155: Identifying a Sourcing Partner for Overseas Manufacturing

155: Identifying a Sourcing Partner for Overseas Manufacturing

December 21, 2022

With Forde Aley, Co-Founder of Shining Way Sourcing

Hosted by Kevin Mako of MAKO Design + Invent

155: Identifying a Sourcing Partner for Overseas Manufacturing
155: Identifying a Sourcing Partner for Overseas Manufacturing

Forde Aley is the Co-Founder of Shining Way Sourcing, an agency that has sourced manufacturing for over 1,000 products, with both founders having over 25 years of experience in the space. Today Forde is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can source their first manufacturer for their new hardware invention idea overseas, how to ensure quality control for that production, and why it is important to consider how that factory can scale as you grow into larger sales over time.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Choosing a factory. How to find the right factory.
  • 3 key things for sourcing: Choosing a factory, quality control, and retail ready-to-scale.
  • Find out how the factory is managed, who the players are, and how it operates as a management team. This is overlooked but very important to know.
  • Ensure you or your factory sourcing agent has visited the factory and the factory management team.
  • Quality control processes must ensure the output product matches all required criteria.
  • Standard operating procedures manual of a factory.
  • Retail logistics. Packaging, UPCs, pallets, import, export. Factory selection.
  • The sourcing company’s in-house team. Both local and offshore.
  • Experience. Make sure 10 years or more, the more experience, the more factories the team will have worked with and knowledge of.
  • Why sourcing agents/sourcing companies are important to new consumer product startups and inventors.


Forde Aley Links:
LinkedIn | Shining Way Sourcing

The Product Startup Podcast Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

PTC Links:
OnShape | Creo

Mako Design Links:
YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Kevin Mako Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Quora | Facebook | Twitter

Partner: PTC’s best-in-class software solutions Onshape: The only cloud-native product development platform that delivers full-featured computer-aided design (CAD), integrated product data management (PDM) and enterprise analytics in a single system, and Creo: 3D CAD solution that provides designers with the most innovative tools to build better products faster, such as generative design, additive manufacturing, real-time simulation, IIoT, and augmented reality.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!