To remain competitive and satisfy their customers, manufacturers face increasing demands for ever-faster delivery. To respond, more and more manufacturers are looking to looking to outsource some or all of their production to one stop shop advanced processing manufacturers. The decision to outsource manufacturing processes might not be an easy one. But once that decision has been made, how do you choose the correct partner?
For many manufacturers, the best solution may be to turn to an advanced processing manufacturer — one that offers a complete solution rather than simply pieces of it.
When manufacturers choose to work with an advanced materials processor with precision laser cutting, welding, lapping, grinding and polishing services all provided at one company, they gain a clear competitive advantage over other manufacturers who don’t. There are several reasons why. Here are five of the most important:
Fewer Sourcing Headaches - In addition to the sheer time and delivery risks involved, many purchasing agents would prefer to reduce the administrative overhead associated with initiating and tracking separate vendor purchase orders.
Greater Process Accountability - As more and more suppliers and shipping companies are added to the supply chain, the easier it becomes to pass off blame to someone else when something goes wrong. When you deal with a one stop supplier for advanced materials process manufacturing, finger pointing goes away. Problems are resolved sooner and usually at less cost to the customer.
Higher Quality Products - When you work with multiple suppliers there is greater variability in the production process, which ultimately means more mistakes. Different companies have different quality assurance programs in place and there is lack of end-to-end visibility over the entire production job. In addition, having more hands touching the parts during manufacture makes mistakes more likely to occur.
Quick Turnaround - Probably the main reason companies turn to a one-stop provider is simply speed. Fewer stages in the supply chain translates to fewer times parts must be packed up, shipped, received, unpacked, and inventoried. The administrative delays of processing purchase orders, bills of materials, and other required documentation that must be tracked at each stage are also greatly reduced.
Lower Cost - When you add up the previous four factors —fewer sourcing headaches, greater process accountability, higher quality products and quick turnaround— the result is a lower total cost. With less administrative overhead, fewer mistakes, less materials handling, faster shipping, the competitive advantage is a shorter time to market and the savings are real.
Start by selecting a services provider who can demonstrate a track record of engineering expertise, manufacturing innovation and a lengthy list of previously delivered services and products.
Proven Capabilities - The diversity of product material demands for today’s manufacturing requires highly skilled machinists and sophisticated engineering staff. At the very top of the requirements list is the proven ability to handle a wide variety of projects from end-to-end, and most importantly, according to your specific requirements.
Engineering Expertise - Custom manufacturing with value-added engineering collaboration is a special skill, and one you can’t simply take for granted even if the manufacturer shows you a long list of individual production capabilities.
Inventory Availability - Having the right material available when you need it, enables your entire supply chain to run more effectively. Sometimes a customer might require special skills for their product fabrication, so it’s important for the advanced processing manufacturer’s to have a qualified network of subcontractors readily available when needed.
Cost Efficiencies - It's important to be able to employ a flexible & end-to-end supply chain strategy that will successfully scale as your needs fluctuate. The trick is finding an advanced processing manufacturer with just the right amount of inventory available to meet the demands of your production process. No more, no less.
Quality Assurance - Another capability would be an overall quality assurance program that provides end-to-end visibility and control including lot ID history and complete traceability — which are of particular importance in industries like medical devices and aerospace.
Expedited Delivery - Meeting customer's expectations and delivery requirements has to be a priority for every business. Select a manufacturer who can meet those expectations by delivering orders that are shipped accurately and arrive on-time.
If the idea of working with a one stop shop for advanced materials processing and laser machining services is new to you and you’re looking for a good way to start, probably the best approach is to do a test project — probably something on a smaller scale and something that is not on a critical timeline. That way, when the day comes and you do need the fast turnaround and the other advantages an advanced processing manufacturer offers, you will be ready. You may also find that you preferred solution for your manufacturing needs is to partner with a strategic, advanced materials processing manufacturer no matter what the project timeline is.
Find out how Accumet's advanced materials processing and laser machining services can accelerate your next project with a proven advanced manufacturing approach that has quality, speed, and reliability at its core.