Welcome to 2 Minutes 2 Launch.

My name is Terry and today, we're going to be talking about how to find the right CM partner.

The first thing, and this sounds very obvious, is to make sure they have the equipment and capabilities to build the product that you need. Do your due diligence and make sure they are controlling in-house the processes that are most important to you.

It's very common for certain things to be outsourced, but making sure that the really most critical things to your product are controlled in-house, will provide dividends down the road.

You also want to make sure that they have built similar products. For example, if you have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth in your product, make sure they understand what it takes to test wireless devices.

The second thing, and this is really, really important, size and fit. I mean this relative to your projected volume and your projected revenue for the product that you are bringing to the contract manufacturer.

You want to make sure that your business is attractive or valuable to them.

If you choose somebody that is much too large of a CM, typically what happens is, you'll get the minor-league support team and you won't get the attention of the organization that you may need.

If you choose someone too small, you may run into bandwidth issues or financial limitations. If your product really ramps and takes off, and you are trying to scale, a company that is too small might not be able to keep up.

Make sure they are the right fit and avoid any risks associated with that.

Lastly, the points of contact that you'll be working with is something you'll want to vet out before you get started.

You'll be working with a company for months through any product development process and making sure the people that are assigned to you, whether it's an account manager or project manager, are competent and that you can work with them effectively. That you like them enough to really interact with them.

You'll also want to make sure you have access to technical staff when needed, beyond the project manager or account manager. You'll need support from engineering or manufacturing at different times, so making sure that that's available.

Also making sure that there is an escalation path to senior management. Through any product development process, some commercial issues that come up that need to be addressed at a higher level. Having a direct relationship or at least access to the senior management is really important.

That's my advice for finding the right CM partner. Thanks for watching 2 Minutes 2 Launch. We'll see you next time.

Date first published: 28 Apr 2020