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Outsourced OEM Production: Is It Always the Best Choice?

If you’re the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) of a design spec, then production is one of your most important considerations. Unfortunately, many companies stumble when it decides to make their OEM products in-house or through outsourcing. In most cases, outsourced OEM products are cheaper and quicker.

But, is this always the best course of action? In this article, we’ll explore whether or not outsourcing your OEM production is the best course of action. Let’s get started!

Outsourced OEM Production

Outsourcing your OEM production involves allowing another manufacturer to produce your product. You keep all the trademarks and intellectual property, but another company does the production.

Most often, this is done with multinational suppliers. Consulting companies with expertise in finding manufacturers will usually help you get in touch with the right company. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons involved in this method. 


The biggest advantage that comes with OEM production is cost. Since the outsourcing company is creating your product in bulk, you typically end up saving money on production costs. What’s more, the final product is generally of superior quality. As long as you have strict testing standards, then the outsource OEM firm should be able to meet them if they’re competent.

Many outsourced OEM companies also have specialized technology that allows them to create components you wouldn’t be able to create on your own. In the past, OEM production typically only worked for larger companies. However, this is beginning to change. Smaller companies with excellent design skills can take advantage of this type of outsourcing.

It allows them to avoid dealing with factory floor production skills, which take a lot of energy and money to manage. Instead, they can focus on more design and promotion while allowing a skilled workforce to handle the production. 


Unfortunately, there are some downsides to outsourcing your OEM productions. For one thing, you’re at the mercy of your supplier when it comes to quality control. As such, you’re responsible for any problems that might occur at the end of the day. Furthermore, you may have difficulty finding an OEM production firm that’s willing to take you on.

These companies generally only like dealing with clients that create a lot of demand. As such, smaller companies may have a difficult time finding multinational production firms, especially if their products are hard to make.

Finally, if you don’t go with a company that you’re sure of, then you may be at risk of property theft. This occurs when a manufacturer infringes or steals your intellectual property right. It occurs enough in the business, that you should inquire what the company is doing to fight against it. 

In-House OEM Production

In-house production put vertical integration ahead of scale and affordability. Typically, in-house OEM production worked best for smaller companies. However, that’s beginning to change. Let’s take a lot at some of the pros and cons involved in this method. 


The biggest advantage to in-house production is the amount of control you get over your product. As the OEM, you’re naturally an expert when it comes to producing your work. As such, you don’t need to spend time teaching someone else to make it. In-house can also be more advantageous when it comes to scheduling concerns.

Since you don’t need to ship your product or parts over long distances, you can meet your scheduling needs more easily. In-house production also allows you to make more advanced components.

If your product requires a specific part that’s difficult to make, then you’ll have a lot of difficulties finding an OEM manufacturer to make it. However, with enough demand, you can find some custom manufacturing options


It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that there’s a huge shortage of skilled workers in America. Though this problem was a long time coming, it’s been exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the New York Times predicts that two million skilled jobs could go unfilled by 2025.

As such, finding workers for your in-house production may prove difficult. Another big factor is that it will cost even more to make your product in-house. The sad reality is that overseas production is much more affordable than domestic. What’s more, outsourced OEM production is typically higher in quality than in-house. So, ultimately, you’ll be paying more for a potentially inferior product. 

Why China Is Uniquely Qualified to Handle OEM Product Manufacturing 

There’s a reason why the vast majority of OEM outsourced production goes toward China. China accounts for over 28% of all global manufacturing output. The advanced production capabilities in the country make it easy to meet huge product numbers at an affordable price.

In particular, clothing and electronic brands like Nike and Apple outsource their manufacturing work to the company. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China is poised to be one of the first countries to dive back into the manufacturing industry.

Despite being one of the early countries to be hit, the government has been able to largely contain the spread within the country. As such, China will have more skilled laborers than many other countries combined to meet OEM product demands.

Ready to Save Money On Your OEM Production? Contact Shield Works

We hope this article helped you learn whether or not outsourced OEM product manufacturing is the right decision for your company. Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific set-up. But, the right arrangement can allow the company to divide and conquer in ways that are simply impossible while maintaining an in-house division.

So, how do you find the right manufacturer? Look no further than Shield Works. Our British-owned company works out of China to provide you with affordable manufacturing solutions, as well as expertise in nearly every product category. But, don’t take our word on it. Contact us today so we can walk you through what we can do for you.