Contract manufacturing provides numerous benefits. Utilizing the help of an experienced contract manufacturer allows businesses to produce high quality products faster and at a lower price than producing them in-house. Contract manufacturing also helps large organizations fulfill periods of high demand.
While contract manufacturing provides many benefits, it’s not without risk. Certain issues can arise during the manufacturing process. It’s important that OEMs understand these issues and learn how to effectively minimize their impact or avoid them altogether.
Supply Chain Issues
Many organizations experience supply chain issues when working with a contract manufacturer. While OEMs have complete control over the types of parts used when producing products in-house, they give up this control when they enlist the help of a CM.
Business owners can eliminate supply chain issues by working with a reputable and experienced contract manufacturer. It’s important that leaders discuss their needs and requirements during the initial call with the CM. This can help avoid problems in the future.
Another issue, outsourcing reduces the amount of control OEMs have over quality. Working with an inexperienced CM can have dire consequences to the finished product. It’s crucial that OEMs locate an experienced CM with solid quality control practices in place. It’s also advised that leaders work with a CM with experience producing products for their industry. This is especially true for industries with strict regulations and requirements like aerospace and defense.
Intellectual Property Risks
Enlisting the help of a contract manufacturer gives them access to the business’s intellectual property. It’s important that OEMs and inventors patent their idea before speaking with a contract manufacturer. Once the appropriate patents are in place, the inventor should explain the conditions and details of how the CM can use the patented information. It’s also important to have the contract manufacturer sign a licensing agreement prior to starting any work on the project.
Many OEMs experience issues with communication. This is especially true when outsourcing production to another country. It’s crucial that OEMs have a clear and open line of communication throughout the entire project.
During the interview process, OEMs should ensure the CM fully understands the project. Providing detailed schematics, blueprints, and other supporting documents can help the CM better understand what is needed.
Means Engineering provides contract manufacturing services to inventors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large organizations. Please contact us for information about our services.