A machine tool in a manufacturing plant. Photo via Pixabay
A machine tool in a manufacturing plant. Photo via Pixabay

San Diego entrepreneur and writer Nathan Resnick is on his third startup, a company dedicated to helping other new companies take their innovative products to fruition. Resnick was a student at San Diego University when he started Yes Man Watches, stylish timepieces with a patent-pending buckle. Then came Cork Supply Co. Manufacturing was always a challenge, so his third company, Sourcify, is dedicated to simplifying that problem.

1. Why did you start Sourcify?

Sourcify solves the biggest problem I used to face as an entrepreneur: finding the right manufacturer. As a founder of two e-commerce brands, I learned it always took us a few months to find a manufacturer we felt comfortable working with. We faced a lot of fraud and were never sure if we were sourcing in a secure manner.

Sourcify utilizes our product development process and database of the world’s top manufacturers to help entrepreneurs swiftly turn an idea into an actual product.

2. How do you go about vetting manufacturers?

Our vetting process falls into three main phases: communication, formalization and cross-referencing.

Nathan Resnick

Communication revolves around the relationships we build with a potential manufacturing partner. In Asia, business is very relationship-focused so maintaining this communication is essential to a smooth transaction.

On the formalization side, we have all the legal documents in place to protect ourselves and our partners. This includes everything from non-disclosure agreements to actually verifying if a manufacturer is incorporated in their home country.

Cross-referencing is the sweet spot behind figuring out if a manufacturer is legit. This includes checking online databases of manufacturers, seeing if they attend tradeshows, verifying export certificates and more.

The whole vetting process can take quite some time, yet we’re fortunate enough that tradeshows like the Canton Fair exist to help consolidate legitimate manufacturers.

3. What if a company has a great idea, but little understanding of the manufacturing process?

Then they should work with Sourcify! The clients we work with usually fall into three main categories: first-time entrepreneurs who have an idea and need help turning that idea into an actual product, businesses looking to extend their product lines, and businesses looking to cut costs.

As an example, we were approached to help cut costs on a key component for a custom grill company, JJ George. They knew they were overpaying for this part, as they were buying from a wholesaler. Within a week, we introduced them to the manufacturer who was supplying that part to their wholesaler.

As the founder put it: “Thanks so much Nathan and team at Sourcify! We are a manufacturing company, and were able to cut costs by 65 percent on a key item by going direct to the manufacturer instead of having to go through two middle men to get a lower quality imported product here the U.S.”

4. How quickly can you get a product into production?

The timeline to get a product into production depends largely on the complexity of the actual product. For custom-branded consumer products like watches, hats, or sunglasses, we aim to make the right manufacturing introduction within a week. From there, getting a sample for this product usually takes about one to two weeks.

We always recommend ordering a sample before starting production so you can confirm quality and design specifications. Once you’ve confirmed a sample, production can take anywhere from 20 to 40 days.

For more technical products or hardware components, we take a similar approach but know the manufacturing process needed is much more advanced. Our goal is to introduce a client to a manufacturer who already produces nearly identical products. This way the manufacturer is very familiar with that type of product and the client probably won’t have to invest a lot for a completely custom process.

5. Are the changing politics around trade and manufacturing prompting you to adjust the business model?

The political climate around trade and manufacturing will always be shifting. For us, our main mission is to make the process of bringing a product to life easy. Many of our manufacturing connections are spread across Asia and we’re rapidly building relationships in Mexico. If the climate changes to the point where we need to refocus connections here in America, then we will make that happen.

For now we’re in the early stages of what we are planning to build into the go-to platform for bringing a product to life. This means we are making connections with manufacturers around the world, developing software to help clients get through the product-development cycle, and building our own team of rock stars at Sourcify.

Times of San Diego, a startup itself, regularly writes about startups in technology, biotech and other sectors of local business. If you are a startup in the San Diego area and want to tell your story, please contact news@timesofsandiego.com.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.