Companies are always seeking to save money and establish an advantage over their competitors. For years, one option has been to outsource manufacturing duties to overseas suppliers. Lower employee wages and reduced overhead allow many foreign providers to quote much lower initial prices. So why does the market share for injection molding in US facilities continue to grow? The answer is the true cost of ordering parts from overseas. When choosing a plastic parts supplier, there's much more to calculating prices than simply comparing bids. Here are just a few of the factors that must be carefully considered.
The most obvious difference when utilizing offshore suppliers are the inherent language barriers. Clear and continued communication are vital to every part of the order process and ultimate services expected. A simple misunderstanding can result in significant costs, not to mention the additional fees required to pay reliable translators for each and every business transaction. Working with different measurement standards, inaccurate translations or basic inequalities in the way business is handled, can all affect your bottom line. Forming partnerships with local companies means you begin the process from, literal, common ground.
Logistics are a primary concern in any manufacturing scenario, but are doubly important when considering international suppliers. Here are just a few of the factors to take into account:
Design and production standards allow domestic factories to produce parts of a quality that international suppliers often struggle to match. Molds are created using the latest 3D modeling technology and are machined to minute standards. Materials are also highly regulated and sourced from reliable, certified suppliers to ensure consistency. While some offshore companies have similar standards in place, regulations can be difficult to enforce and the resulting parts can range dramatically in quality and durability.
Working with local companies also ensures that should problems arise or if additional parts or products need to be ordered, they will be available and quickly accessible.
In business there is always the potential that a deal will sour and require legal action. In these instances, the stark contrast between injection molding in US facilities and those in other countries becomes especially apparent. The US legal system provides both parties with resources and standards to ensure a fair judgement. Even initiating legal action against international suppliers can be a challenge as regulations and procedures can differ greatly from country to country. Extensive domestic patent protection also insures that claims relating to intellectual property can be dealt with swiftly. International patent protection is spotty at best and frequently non-existent.
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