ODM and OEM are two significant terms generally used in the manufacturing industry. It is very difficult to see the contrast between the two, as they are fundamentally similar to each other. Many new businesses/companies don’t have enough resources to design and manufacture the products themselves. In this case, the services of contract manufacturers which are known as OEM and ODM manufacturers is required.

Understanding these terms and the distinction between them is a significant step in setting yourself as a successful person in the import business. While many people think of the two terms as the same and use them conversely, they are not exactly the equivalent.

This article covers what these terms mean, how they differ and will enable you to decide which way is the best choice for your business.

Table of Content

Chapter 1 Definition of ODM and OEM products

Chapter 2 OEM VS ODM – What is the Best for Your Business

Chapter 3 4 steps to make your OEM & ODM products in China

Chapter 4 How to find manufacturers in China?

Chapter 5 Several tips about OEM and ODM products in China

Chapter 1. Definition of ODM and OEM products

A. What is an ODM product?

ODM, also known as Original Design Manufacturing, is particularly utilized in global trade, where a local contract Manufacturer is utilized to create products for a remote organization that sees some favorable position in the exchange, for example, low work inputs, transport connections or vicinity to business sectors.

ODM models are likewise utilized where a country’s proprietorship laws potentially preclude direct ownership by outsiders, thus, permitting a native firm to deliver for a brand organization, either for the local market or to export the products.

For ODM manufacturers, they don’t reserve the privilege to the labeling or naming of the products they manufacture. Their role is to manufacture and plan the products. At that point, the organization that outsourced the particulars to them will deal with other perspectives.

B. What is an OEM product?

An OEM organization holds the proprietorship rights to the product after generation.The logos, marking and names on the products are licensed properties of the OEM. These OEMs have enormous plants where this creation procedure happens.

Examples of OEMs include Dell, Samsung, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Apple, etc.

Chapter 2. OEM VS ODM – What is the Best for Your Business


a. Comparison between OEM and ODM

To comprehend the contrast between ODM and OEM, we can utilize a model. Suppose you are a company with some idea of a product, however you need assistance to build up that item. You have every one of the particulars and the diagram to make it, but you need to carry that plan to an OEM manufacturer to fabricate the item. At long last, you should simply mark it, disseminate and offer the item to the general population.

Presently if your organization doesn’t have the details of the item you need, you go to an ODM that can step in and assume responsibility for the item’s innovative work, structure, testing and assembling the item.

ODM permits organizations with an item plan to find a Chinese supplier that definitely realizes how to construct the item you need. They have product engineers, and are likewise equipped for structuring your plan, something an OEM doesn’t do.

b. Pros and Cons of OEM


Ownership rights: All out possession and control of the licensed innovation is the significant preferred position when you pick OEM. Since you did individual innovative work (Research and Development) independent from anyone else the every one of the rights over the product are largely yours.

Better quotes: Having a detailed design and specifications owing to doing individual research and development (R&D) you will be in a position to get better quotes from the manufacturers.

Cheap manufacturing: OEM possess the expertise to build the product on a large scale and cheaply.

Samples: you can request samples from most OEMs so you can see the nature of the item. There is item uniqueness as you think of explicit structures and particulars that intrigue you.


– For small businesses, OEM represents a significant hindrance because it will be difficult for a small business to make a detailed plan including design and specifications which is a prerequisite.

– OEM mostly manages enormous scale manufacturing of items. You should have a huge and prepared market to sell enough for future obtainment of their administrations once more.

c. Pros and Cons of ODM


– There is no requirement for specialized assets to create structure and particular bundle for your item, as ODM manufacturer has the assets to deal with this. Along these lines, this furnishes you with a lot of time to make sense of how to extend your objective market and increment your item obtainment.

– ODM is efficient as you can acquire prepared and complete items from the producers. This saves you a lot of time.

– Due to lower production costs of ODM, you can sell your items at an increasingly reasonable incentive to the buyers.

· Cons:

– When you opt for an ODM, you do not have the IP (intellectual property) rights for your product leaving you with less dealing force while bargaining for an agreement.

– There are also the chances that the item IP could be relating to another organization setting you in a place of getting a claim. So, while connecting with ODM in your business, find a way to keep away from pointless dangers.

– There is an intense item rivalry when you pick ODM makers as the suppliers of your items. This is on the grounds that you have no IP rights and owing to this, the producer can supply comparable items to different purchasers however under various brands’ names.

– The drawback when utilizing an ODM organization is once you sign in, you might not have a lot of involvement in the item’s structure and particulars. Furthermore, you may not keep up the protected innovation of the item, and by and large, you should work out an arrangement that works for both of you.

d. When should you consider utilizing an OEM?

The best time to draw in with OEM organization is the point at which you need new tooling preceding creation.

