4 Ways Hardware Manufacturers Can Outdo the Competition

Written By Sam on 21 November 2017

With the manufacturing economy being so massive and filled with established corporate entities, making an entry into a specific sector can be difficult if you’re not prepared to play ball. Hopefully you’ve chosen a field that won’t be so competitive, but even in the least populated sectors you’ll still find competition so long as there are other companies selling the same thing you are. Plus, even if you’re lucky enough to invent new hardware and a unique market, it won’t be long before copy cats and lookalikes pop up to contend. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps manufacturers can take to set themselves apart from the pack, including but not limited to the following 4 tips:

1. Designing Proprietary Components

The main thing that will distinguish your company from others is its ability to produce hardware that can’t be found anywhere else. Regardless of how much experimenting and investing it takes, arriving at the endpoint of having a proprietary design is always worth the effort. Although external appearance is important, start by making sure the inner workings of the device are unique and powerful. For example, many manufacturer’s use PCB design software during the conceptualization phase to draw up unique circuit board layouts.

2. Focusing on Materials Sourcing to Reduce Overhead

Other than the cost of maintaining a manufacturing facility and equipment, materials are a primary expense for any manufacturer. Thus, if you can source your materials for less then you’ll be able to pass those savings on to the end customer. With the ability to offer comparable products at a lower price point you’ll be well-positioned to excel over the competition, especially if you’re manufacturing a product that falls under the “impulse buying” category in the sub-$100 retail range.

3. Allocating a Generous Advertising Budget

Producing the product is only one half of the equation – you also have to be actively advertising it to the right audience. Luckily, this is an area that many manufacturers aren’t overly concerned with, so there’s usually room for improvement in terms of visibility. The typical first step would be to sign up for sites like Alibaba where you can network with companies globally.

4. Communicate and Correspond More Effectively

Even with top-notch suppliers, communication can be sub-par from many manufacturers due to the language barriers that often exist between the product’s origin and destination. This is one of the reasons why some businesses prefer to source their products from manufacturers based in their home country even though the price is typically higher. Add this advantage to the list of reasons why brands should do business with your company and you’ll be one step ahead of the majority of existing manufacturers.

Reducing Minimum Order Amounts

Although the goal of a manufacturer is to solicit clients that will be making large orders on a continual basis, when you’re operating in a competitive niche it may be a better idea to reduce your minimum order amount. Doing this will lower the cost of starting a business relationship with your brand, making it possible for more investors and businesses to start with a small order and then work their way up as profits allow. It’s also a good idea to allow customers to purchase single samples at a reduced price.

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