Our charges are broken down into an affordable, step-by-step, pay-as-you-go processes to get you through only the stages that you need. As we move from stage to stage you will be able to see the progress and choose whether or not to commit to the next stage. For production runs, we use a project management fee to cover the steps that we perform.

We encourage our clients in Australia to visit suppliers under consideration prior to making a decision and as part of an on-going business relationship.

Understanding foreign production environments is key to establishing long term rapport with the suppliers whom you engage with. These are challenging environments as many of these suppliers operate under a sometimes vastly different cultural environment. Most suppliers do not even speak with the same language, have different expectations to quality, operate under a different set of norms and in some cases may not appreciate why you need things done in a particular way.

At Sourceworxs, we see ourselves as bridging that gap.

A factory visit helps with the following:

  • Provides you with a first-hand view of the factory which produces the product you are hoping to purchase.
  • Helps establish a sense of personal relationship between yourself and key people manufacturing your product. In most cases, this will involve the owner of the factory and the owner’s family members.
  • Manufacturers in many low labour cost countries ‘operate old school’. The relationships you establish with them help with reducing lead times, improve understanding of your requirements and contribute towards better outcomes when problems arise.
  • Opens the possibility of you viewing other suppliers in a particular region or area as you expand your product range.
  • Allows you to be be aware of the types of risks associated with each supplier and the context of their operations.
  • Creates opportunities for you to increase your product range with very little effort on your part.

The most sensible approach is the earlier the better!

Having said that, clients benefit the most when:

  • You engage with us at the scoping phase of product development.
  • You work with us during the prototyping phase to firm up processes and parameters.
  • We establish prices once suppliers, scope and production processes are confirmed.
  • We work together to ensure that production processes are in compliance to the agreed method and in accordance with manufacturing standards
  • When we need to negotiate rates with the supplier during and after production runs
  • Issues crop up and require intervention to resolve them with the manufacturer.

If you’ve been importing products from overseas before, you’ll realised very quickly that getting consistent quality of product isn’t easy. Your final product may be made of many different components. There are packaging considerations, instruction manuals and freight to consider. Once the product is packed in a container and arrives in Australia, getting a refund or rectification for any defect is near impossible.

At SourceWorxs, our approach is simple.

We have qualified staff across most parts of China who can easily pop into a local factory to check on the progress of your product. Most of our staff have previously worked for manufacturers originating from western developed countries and are in a position to meet quality expectations. But we generally don’t wait until it gets to the stage where the manufacturer has already produced scores of your product. Quality control is set up right from the start. At the time when designs are being formulated, drawings are cross checked and when samples are first being developed.

Our relationships with many manufacturers were forged across many years, some measured in decades. These manufacturers depend on us to continue promoting their capabilities overseas. This means that they’re motivated in meeting expectations.

If you’ve had any experience in dealing with Chinese and South-East Asian manufacturers, you’ll realized very quickly that manufacturers are mainly interested in producing product in volumes they’re happy with. This makes it difficult across a number of key areas for most clients:

  • When you need a manufacture a new product and can’t guarantee a ‘minimum order quantity’ yet – simply because you need to test the market.
  • When you genuinely can only sell in smaller quantities because your market is small.
  • When you need one-off pieces as prototypes or ‘proof of concept’.

At SourceWorxs, we understand these challenges.

Getting a manufacturer to produce a small number of samples to “test the market” is never easy. Most manufacturers won’t give you the time of day when it comes to this sort of thing simply because it doesn’t benefit them. In our case, our relationships with these suppliers is what makes the difference.

To do this we will need to match a suitable supplier with you first as part of our due diligence. Prototyping forms a critical step in this process before a small number of items can be manufactured, which in turn also acts as a test run to further ensure that the selected manufacturer is right for you.

If you’re reading this section, you would have experienced or heard horror stories about the poor quality of imported product before. Receiving product which is of poor quality can be financially devastating and operationally disruptive. Customers who learn the hard way are usually the ones who first discover about poor quality when it turns up in a container and after the shipment’s been paid for.

By that time, it’s often too late to do anything.

Quality Control starts at the very beginning of any engagement we have with you. We will ensure that your expectations of quality are communicated very clearly to the manufacturers from the very start and reinforced at key milestones. Getting the right manufacturer to produce your product is critical as the culture of quality is fundamentally different across different factories, let alone any of these countries we operate in. This is done largely though quality drawings, the constant presence of QA inspectors and superior communications skills.