Commonly, you will require individual R&D (Research and Development) first before drawing in with OEM. This progression includes inquiry about the objective market, explicit structure, and item building for electrical or moving parts.

Now, you just need somebody to start the manufacturing process. With the structure, capital and clear idea about what you need, it’s a great opportunity to contact an OEM production line. The OEM plant will set up the creation procedure and assembling your item in enormous quantities to fulfill up the market need.

e. When should you consider utilizing an ODM?

For better understanding, suppose you have an idea regarding mobile phones. You’ve done your research and found a potential market for selling cheap mobile phones however with not too bad quality. Indeed, you have all ideas regarding the general structure and a few highlights, however what you need is specialized particulars and drawing. Also, your significant concern is a gadget that will coordinate your necessities.

In such acase, connecting with an ODM maker is the best choice accessible. With ODM, all you should give is the design and details of your thought. Then again, ODM assembling could be having comparative items or plans that can be changed to meet your particulars.

Chapter 3.  4 steps to make your OEM & ODM products in China

Step 1. Be clear about your requirement

Making your own mark, your own image of items can take your business to a new level. In fact, propelling your own line of unique items available can be entirely productive, given that you make quite a few strides. When you have an idea about your requirements, it turns out to be such a great amount of simpler to pick your producer. On the off chance that you need to make pants, you would now be able to focus on finding a producer who has some expertise in clothing.

You have to make sense of your business cost so you realize the amount you can spend on assembling everything and still make a benefit. This is what you need to do in the entirety of your beginning up costs so you can perceive the amount you can save.

On the off chance that you need to sell your item for $40, and different expenses have just eaten up $10, you realize that you have under $30 to spend on creation so you can make enough benefit.

Since you realize a whole lot you can spend on creation, you would now be able to make sense of what number of items do you need. Makers in China will regularly have a minimum order quantity requirement, so when you’re picking which to go with, realizing the amount you can purchase will help you a lot. When you know the entirety of the above-mentioned requirements, you’ll have a much more clear thought of who you need to make your item. Next, you can proceed onward to exploring and finding your potential provider.

Step 2. Find good suppliers

Before searching for a supplier in China create a detailed list of information that illustrates the kind of supplier you need to work with, the quantity of processing plants you may require, amount to be requested, topography, and different elements.

Begin with a long list of suppliers and then conduct background verifications on the 15-20 best suppliers. Make sure they have a reputation of achievement and have involvement with delivering your sort of items and using your required creation procedures and instruments.

Step 3. Get a sample for confirmation

Before you settle on your last decision, you’ll have to get a sample of your item to review the quality. Costs of samples can change broadly from free to a limited cost. Genuine producers won’t have any issues with this; actually, it’s reasonable they’ll gladly send you samples at no additional expense. In the event that they’re reluctant to send you samples, they’re not going to make a decent partnership and you should replace them immediately. Chinese makers will create exactly what you request them to make. On the off chance that something is missing in your item, they will make amendments in the design and it will be incorporated in the final design.

Step 4. Mass production

When you’ve got the sample that is actually what you need and experience the way toward testing, it’s a great opportunity to put in your request and enter the full generation process.

You’ll need to make a purchase order form(PO). In the event that you don’t, and you simply acknowledge the proforma receipt from your producer you could be placing yourself in a risky circumstance. On the off chance that you compose the PO, you control everything inside. Furthermore, you can incorporate the entirety of your significant data and make references to different archives that your maker needs to agree to. Make sure the agreement includes everything on payment terms and penalties for non-compliance.

Draft thorough buying from China arrangements that clarify in minute detail each part of the current request from crude materials, creation and conveyance times, coordination, amounts, deformity stipends, quality gauges, generation subtleties and final item desires. Keep individuals on the ground during creation. Lead quality control spot checks; keep an exchange open with manufacturing plant faculty.

Chapter 4. How to find manufacturers in China?

When you have recognized what you need to get made, the amount you can spend, and what number of items you need, it’s an ideal opportunity to begin the way toward finding your producer. However, if you’re new to the procedure, attempting to discover quality makers that are a solid match aren’t in every case simple to discover. Therefore, it is advisable to do a lot of research before settling on which producer you’ll pick.

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to find manufacturers in china:

a. Finding manufacturers through Online Directories

This is an astounding, savvy beginning process. These online registries can contain profiles for hundreds or thousands of producers. These include Alibaba, globalsources.com and made-in-china.com.


Alibaba is the world’s biggest online index of makers and providers. You’ll discover a large number of verified producers with solid execution appraisals. The site is very easy to utilize, giving an agreeable encounter because of their exchange confirmation rating.


>It is Alibaba’s nearest rival. In spite of the fact that there is no exchange confirmation on the site, it incorporates broad evaluations and some help. This site can be an extraordinary option in the event that you can’t discover what you’re searching for on Alibaba.


