Why partner with your Contract Manufacturer?
A valuable partnership between you and your contract manufacturer is when you can leverage them to reach your manufacturing and product goals. For different brands, this will mean different things. This will depend on their size, growth potential, and the team they have. You can only partner with a contract manufacturer after you have realized what you have and what you need.
The most obvious reason to partner with your contract manufacturer is so you do not need to start your own production and assembly lines. However, since it’s not very practical to start a production and assembly line, we will just skip this one. Here are the other value-adding reasons to partner with your contract manufacturer.
New Product Introduction (NPI)
If you are developing a new product, the first production run can dictate the success of all future production runs and how the product is viewed. This is why the handling of your new product introduction is crucial. However, you do not just go from development to production. There are multiple stages in-between. These steps are usually the following:
Value engineering looks at the product holistically. Your contract manufacturer should be able to analyze the product to cost it down without jeopardizing quality. Usually cost down will look at the materials and processes used during the production process.
Prototypes are used to confirm the validity of the design and to analyze the fabrication process. Prototypes are also a great way to create quality standards, golden samples and to finalize COGS and final assembly.
Just because you have a design in CAD does not mean that it can be made in production. During the design for manufacturing (DFM) stage, your contract manufacturer should ensure that each part is optimized for tooling.
The pilot run takes place before the first production run to ensure there is a smooth transition into mass production. This is done by using identical materials and processes during the pilot run. Also, this helps the assembly workers and operators gain some experience with the product first.
If you are developing a new product, the sophistication of how your contract manufacturer manages the new product introduction process will be critical to the overall success of your product.
Some contract manufacturers are set up for low-run production runs that need to be flexible while others are set up for high volume production. If you are working with a contract manufacturer that prides itself on low production runs then they might not be the ideal manufacturing partner to scale up.
For production scale-up, partnering with a contract manufacturer that has the infrastructure, finances, certificates, and manpower in place will be necessary to scale production.
The quality department will need to be one of the most dependable teams to lean on at times. Quality problems will always come up during production. However, a great contract manufacturer will be able to find the root cause, create a corrective action and eliminate the problem from occurring again. On the other hand, a poor factory will see recurring issues without improvements.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
The most common reason companies switch contract manufacturers is for cost savings. Like most companies, each contract manufacturer has a specific competitive advantage. This will usually be a type of material, process, or industry.
Brands can leverage their contract manufacturer to improve their pricing by their in-house production lines, relationships with tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers, and more.
Are you interested in partnering with a contract manufacturer? Let us know. Send us an email to Hello@EPowerCorp.com and we would be happy to talk.