Prototypes and samples are critical. Nothing gets programmed into a manufacturing run until you have signed off on a sample that you’re happy with.

This means an actual sample in your hand, not a photo.

Part of quality control includes our team members on the ground visiting the factory designated to produce your product. For a product which has never been manufactured before or if the manufacturer is someone we have not dealt with before, it’s not uncommon to have enhance levels of scrutiny at different stages of the product’s manufacture.

The idea is that if we need to be there to check on the whole process until the product is packed and loaded up into the container, we’ll do it.

At Sourceworxs, we’re actually a bunch of qualified engineers and technical types who have decided to become procurement specialists. This means that we can also draft up your drawings in CAD or Solidworks and ensure that this is interpreted correctly by the selected manufacturer.

Most of our team members are at the very least bi-lingual – which helps a lot in ensuring that nothing gets lost in translation. Nothing beats a CAD drawing which has instructional notes (blow-by-blow) in in Chinese, Indonesian or Tamil.

It’s also not difficult to have a “walk through, talk through” with manufacturers on what these expectations are. It’s a common practice we do – which we have found to have significantly improved outcomes.

Having follow up checks – both announed and unannounced forms a critical aspect to ensure that products are fabricated in compliance to the drawings.

It’s not uncommon for us to design packaging for our clients. This means that the supplier isn’t relied on to pack your product in the cheapest possible way and potentially increasing the risks of damage en route to your site in Australia.

It is unfortunate but a lot of manufacturers from lower labour cost countries simply do not appreciate the criticality of properly packing the products which you have ordered. A culture of continually seeking to push cost down which helps in the overall scheme of things is also the key driver towards efforts to reduce cost of packaging.

Manufacturers from lower labour cost countries have little appreciation for complying with Australian OHS requirements. Many are not aware that unpacking a container may  involve only a single forklift driver and spotter instead of hordes of labourers doing the same. The sometime lack of appreciation that pallets need to support loads properly is driven by the lck of understanding that most stock is kept high on pallet racks in warehouses using forklifts.

At SourceWorxs, our solutions may include the following:

  • Assist in running containerisation exercises to ensure that we maximize the capacity of the shipping container with stock.
  • Design packaging, pallets and crates and inspecting their quality.
  • Ensuring that a SourceWorxs employee is physically present watching and supervising the actual packaging of the products into the container before the door is closed and locked.

There is little stopping someone determine on copying your idea but there are plenty of risk mitigation strategies which can be put in place to discourage and minimise opportunities to copy or exploit an idea.

It’s not uncommon for our clients who engage with us to request that we sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. At Sourceworxs, we value and respect the efforts invested into developing innovations created by Australian entities. We would be discussing matters such as Patents, Trademarks and Design Registrations with you and will point you to  affordable options to take out protection which suits your needs and budget.

In addition to this, we do engage in the following practices to minimise exploitation of your design:

  • Before we hand over any of your designs to a factory, we will often get them to sign a custom Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is critical that this document is drafted in the language and terminology of the country in which this factory is located in. This ensures that any agreement is legally enforceable in this country.
  • We do not send whole products to a single factory unless we really have to. As a standard practice, most parts are often broken down and distributed to a range of unrelated factories which will not easily work out what the product is as drawings issued are largely devoid of assembly drawings. This practice may take a little more maangement time but over the longer term provides some better assurance to our clients that their IP is properly protected. Products can then be assembled in a trusted third party warehouse such as the one we have or back in Australia. Whichever method suits you, we will work with you to establish a level of IP protection that you feel comfortable with and allows you to manufacture confidently in these lower-cost countries.
  • We do not list nor reveal who our clients are in any of our marketing material. This means that an overseas based factory is unable to track down your competitors to offer a similar product directly to them.
  • Australian-based manufacturers focused on steel, metal or industrial products under cost pressures to compete in the local market.
  • Builders in need to maintain and improve margins in an increasingly competitive market and to be assured that the metal based products and raw materials meet a range of standards and certifications.
  • Businesses striving to remain competitive but lack the understanding of how to navigate manufacturers operating across low production cost countries.
  • Businesses previously disappointed with their experiences in importing from overseas but continue to explore opportunities to lower their supply chain costs.