The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Accelerate wealth. Build a business that pays freedom. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs and register for the Fastlane Entrepreneur forum. Remove ads? Join the INSIDERS.

metallon

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 13, 2020
48
125
127
25
Salem, India
I am a CNC machinist from India. The company, which I was working had clients from foreign countries (US, EU, JP) who want to leverage cost-effective manufacturing. Although our company had great clients, they were struggling to maintain quality. Our company can attract big clients using AS9100 and ISO9001 certifications. Though they had regular local customers, they were losing or had a bad reputation with overseas clients because of inconsistent quality, poor communication, and lack of integrity.

Hence I looked from the perception of the overseas client and thought of creating a web platform where designers and procurement engineers can upload their manufacturing requirements, get the price quoted, and have transparent communication with the manufacturer using digital tools.
SharedScreenshot.jpg

But my friend suggests that before creating such a platform, It's better to understand what customer needs through creating a survey or asking for feedback from them. I think it is a great idea. But I'm struggling with how to ask for suggestions like whether to create a survey or directly ask them through DM. I need help with how to approach people (whom I've found through LinkedIn search) and also your suggestions on this idea.

Thanks.
 

Kid

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2016
1,723
1,642
494
You ask what's better, survey or DM. The answer is do both and see. Send 10 surveys and 10 DMs.
Also linkedin is not the only place - maybe there are Facebook groups for metalworks,
or specialised online forums.

Your friend is right, doing something you have no idea about is rarely recipe for success.
So it's good that you gather info.
 

Ernman

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
853
1,870
550
61
Florida, USA
I'm going to be blunt and give you feedback from the perspective of one who was once in leadership of a company using overseas manufacturing. Please understand that no offense is intended - this is just plain, unadulterated, non-sugar coated observation.

Bottom line up front: All the certifications and "digital" commitments mean nothing if the product isn't to spec.

We had so many quality issues with off-shore manufactures we were willing to pay more to have it made in the US where we could more easily conduct visits and inspections. In essence, it became cheaper to pay more because at least we were getting product we could use or not have to pay to rework ourselves. We had entire shipments that failed in-coming QC and the off-shore manufacture refused to take responsibility, pay for return shipping to rework, the list goes on. We sent our QC manager to investigate one company and found they were NOT following any of the basic QC activities one would expect from an ISO certified manufacture. In his words, they paid for a certification but were not qualified and not following any standards other than cheap labor.

I'm certainly not saying our US suppliers were perfect by any stretch. And to be honest, I've come to believe that modern QC has become more about the paperwork drill than actually getting anything made correctly. But because the were closer we could more easily deal with issues and had greater recourse to deal with problems.

Again, I'm sorry if this hurts or sounds terrible. I really don't mean for it to sound that way. My point is that so many experienced businesses have been burned so many times by off-shore promises, certifications, "transparent communications" and digital tools that there is little appetite. New businesses may buy into it believing the story line until they get burned a few times.

How is your web platform going to correct a lack of integrity or poor QC management by a manufacturer?
 

metallon

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 13, 2020
48
125
127
25
Salem, India
@Ernman Thanks for being upfront and for sharing your experience. I posted this question in a few other forums and the challenges are listed below.

Challenges in overseas manufacturing:
  1. Inconsistent quality.
  2. Delay in Lead times.
  3. Samples often did not match the production runs.
  4. Not following quality procedures.
  5. Not operating as a team with the buyer.
  6. Middle man (sales guy) - Disconnected with the manufacturing process.
  7. Big cultural differences.
  8. Not building a relationship.

This gives me clarity from the buyer's perspective. I am certain that creating a web platform won't be solving any of these problems. I need to create a strong process that addresses the challenges mentioned above. I value your suggestions, so let me know what you think.
 
Last edited:

Tom H.

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 13, 2019
239
477
223
Jaco, Costa Rica
Sounds to me like the opportunity is in being an India based liaison that U.S. companies can trust. Meaning you take responsibility for quality assurance and don't accept products from the shop if they don't pass QA.

There are lots of processes for manufacturing, the ISO certifications should imply these processes are begging followed, but obviously there certifications are bullshit. What counts is building a relationship and gaining trust.

By the way, I worked in machine shop that was pursuing ISO certification, but the owner eventually decided it wasn't worth it. We did tight tolerance jobs for clients that trusted us and were happy with our work, they didn't need the certs.

In other words, creating yet another process might not add much value, but helping build relationships and trust might. Of course, that also means fighting with the shops who just want to ship their product and don't want you holding things up.
 

metallon

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 13, 2020
48
125
127
25
Salem, India
opportunity is in being an India based liaison that U.S. companies can trust
helping build relationships and trust might.
Yes, I had the same thing in mind.

I'm thinking about starting a company that provides RFQ's, process plans, Quality assurance, and shipping, while for manufacturing, I can utilize machine shops nearby.

But there is a challenge here. Let's say that my company provides better service than others. But I don't have a competitive edge over them. I'm sure other shops and companies have access to their own in-house machine shop as well as other shops within 50 miles of them. I need to come up with a solution that is unique and gives a competitive edge over them. I value your suggestions, so let me know what you think.
 

metallon

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 13, 2020
48
125
127
25
Salem, India
I made a business model that could give me more control over manufacturing, while utilizing small machine shops.

0001.jpg

I am targeting people from abroad looking for manufacturing in India. And to solve their challenges (mentioned earlier in this thread) as well as gaining control over production, I need to pre-plan the process, quality assurance, and logistics. To make it risk-free for buyers, I am not charging for sample parts.

I am uncertain about this idea. But looks good on paper. What are your thoughts and questions?
 

Sponsored Offers

MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Hi - I sent out some emails with the updates but I'll PM you now also, thanks. The issue is...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE NEW: The Best School for Going Fastlane (Now open for summer enrollment)
Read the free book, some excellent insights. I also did the website quiz and I did a visual on a...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Chris is super sharp and is aware of many facets of entrepreneurship and can help get your...
Introducing MJ's Personal Unscripted Network, Join Now for FREE!
Any chance to make it available outside of US? It has been available outside of the US on...

Forum Sponsor

Learn Fastlane Business Skills & Get Profitable Within 30 Days...

Get Started Now

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom