Sampling and Product Development for Importing

The sampling stage of new product development can be an exciting part of the import business. Ordering product samples and doing all kinds of tests to assess their suitability. However it can also be the most frustrating and unrewarding part of the start-up phase as well.

Your specific goal is to get the product to market as quickly as possible, with minimum hassle. Easier said than done.

Well here some tips to set you straight:


What to Expect – Product Sampling When Importing

Be prepared to sample multiple times and invest time into this phase. Firstly let’s understand the difference between a ready to go product, ODM and OEM. These are three terms you will see quoted by suppliers.


Product Development and Product Lifecycle – Importing

  1. Ready to go – already been manufactured to your requirements, the factory has the production mould, equipment settings and skilled staff to easily reproduce the product again. So you will make no physical or visual changes to the product. This is the easiest product to start with for new importers, least risk, time and cost – a RTG product can be easily sampled and commercially produced in 3 months
  2. ODM – Original Design Manufacture – this includes positioning your own label, own packaging or supplying own designs for the ready to go product to incorporate. ODM does not include any physical change to product attributes, ODM can take longer than 3 – 6 of months of product development, as multiple samples are often required to
  3. OEM – Original Equipment Manufacture – this can be as little as making changes to the attributes of a ready to go product, or contracting the factory to develop a completely new product development from blueprint. Each of these types of new product design vary greatly in terms of cost, risk and time required.


Tips for Sampling and New Product Development – Importing

  1. Product design and development – be careful of making changes to the product and If you wish to make changes to the product, these changes may turn a ready to go product into an OEM job, and dramatically impact the start-up and launch of your product or business – requiring much more of your time and effort
  2. Product development and quality – if you receive a sample, and the quality of craftsmanship is poor – say 6/10, when you want 8.5/10, it can be almost impossible to get that product craftsmanship up to standard. Poor quality materials can be easily replaced, but a massive increase in the quality of craftsmanship often requires a culture shift in the organisation – and you do not want to be involved in that. It’s time to find a new supplier to import from.
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by Ben Crawford

New Product Development and Sampling when Importing. My Import Label