Custom plastic molding is a booming business for industries ranging from automobile manufacturers to the electronics and toy industries. While there are quite a few companies that provide a variety of production techniques, including injection molding, heat staking and ultrasonic welding, not all of them provide their clients with full service MRP. Whether you're a start-up business ready to place your first order or you're a multinational firm requiring hundreds of thousands of parts within a short time frame, asking the right questions could mean the difference between a successful collaboration or a failed contract that leaves you with empty promises and misses deadlines.
A simple answer like, "Yep, we have customer support," isn't enough. Everybody in the industry has a customer service team, but not all of them are readily available or knowledgeable. Try giving them a call and see what the response is like. Do you talk to a real, live person who can get you the answers you need, or someone who is obviously just in charge of taking messages? Ideally, the service rep you talk to should have a good understanding of your situation and be able to quickly get you an answer. If you get nothing but a recording, you should look for a more responsive custom plastic molding contractor.
It's easy to refer to your company as a "full service" plastics manufacturer, but unless they can take you from concept or design to shipping, you'll need to hire at least one other company in order to get your parts or products to market. Every time you add another supplier or service provider to the chain of MRP, you're adding to the risk of possible delays, miscommunication and cost overages that could sink your profits. A true, full service solution will be able to provide you with everything from design and materials suggestions to warehousing and delivery options. Look for a custom plastic molding company that has not only in\house manufacturing and logistics support, but design engineers, program managers and validation professionals on staff as well.
Custom plastic molding can be a time-consuming, labor intensive proposition. For these reasons and more, many of today's plastics manufacturers have stringent guidelines for everything from die manufacturing to final production run. Business doesn't always run smoothly, however, and if your company needs a rush job to meet a new client's needs or has to scale back an order at the last minute, the right manufacturer should be able to accommodate last minute changes to the best of their ability. Be sure you ask about your contractor's policies governing last minute adjustments to any orders and how those needs will be met.
Working with a company that design new prototypes, improve your current plastics component designs and craft customized solutions can save you hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars. Be sure to ask about the company's commitment to reducing overhead and improving the quality of your polymer products through new techniques and improved design solutions. Novel engineering solutions and dedication to giving clients consistently better products with every manufacturing run are the hallmarks of the best component manufacturers.
Intellectual property and design innovations can mean stellar returns on your company's investments in custom plastic molding provided new materials or processes aren't stolen by competitors. Be sure the facility where your components will be fabricated has sufficient security and limited access in order to promote customer confidentiality and protect your investments.
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