1.Choose a partner
It is hard to admit, but the English of most salesman on Alibaba is quite awful. Unlike clothing, rugged phones and tablets require highly professional knowledge. Engineering and technical terminology can be essential to solve issues that always come up. Nice words like, “Hi, friend, how are you?” and, “Your fast feedback can be appreciated,” can’t solve a problem with a display, a connector, or an antenna. Also, it is essential to maintain a long term business relationship. This is something built through time. It allows speed to solve problems quickly, avoiding a back and forth for days on email.
2.Work with your partner to develop a set of specifications
Chipset brands and models, GPS chip and antenna, cellular bands and speeds, sensors, battery performance and swappability, touchpanel technology, display specifications, IO connector choice, IP ratings specified vs. true, camera quality, industrial design, regulatory certifications – all these vary dramatically among the dozens of rugged devices available in China. Tradeoffs abound. It is critical know your present and future customers. Only when working with your partner can you arrive at the true specifications based on many tradeoffs, including costs and leadtime.
3.Select candidate factory
Once the specifications are understood, it will become evident which factories are capable of making your device cost-effectively, and which are not. Pick the top three for further product selection.
For best overall results, it is often wise to match your own organization’s size to that of your factory. There are exceptions, of course. Perhaps the factory is willing to be flexible to gain access to and experience with your market. Perhaps they see strategic reasons to partner with you on desired specifications. Perhaps a large factory makes just what you want, already. Bridge building and early negotiations are key.
Many retailers want to purchase a small MOQ. It is easy to realize for consumer products. In the rugged world, the story changes! Different customers have different demands, so OEM factories in China normally don’t hold inventory. When you think a sample is OK , and ask for a 100 pieces order – they will often tell you the MOQ will be 1000 pieces!! Confirm MOQ in advance. This can be quite important in determining which products are really available.
There are many testing machines that can be used, and a candidate factory should be well equipped with droptest, tumble test , impact test, submersion chamber, water spray, RF chamber, GPS emulators, and cellular testers. Regular qualification testing should be performed throughout a production run. The production line itself should be climate controlled, and clean. Antistatic precautions should be in evidence. Lot tracking should be in evidence. At least two QC stations should be in visible on the final assembly line, and at least one manufacturing engineer should be running around on the floor. There should be some kind of metrology area. The rework station should not appear too cluttered or busy. There should be a scrap bin, and it should have stuff in it.
Chinese salespeople are good at promoting and saying, “Yes.” It is possible for several companies to import the same device, rebranded to different names. Whenever you decide to rebrand a rugged hardware, do some brand research, first. It is best to cooperate with a factory that really obeys the single distributor rule.
Price is of course important, but you’ll notice it is last on our list. Simply, price is often dwarfed in importance to the items above. Yes, everyone wants a leading edge device that never fails, for free. But most customers will pay a premium based on your careful mix of features, quality, and brand story.
4. Test and select from several candidate devices
Purchase several of each candidate device. Split them into groups for useability and performance testing, environmental testing, and initial regulatory testing. Over the course of a month to six weeks, run through an initial set of tests in each area, for each candidate device. You’ll want to budget a reasonable amount of money and engineering time to all of them. Usually, there is a clear overall winner.
5. Insure regulary compliance
With your partner, select a qualified third party testing service. Be prepared for significant costs and delay. Usually something will come up that requires fixing and retest.
6、Audit factory production of your device
Prevent shenanigans by being present yourself, or by sending a trusted partner. The factory should be the same one they first showed you. Every feature of the phone should actually be checked. Packaging should be seen and approved. Correct accessories in packout.
7. Inspect before shipping
A sample lot should be separately checked by the partner, before final payment and shipping.
Rugged Tech summerize 10 must check points before shipping to ensure the least possiblility for faulty .
(1) Touch panel
Touch panel is always a main issue for tough phone user , it may be sensitive which will leave a very bad impression for customers . We willl scroll up and down , left and right for a couple of times to ensure it is sensitive .
Check if the screen is clean without any black point
(3). Phsical button
For the phoen with phsical button we always press for several times to see how it runs
Make sure the housing is complete
Swtich the wifi on the setting to see if it works
IMEI is madatory for calling overseas
Insert a sim card to test the call
Take photoes for testing the front and back camera
Play a video to test the speaker
If the accessory is complete necessary . Once found some faulty , the shipping cost is going to be extremely high .
According to our past experience , For some mobile computing with data capature function we will test the NFC /RFID / barcode reader as well .
8. Protection before shipping
(1) Reinforced package
Shipping insurance can ensure you get paid once some unexpected happens during shipping.