can get pretty complicated. It’s beneficial to make sure this is watertight.

Develop your manufacturing business policies to deal with supply chain breakdown by having alternative suppliers or storing off-site stock.

Manage production to cut down on lead times by prioritizing manufacturing order queue so your staff is always working in logical ways. Don’t keep a lot of inventory lying around and bulk up on costs.

It is also generally a good idea not to spend too much on inventory. If you have obsolete stock, get rid of it and make room. It is a good idea to use automation software to deal with inventory management.

We recommend using Odoo. Odoo is an easy to use business management software that helps you to run a business efficiently. Odoo lets you optimize your inventory level through accurate fulfilment propositions.

Workshop Productivity

You need to make sure your workshop is productive and efficient. Sort out your items so that employees can easily find stuff (especially frequently used items).

Make sure your employees don’t have to fight over tools, implement hierarchies and system of storage and make sure to keep the workplace clean.

Odoo’s manufacturing app can greatly increase efficiency in your workshop through shop floor automation (provides real-time data from your equipment using the API) and real-time communication (Display worksheets, quality alerts to workers during operations)

E-Commerce

E-commerce has distinct advantages over traditional retail stores like costing less and letting you overcome geographic boundaries.

Odoo has you covered here as well. Odoo’s E-commerce app provides you with amazingly beautiful custom product pages in seconds.

The app provides an all in one integrated E-commerce platform where inventory and sales can easily be maintained via automatic stock adjustments and reporting. It has optimized marketing to increase your average cart revenue.

Odoo Allows your customers to pay with Paypal, Ingenico, Adyen, Buckaroo, Authorize.net, PayUmoney, Stripe and SIPS Wordline. Online payment methods redirect customers to a ‘Thank you’ page on your website.

Shipping is also easy as Odoo Speeds up your order fulfilment with easy integrations for major shipping carriers and lets you track your packages directly. Select across multiple rates from shipping providers and print shipping labels with just a click.

Starting a manufacturing business is no small initiative. It’s a challenge to start small, but it is not impossible. Hopefully, with these tips, your manufacturing business will be a success.

Syncoria is a digital transformation company based in Canada and an official Odoo Ready partner.

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