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R&D Q's: How to find good Vendors?

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Hope you had a great weekend!

Thanks for sticking with me as I explore common R&D questions. Today we're wrapping up with a few tricks to find manufacturing vendors for development.

How to find good vendors? Here's a few methods that have worked for me:

Use a vendor portal like to find vendors.

Send mass RFI with their free account. Ask questions, and get mfg feedback from vendors.

Use an RFQ tool like

Send mass-RFQ to many vendors at once. Pro-tip: Ask for referrals.

Interview diligently before awarding a PO.

Use a digital online manufacturing platform.

This works great for sourcing low-mid volume. High volume should still be with a high-volume manufacturing partner. is an online digital manufacturing portal that matches parts to capable/reliable manufacturing companies. is another online digital manufacturing portal that specializes in quick-turn injection molding, CNC machining, additive manufacturing, and sheet metal. They have a good network of vendors.

Quality control (customer suppport) is handled by the platform, which can make direct mfg feedback more difficult.

I think of these as the 'McMaster Carr' of manufacturing. After I validate the manufacturing method, I'll go find someone that specializes to optimize cost.

Find a contract manufacturer that can source all the components, packaging, etc.

CM are necessary if you're not going to do assembly in-house. CM typically have good manufacturing partnerships, some even provide services in-house.

Hope this helps you in finding good vendors for your next project. Call me if you need help finding someone for your project.

Make it a great week!​


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