We've been shopping for manufacturers for over two months now; much longer than anticipated. As I mentioned before, not a single manufacturer we're spoken with in the US could come close to matching our product specs for a feasible cost. I'd resisted the urge to start farming the project around internationally, figuring that if I was having this much trouble getting this taken care of in the US, throwing a cultural and language barrier in the mix would just make matters worse.
I couldn't have been more wrong. I was out to dinner with some friends of friends in Dallas, Texas a few weeks ago, complaining about not being able to find a manufacturer, when one of my new acquaintances looks over and says, "My uncle runs a manufacturing conglomerate out of Hong Kong." He proceeds to tell me about the business and their capabilities, it turns out this company does everything we hoped to find.
The next day they signed some NDA's and we sent over our computer models. A couple of days later, I had a quote from the manufacturer, without any negotiating they came in at five, FIVE, times lower than comparable US sourced molds. They could handle the packaging, assembly and the sourcing of components in China. More importantly they practically fell over themselves to get our business. That service coupled with the personal reference sealed the deal. We have our manufacturer.
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