22 Tips for Healthier Offshore Manufacturing Relationships
3. Don’t assume anything when it comes to quotes. Manufacturing, prep and proofs are usually quoted separately, so be clear that you require a quote that lists each charge separately.
4. Determine additional freight and customs costs. Be clear on your shipping/freight strategy. Your manufacturer can handle these logistics and pass the cost on to you, or you can employ a freight or customs broker. Whatever you decide, always be sure to require a breakdown of all fees.
5. Ask about an export tax. Some countries charge an export tax/fee. Find out whether or not the country you’re doing work in does, and if so, what that cost is, and whether your manufacturer has included it in your quote.
6. Be aware of fluctuating currency. Costs are likely to vary from quote to quote depending on current exchange rates.
Brokers vs. Factory-Direct: Working With a Broker
7. Use a broker that will stand behind the work even when the printer won’t.
8. Use a broker that has an office near the factory. You’re likely to have more success when choosing a broker who not only has a local office, but also maintains an active presence in the factories. Some brokers actually have permanent offices in the factories with which they deal.
9. Understand and leverage the influence of your broker. Although they serve as the “middle man,” brokers provide the added value of having long-term relationships and significant volumes of work at partner factories. Use this to your advantage. A broker may have more influence on cost and schedule flexibility at a factory than a typical publisher would on its own.
Brokers vs. Factory-Direct: Working With a Factory
10. When possible, choose a factory that operates a U.S. office. For communication purposes, including language and time differences, it’s helpful to work through a factory’s U.S. office.