One aspect of product development that often catches people new to product development by surprise is the practice of minimum order quantity.
Minimum order quantity is the minimum order a vendor will take before beginning work on your product. When it comes time to manufacture your product, minimum order quantity or the “M.O.Q.” as it is known will be a large part of every manufacturing decision that you’ll have to make.
So how do you navigate around an M.O.Q. as a startup or small business that doesn’t need 60,000 of the widgets that you will be producing? Maybe you only need a 1000 or 100 just to test the market before committing to larger quantities. The low number M.O.Q. can be a significant hurdle to overcome.
One very effective way to reduce the M.O.Q requirements is to have a great relationship with your manufacturer of choice, this will carry a lot of weight when it come to negotiating an order quantity that is affordable for you and fair for the manufacturer – this is especially true overseas where business and personal relationships often overlap.
If you know that you want to have small trial run of your product before committing to a larger order then it would be wise to partner with a team of folks that have relationships with manufacturers in your industry. By doing so, you are also adding some level of quality control to the manufacturing process. This can be especially important if the factory is far away and you can’t afford to have people there to audit the end product before it is packaged and shipped.