You’ve heard about the benefits of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) cases — a semi-rigid sweet spot that combines the protective nature of hard cases with the versatile and portable nature of soft cases. And with the sensitive instrumentation you’re transporting, you see EVA cases as the perfect fit for your product needs.
That leads you to the next step: finding an EVA case manufacturer. As you research potential options, it’s important to come armed with a list of questions — ones to help you find the ideal match for your current and future needs. For your convenience, we’ve put together this list.
Ask a Potential EVA Case Manufacturer These 10 Questions
1. Can You Design In-House?
When an EVA case manufacturer can also handle the design portion of your case, it naturally benefits the production lifecycle. While an in-house transition from design to manufacturing removes the pass off between vendors and subsequently expedites timelines, it also gives the manufacturer the reins to ensure completed EVA case designs translate into manufacturable products. This ties back to the design-for-manufacturing approach, which you can learn more about here.
2. What Are Your Design Capabilities?
Once you know that an EVA case manufacturer does provide in-house design services, it’s time to dig a little deeper into what exactly their design capabilities are. Ideally, the manufacturer will offer a full range of branding capabilities, from PMS color match to embroidered and molded-in logos, so you can turn your EVA case into a tangible representation of your brand. You’ll also want to choose an EVA manufacturer that works with a range of different materials and finishes (from the use of advanced textile and sewing technologies to the thermoforming of multi-layered materials), with the ability to design cases in any shape or color.
3. What Kind of Customization Options Are Available?
Branding capabilities are one piece of the customization puzzle. But there’s plenty more beyond that. With the ability to mold EVA cases into a variety of colors, EVA manufacturers should be able to accommodate options like zipper closures, carrying handles, shoulder straps, custom foam interiors, embroidered labels, molded rubber logos and embossed logos. The more customization options that an EVA manufacturer can offer, the more likely you are to meet the exact vision for your EVA case and get the most from your investment.
4. What Is Your Minimum Order Quantity?
Many EVA manufacturers require a minimum order of 1,000 custom EVA cases for production. In some cases, however, a manufacturer can accommodate smaller runs of around 500 cases. While this flexibility helps address customer needs, it also showcases that the most economical and effective manufacturing processes are in place.
5. Can You Scale With Our Production Needs?
Maybe you need 500 EVA cases now, but that number increases to 5,000 a few months down the line. You’ll want to make sure an EVA case manufacturer can support the production volume you need now and have the resources on-hand to scale with you as your business grows.
6. What Quality Assurance and Testing Do You Offer?
From the safety of the materials used in the EVA case to the aesthetics and performance of the case itself, EVA case manufacturers should have quality control measures in place to provide peace of mind. From a testing standpoint, some critical ones to keep an eye out for are Proposition 65, RoHs, REACH, ISO 9001-compliance, MIL standards and ISTA testing.
It’s also important to think about this along the lines of moving from production to shipment. Ideally, an EVA case manufacturer will have an independent inspection agency on-hand to inspect all units before they are shipped. That way, it’s ensured there won’t be any quality issues to worry about upon arrival.
7. What Industries Have You Worked With in the Past?
Different industries face different challenges. Whereas the medical industry is concerned about whether EVA cases can withstand specific temperature ranges, the consumer electronics industry is often seeking a well-decorated home for products to increase their market share. Wherever your business lands in the mix, it’s beneficial to work with an EVA case manufacturer that understands your industry-specific pain points and has successfully built solutions around them.
8. Do You Offer VMI, JIT & Blanket Order Programs?
Inventory management can be a big challenge for businesses, whether it’s a lack of products on-hand to meet customer demands or an excess of products that is expensive to manage and store. Working with an EVA case manufacturer that will manage your inventory for you (and offer you options like JIT or blanket order programs) helps achieve a sense of balance that improves the customer experience and saves unnecessary costs. In terms of the programs referenced above, blanket order programs are considered the ideal, as they let you achieve the lowest unit cost and have releases every month, with products readily available on-demand.
9. Do You Provide Support in Other Areas of the Supply Chain?
Supply chain disruptions can come in a variety of forms, from factory shutdowns to tariff hikes. When these events occur, it’s helpful to know your EVA case manufacturer can step in to assist. This can stretch from leveraging existing capabilities to produce not just cases, but also the products that go inside them, to moving production so that you can avoid costly tariffs and still get quality results.
10. Are There Any Relevant Success Stories You Can Share?
It’s one thing to hear about what an EVA case manufacturer can do for you. It’s another to hear about what they’ve already done for other businesses, particularly those whose needs reflect yours. Ask them to share a success story or two from their portfolio, so you can see direct examples of how their services benefited a business and what they do particularly well.
As an EVA case manufacturer, Cases By Source encourages you to ask us these questions — we think you’ll like the answers you hear! Request your consultation today.