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INTRO Intro, and a question on US manufacturers w/ logistics capabilities

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kbrc

New Contributor
Feb 17, 2021
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Hi everyone - I am here because I read the Millionaire Fastlane. I was amazed how it helped focus my many random thoughts about creating my own business - a business which would be successful enough to quit my day job while my kids are young and enjoy my life.

My day job is, by most respects, considered "successful." I am in a senior role at a large consulting company, in my late 30's with two young kids (4 and 1) and could likely retire in my early 50's with a cushy lifestyle. However, I work all the time and travel frequently (pre-COVID) and have been struggling with the realization that I will be grinding it out for the next 10-15 years when my kids are growing up, and will miss that period of their lives. So I'm looking for something else, whether that is more of a "lifestyle" business (i.e. minimal hrs/week) or building something to exit after a few years and retire.

That brings me to my first question. I did some searching on the forum but didn't immediately see anything on point; if this has already been discussed I would appreciate a pointer to the thread.

I am seeking input on US manufacturers who also provide logistics capabilities like packaging, warehousing, and shipping directly to the customer.

Here is my situation:

I have identified a niche market where I believe products can be improved. I have hired a designer to create initial designs/concepts and have begun contacting potential manufacturers in China and the US. Thank you @Walter Hay for your thread on this forum and your book - definitely worth the money.

I would prefer a US manufacturer as my product is light but quite bulky (i.e. will ship via sea) and I believe "Made in America" will be a very helpful selling point. The vast majority of competing products are made in China and generally considered by customers to be low quality. However, they are really the only product in this niche available now and are at a relatively low price point, so they sell well. The niche has a solid customer following who I believe will pay for higher quality products.

I have noticed some US manufacturers provide not just production capabilities but additional services like packaging, warehousing and shipping directly to the customer. I see risks and opportunities with partnering with this kind of a manufacturer:

From a time and cost perspective I see the benefit of utilizing a company that combines these services. I would not need to ship the product to a fulfillment center to get it customer-ready/handle distribution. If I go this route I could further focus on marketing, customer service, developing additional products, i.e. growing the business. I am intending to sell through Amazon and my own website; potentially wholesale to smaller B&M (I will be competing with big box stores).

If I select this kind of manufacturer and utilize these additional services would I be giving up too much control? I would essentially have 1 company responsible for at least half of my business. They will have a hand in the final design too, given they are manufacturing the product. I've seen the advice that one should not import from China directly to an Amazon FBA warehouse which I totally get, and this feels very similar.

On the other hand, I see an opportunity here. A goal of mine is to exit this business in 3-5 years. If I utilize a manufacturer who also provides the packaging/delivery logistics they would be a prime candidate to buy my company, as it would be easy for them to gain synergies by cutting me out.

Thoughts on this issue? Or suggestions on how to mitigate this risk if I select a US manufacturer who can also address many logistical needs? Given I would be selecting a US manufacturer in this situation, could I just protect myself through IP/contractually?

Thank you everyone in advance - though I have only been on this forum a brief time I have found the information here valuable.
 

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Walter Hay

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There are not many manufacturers willing to do what you want. I don't know which of my books you have, but if you have LabelsThatExploit The Power of Psychology, Perceptions, and Emotions, you will find there only a few US companies that will do assembly work as an adjunct to other finishing processes. None listed will do all that you want.

If you care to PM me in confidence with details of the product, or even just the manufacturing industry that would be involved I could probably locate someone for you. I am privy to the secrets of many Fastlane members, so you can be sure your project will be safe with me.

Having long ago sold my industrial chemical business in which my role was as an industrial troubleshooter I might be able to solve your problem for you.

Walter
 

kbrc

New Contributor
Feb 17, 2021
2
1
11
There are not many manufacturers willing to do what you want. I don't know which of my books you have, but if you have LabelsThatExploit The Power of Psychology, Perceptions, and Emotions, you will find there only a few US companies that will do assembly work as an adjunct to other finishing processes. None listed will do all that you want.

If you care to PM me in confidence with details of the product, or even just the manufacturing industry that would be involved I could probably locate someone for you. I am privy to the secrets of many Fastlane members, so you can be sure your project will be safe with me.

Having long ago sold my industrial chemical business in which my role was as an industrial troubleshooter I might be able to solve your problem for you.

Walter

Thank you, Walter, for the advice given separately and guidance provided. Very much appreciated!
 

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