This is the part when your sports product ideas really start to come to life. This is a time that can be exciting, intimidating and frustrating – all at the same time! But don’t worry, with a cool head and expert guidance, your sports product will be manufactured correctly and you’ll be one big step closer to seeing your profits roll in. Sporting is a huge industry, which can often make it difficult for new companies to break into the market. But, by working with D2M Innovation, we’ll make sure your product is made to a high-quality, at a low price, that will satisfy your end customers.
The first step in the manufacturing process is to choose a factory to produce your sports product. You can either choose to manufacture your product in the UK, or abroad. To get the most competitive price, you may consider manufacturing your product abroad. Although the production costs will be much lower, you must consider the duty rates and shipping costs – as well as any issues that could arise through difficulties in communicating and cultural differences. Some of the biggest exporters of sporting goods abroad are China, the United States and Germany. To help you choose a factory abroad, you could hire a sourcing agent – these agents will act as a middleman between you and the manufacturer. Often sourcing agents will have their own trusted manufacturing partners that you can choose from. If you decide to produce your product in the UK, it’s often easier to negotiate directly with the factory and you’ll be able to conduct more research into the factory’s reputation. However, manufacturing in the UK is often much more expensive. If you’re making a sports product, you should also be aware that some items simply cannot be manufactured in the UK. These include textile products, cheap plastic products and consumer electronics. No matter if you choose to manufacture in the UK or abroad, there are a few key things to remember when working with a manufacturer.
You should first always ask for samples of your product before committing to any orders, and always ask to see references for the factory. You must also do as much research into your chosen factory as you can, and visit it if you’re able to, as making the wrong decision at this stage could put a halt to the whole development of your product.
Manufacturing a new sports product never goes smoothly, but there are a few tips that we share with all clients that can help minimise problems:
Before you place an order, your factory should always send you samples of your product. A sample will typically include a small batch of product that you can test and provide feedback on. This is the time when you can make sure your product meets specifications, and meets the quality that you intended. If you’re not happy with the sample, you can go back to your factory with updated product specifications and designs. If your product is textile-based usually sports clothing, shoes etc. it will be textile-based. If this is the case, you’ll probably just have to pay a small amount to get samples – based on the cost of materials. You’ll also have control over all details of the product including stitching techniques, patterns, colour, and the type of fabric used.
If your product is plastic or metal-based usually sports accessories, rackets, skates etc. you may find that receiving samples costs a lot more. This is because your product may require a specialist tool to be built in order to produce a sample. In most cases, machinery should already exist to produce your product but it’s an expense you may need to consider if your product is totally unique. When you get your sample through, you should be as critical as possible.
Sampling is a crucial step and you want to make sure you’re completely happy with your sports product before making an order.
At D2M, we’ve worked with plenty of clients to help bring their innovative sports products to the market.
Find out more information about developing a sports product.
If you’ve got an idea for a sports product, but need support in making it a reality, contact us and we can schedule a call to discuss your project.
If you’re looking to develop a new product or re-design an existing range but lack the in-house capacity or expertise to make it a reality, get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements.