Outsourcing manufacturing overseas typically saves companies labor costs. But doing so requires sound research and being smart and strategic about what country to do business in.
For example, one must be mindful of how advanced a county's infrastructure is so that your materials and products can be moved around efficiently. Keep in mind also that labor costs in China, a traditional source for overseas manufacturing, are on the rise; if you're making large orders, you might now want to consider other countries, as well as China, for manufacturing your product.
Then, when it comes to selecting a factory, one must go through a careful vetting process to make sure you find one that can:
Make the product at the quality level you have in mind.
Make the product at the cost you have in mind.
Meet the standards of any regulatory obligations required of your company or your industry.
Toys, for example, must be made at factories certified as having met the requirements of the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). This documents a vendor's "social responsibility" – basically ensuring a factory's safety and fair labor practices.
Outsourcing also demands that one be very clear on specifications for the outsourced product (color, texture, materials, and dimensions). It's important, too, to be aware that so much of product specifications can be subjective – for example, what does "softer" mean? Developing production samples with a manufacturer requires a lot of patience, back-and-forth, and trial-and-error.
Testing for usability and safety is also an aspect of outsourcing that needs to be carefully managed. Often, that requires hiring a third-party testing agency to ensure that your product is safe in every way and that it works properly under different conditions.
Then, once you've finalized your product, quality control during production requires vigilance since it's really an ongoing process. Finally, outsourcing manufacturing to another country isn't just about in-country production; it also demands being savvy about the import requirements of the country where you plan on selling your product.