Contract manufacturing assembly is increasingly becoming the answer for companies that sell plastic products, injection molded items or medical and telecommunications devices. By contracting out the production of these items, companies are able to focus more on designing, marketing and distributing for your business. But how do you ensure your contract manufacturing project will be a success and not a failure? There are several ways to ensure that the process goes smoothly even though you've contracted out the work to another provider.
This sounds obvious, but more than one business has hired a firm that isn't familiar with a particular material or product line. If they are familiar with making toy parts but have never done any work in the automotive industry and you need automotive parts, you may want to keep looking. Some of the best manufacturers have experience in more than one industry, indicating that their production teams learn quickly and are capable of producing a variety of items flawlessly. Ask them what kinds of similar projects they've undertaken and how successful they were in meeting deadlines and troubleshooting problems.
You can gain valuable insight from their in-house engineering team; conversely, your own engineers may be able to offer valuable suggestions based on their in-depth knowledge of your product's design specifications. Working as a team with their engineers is crucial to overcoming any potential problems in turning your design into a successful final product. Cooperation is key; if a contract manufacturing assembly provider won't allow transparent interaction between their own engineers and yours, they may be hiding a potential problem. Ask for a demonstration of their quality control and quality assurance procedures so that you understand how they will ensure a top quality end product.
Your own engineers and developers should be able to visit the facility and examine the process as well as any quality control or quality assurance procedures the manufacturer has in place. An open door policy for you as the customer is essential if you want to be able to track the progress of your product and catch any minor issues early on so that they don't turn into major problems. Being at the facility for the production launch is a great way to not only ensure that everything is on schedule, but to promote visibility and accountability on the production floor.
A contract manufacturing assembly firm will usually provide their customers with thorough product records that track product progress, order status, packaging and shipping of all elements of the manufactured product. You may be tempted to give these just a quick glance after the first few weeks, but you should never assume that production is on course from week to week. Carefully read through the reports to determine whether schedules have been disrupted or whether changes need to be made in order to respond to shifts in the marketplace.
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