Made in China generally manages bigger things. They give quality examination and other facilities. This site is regularly prescribed in case you’re searching for mechanical items and parts.

b. Finding manufacturers on the internet

The internet is the default alternative for some individuals trying to source items from China. Searching B2B platforms on Google, Bing or Yahoo might be increasingly useful. Since there are a huge number of providers in China, you could shortlist them relying upon surveys and the evaluating procedure before selecting them.

‍While searching manufacturers on the internet, it is important to remember that many businesses websites shown up by searching engines might be resellers rather than manufacturers. While sourcing products from such middlemen might be alright on the off chance that you are purchasing items to retail such as toys, garments, etc. but when you require items that must meet explicit specialized necessities, such as plastic molding manufacturing it is ideal to distinguish a manufacturers from the middlemen and source directly from them.

c. Finding manufacturers through sourcing agents

Organizations that are generally new could collaborate with sourcing operators who will assist them with recognizing providers and guide them through the procedure bit by bit. A decent sourcing specialist will have the option to distinguish minimal effort areas that are the best fit for you. For example, you will presumably have the option to discover makers that fit your needs in a few Chinese territories.

Chapter 5. Several tips about OEM and ODM products in China

a. Is ODM the same thing as Private Labeling?

In principle, yes. The idea driving ODM and private marking is that the provider gives a layout item that the purchaser can mark with their own logo. Thus, the purchasers can set aside time and cash, as they don’t need to experience a long item improvement process, or put resources into costly infusion molds and other tooling.

A private label item is produced by a company, yet with the brand name of another company. In principle, the producer of the item gives an instant ‘item format’, to which different purchasers can apply their own brands. Another key criterion is that private mark items are made utilizing existing tooling, for example, infusion molds.

The advantage of private labeling is that you can make a marked item, without putting resources into an excessive amount of time and cash in item advancement and tooling. Subsequently, you can dispatch an item a lot quicker, and for a lower cost. This bodes well in the event that you expect to dispatch a ‘non exclusive’ item that is as of now available in some structure. So, you can’t make configuration changes to a private label item, which likewise makes it harder to break into an undeniably serious web based business commercial center.

Private label items ordinarily just exist as an item posting on Alibaba.com, and will just enter creation once a provider gets a request from a client.

b. How might I be certain that the ODM item isn’t the IP of another organization?

Many ‘list items’ are not real ODM items, yet photographs of products made for different purchasers previously. Presently, imagine a scenario in which those item structures are the IP of another purchaser.

You must not utilize brand names and trademarks that you don’t claim. Go to Amazon.com and Alibaba.com, and check whether you can discover comparative items available as of now. Remember that it is not possible for every product to be patented.

Most of the time it’s just the brand name that is the IP. Indeed, regardless of whether the item itself was structured by another client.

You can do more research, and do a patent inquiry or you can request that the providers show records demonstrating that they claim the patent for the ODM item. Simply remember that a Chinese patent is just substantial in China only. One of the principal things you should do on the off chance that you intend to fabricate in China is to enlist the related licensed innovation rights – trademarks, structure licenses and copyrights.

c. In which industries are ODM products more common?

A portion of the regular item classifications for ODM white label arrangements in China are hardware, jewelry and embellishments, and furniture and home items. Dresses and textile products are especially simple to adjust and henceforth there are many white name dress producers. There are numerous ventures which band together with ODM fabricating firms which incorporate food, customer gadgets, beautifiers, garments, prescriptions, etc. In China, there are an enormous number of ODM organizations and it is developing at a quick rate. The nation has been giving ODM answers for various organizations around the globe.

Most markets regularly have their own scope of fundamental things, yet in practically all cases they are having a similar provider with understood brands and are essentially rebranding it in their own name. Take the example of electronic cigarette industry. Numerous little to medium estimated organizations working in this specialty search out an ODM fabricating firm to give electronic cigarettes just as e-fluid and basically brand the merchandise to coordinate their own organization. They don’t have to put resources into substantial hardware or innovative work as it is all be dealt with by the ODM fabricating firm, they only drive the profits from the product. There are a lot of non exclusive prescription items copying aspirin, yet not each brand is delivering their own rendition of aspirin. Everything by and large originates from a chosen few producers.


OEM and ODM are two mainstream methods for contract manufacturing. The primary contrast between the two is their way to deal with product production methodologies.

An OEM’s essential duty is to produce the merchandise as indicated by your design and requirements. Subsequently, all earlier research and item advancement ought to be finished by you. This can take up months and goes with note worthy expenses for configuration, building and tooling.

When working with an ODM, this all is dealt by the manufacturer himself. Thus, item advancement cycles are a lot shorter, which can set aside you huge amounts of cash. However, with ODM, you don’t claim the IP and are bound to the items and customization choices the ODM can give to you.