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ODM OEM Meaning

In the manufacturing industry, ODM and OEM are two common terms that play different roles in the product development and production processes. This article will introduce the meanings, differences, and practical applications of ODM and OEM.

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Meaning of ODM and OEM

  • ODM: ODM stands for Original Design Manufacturer. ODM manufacturers typically provide comprehensive services including product design, production, and sales. Customers can hand over the product concept to ODM manufacturers, who complete the entire product design and manufacturing process. ODM manufacturers design unique products based on customer needs and requirements, and then proceed with mass production. The final product may be sold under the ODM manufacturer’s brand or the customer’s brand.
  • OEM: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM manufacturers usually produce and provide products with existing designs based on customer requirements. These products may be entirely custom-made according to customer specifications or may be customized based on the OEM manufacturer’s existing products. Unlike ODM, OEM manufacturers typically do not participate in the product design process; instead, they manufacture products based on customer specifications and requirements.

Differences Between ODM and OEM

  1. Design Process:
    • ODM: ODM manufacturers are involved in the entire product design process, from concept to final product design.
    • OEM: OEM manufacturers do not participate in product design; they produce products based on customer-provided design drawings or specifications.
  2. Branding:
    • ODM: The final product may be sold under the ODM manufacturer’s brand or the customer’s brand.
    • OEM: Products are usually sold under the customer’s brand, with the OEM manufacturer’s brand rarely appearing on the product.
  3. Flexibility:
    • ODM: ODM manufacturers have greater flexibility in the design and manufacturing process, allowing for customization according to customer requirements.
    • OEM: OEM manufacturers’ production processes are relatively fixed and rely more on customer-provided specifications and requirements.

Applications of ODM and OEM

  • ODM Applications:
    • New Product Development: When customers have a new product concept but lack design and manufacturing capabilities, they can choose ODM manufacturers for product development.
    • Product Customization: Customers need customized products to meet specific market demands, and ODM manufacturers can provide flexible customization services.
    • Cost Control: Due to having their own design and manufacturing resources, ODM manufacturers can help customers reduce product development and production costs.
  • OEM Applications:
    • Brand Promotion: Customers want to promote products under their own brand, so choosing OEM manufacturers ensures products are sold under the customer’s brand.
    • Production Outsourcing: Some companies may lack production facilities or technology, so they choose to outsource production to OEM manufacturers to meet market demands.
    • Mass Production: For products with established designs and requiring mass production, choosing OEM manufacturers ensures efficiency and stable quality.


ODM and OEM play different roles in product development and production, each with its own advantages and suitable scenarios. The choice between ODM and OEM depends on customer needs, resources, and strategic goals. ODM provides greater flexibility and comprehensive services, suitable for new product development and customization needs, while OEM is more suitable for brand promotion, mass production, and production outsourcing. Ultimately, customers should choose the manufacturing method that best suits their specific circumstances.

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