Reeling in a Winning Supplier on MFG.com

The Business Challenge

Captive Fishing Products, Inc., headquartered in Sandwich, Illinois, was founded to bring products related to the art of fishing to market. The latest novel product is a bait containment device that addresses the problem of bait loss, a common occurrence when casting, trolling and even when fishing in a stationary position. It was a challenge CEO Mike Gillihan had long considered, and one he ultimately solved with BaitLokTM. Soon, the firm had engineering drawings, material specs, 3D models and everything a manufacturer would need to produce BaitLokTM in hand.

However, finding a manufacturer that could deal with three separate component parts – each requiring a different material and manufacturing process – created a major challenge for Captive Fishing Products. Suppliers known to the firm and its COO Jim Galambos lacked capacity or were unavailable. Others were so expensive that the firm feared it would lack the resources needed for other important elements of bringing a new product to market: patents and trademarks, legal representation, graphic design, packaging, product inserts and more.

The Solution

Mike Gillihan recalled hearing about MFG.com, a large global manufacturing marketplace that pairs buyers and suppliers via its online platform. He asked Jim Galambos to investigate. Jim recalls, “When I went to the MFG.com website, I was impressed. And, when I signed up, I immediately received a lot of support. On a conference call, our assigned customer service rep explained how the platform works. That overview was helpful, as the process is not always intuitive.”

Jim adds, “I uploaded some pictures, as well as specs, materials and information on the mandatory hook supplier. I shared as many details as possible without giving away the product. The only thing I left out was a price. An MFG.com customer service rep called me prior to publishing the RFQ to assure all the material was correct. This step said a lot about MFG.com and the extent to which it goes to assure a smooth experience.”

He continues, “A number of suppliers from California, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Connecticut, among others, replied. We set up a half-hour conference call with four bidders and discussed production in greater detail. Three seemed more concerned about the target, retail and wholesale prices. I felt they were asking for too much information. Ultimately, we awarded the contract to a firm in Connecticut.”

The Results

“Finding the Connecticut manufacturer was one of the best business connections we’ve ever made,” says Jim. “This supplier, unknown to us, offers a full range of services beyond the hard-to-find injection molding and overmold processes we required. It also has the capacity and expertise to design and produce the packaging and product insert as well assemble everything. They came up with a very creative clamshell design. So, when the product leaves the supplier’s facility, it is ready to go on the retailer’s shelf.”

Even more important, the firm had engineers on staff who went through our samples and suggested a material change from propylene to ABS because it is stronger and more durable. They also came up with a number of other excellent ideas that Captive Fishing implemented. According to Jim, “Their engineering skills were outstanding. They helped us go from concept to launch and were with us every step of the way.”

Jim says, “When we get ready to launch our next product, we will definitely turn to MFG.com. Overall, it was a great experience.”

 

"When we get ready to launch our next product, we will definitely turn to MFG.com. Overall, it was a great experience."

Jim Galambos
COO
Captive Fishing Products, Inc.

 

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