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, the Co-Founder of Shining Way Sourcing, is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the industry. His agency, which has sourced manufacturing for over 1,000 products, has established itself as a leader in the field. Today, Forde will provide invaluable guidance to inventors, startups, and small manufacturers seeking to source their first manufacturer for their new hardware invention overseas. This includes tips on securing quality control in production and the importance of evaluating the factory’s capacity for growth as sales increase over time.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Selecting a Factory: A Guide to Finding the Right One.
  • The Three Vital Components of Sourcing: Choosing a Factory, Maintaining Quality Control, and Preparing for Retail Scalability.
  • Investigate the Factory’s Management Structure: It’s crucial to know who’s in charge, how the team operates, and how it functions as a management unit. This aspect is often overlooked but crucial to consider.
  • Visit the Factory and Meet with Its Management Team: Ensure that you or your sourcing agent have visited the facility and met with the management team.
  • Quality Control Measures: Ensure that the final product meets all necessary specifications and standards through established quality control processes.
  • Factory Standard Operating Procedures: A manual outlining the procedures and processes used by the factory.
  • Retail Logistics: Covering aspects such as packaging, UPC codes, pallets, import/export, and factory selection.
  • In-House Sourcing Teams: Both local and overseas teams within the sourcing company.
  • Years of Experience: Opt for a team with at least 10 years of experience as it indicates a wealth of knowledge and experience working with numerous factories.
  • The Importance of Sourcing Agents/Sourcing Companies for 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!