We're here to help. Get in touch. | info@shieldworksmfg.com
China Headquarters: +86 (0)756 3828390

Shield Works

What Is an OEM and How Do You Choose One?

Entrepreneurship lives in the American Spirit as surely as independence, as evidenced by the approximately 32.5 million small businesses across the nation. Yet, despite that independent, entrepreneurial spirit, business is a collaborative endeavor.

Let’s say you design a new product and want to take it to market. Unless you plan on manufacturing every single part in that product, you’ll rely on parts produced by others. When customers need replacement parts, where do they turn?

Both of these problems are solved by using an OEM or original equipment manufacturer. Not clear on what an OEM manufacturer is, does, or how to pick one? Keep reading for our breakdown of the OEM’s role and tips for selecting one.

What Is an OEM Manufacturer?

An original equipment manufacturer fills a specific niche in the world of goods production. They make parts that other companies use to finish their products.

Take electronics production as a case in point. Almost every piece of electronics and, these days, most electrical appliances use circuit boards. While the electronics company may design the circuit board, most of them rely on other companies that specialize in printed circuit board manufacturing to produce the actual boards.

You see similar cases in car manufacturing. Auto manufacturers buy parts like glass and radios in bulk and install those parts in their vehicles.

How Does OEM Manufacturing Work?

OEM manufacturing typically works in one of two ways. In the first case, the OEM manufacturer produces a part in bulk that lots of other companies use as designed.

For example, a ball bearing manufacturer might simply produce ball bearings in a set of specific sizes and materials. Businesses that need ball bearings will design their products around the available sizes and buy from that company. The ball bearing manufacturer is an OEM manufacturer because all of the other businesses use their products as is.

The other option is when a business works directly with a contract manufacturer. In those cases, the business typically needs a custom part that they can’t get elsewhere.

For example, a product might need a part with a specific level of precision. While similar parts might be on the market, they don’t meet that level of precision. The business will then work with the contract manufacturer to design and make the part to the right level of precision.

OEM vs. Aftermarket

You traditionally see OEM contrasted with aftermarket manufacturing. Aftermarket manufacturers make parts that work with a product but were not made by the OEM.

These parts often perform as well as OEM parts, but not always. In some cases, such as car parts, aftermarket parts are generally considered generic or cheap stand-ins for OEM parts.

Selecting an OEM

Selecting an OEM might look simple on the surface, but it’s a fairly complicated process for businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors you need to keep in mind.

Experience

OEM manufacturers tend to specialize. For example, they may specialize in working with particular industries.

Let’s say that your business produces food preparation equipment for restaurants. A lot of food prep equipment is made from specific grades of stainless steel. Minimally, you want an OEM that works a lot with steel and, preferably, one that has experience with production equipment.

That experience on their part will save you a lot of headaches because you won’t need to walk them through why you’ve chosen a particular material for a part.

On the other hand, let’s say that you make toys. In that case, you probably want a company that deals a lot in plastic extrusion and has experience with toy production. In that case, as long as they understand safety requirements for toys, they can offer you recommendations about materials.

Customization Services

In many cases, one of the biggest factors is whether the OEM can offer customization services for your part. Most contract manufacturers will offer some level of customization, but the service may prove limited in some ways.

For example, they may only offer customization for certain kinds of materials or processes. You should do a little research and even contact the companies in advance to get a handle on what kind of customization services they offer.

Cost

Another factor you must keep in mind is the overall cost. Manufacturing is an expensive proposition, but it’s often substantially more expensive to do OEM manufacturing domestically. The labor and overhead costs for the OEM are just higher when they operate in the US as opposed to overseas.

You can often find OEM manufacturers in China that will cost you less, even when you add in the shipping costs. While part costs aren’t the only concern, they can make a real difference in your per-unit profits.

If you can get the parts made to your specification levels for less, it’s practical to do so.

Production Minimums

You must also keep an eye out for production minimums. Depending on the company, they may require that you order a certain number of the parts before they’ll even consider taking you on as a client.

For example, some companies might require a minimum order of 500 parts, while others might require a minimum order of 5,000. Given that setup is often the most expensive part of setting up a production run, these minimums make sense. Yet, the order size minimum for a company might prove higher than you need or want.

OEM and You

An OEM is often the best and only solution for businesses that need specific, customized parts. Of course, picking the OEM is often the bigger challenge.

You must consider many factors. Does the OEM have experience in your industry? What are the overall costs?

Does the OEM offer customization services that meet your needs? Will you meet the minimum order threshold for a company? When you need a part made just so, however, there is no replacement for a good OEM partner.

Shield Works specializes in OEM manufacturing. For more information about our services, contact Shield Works today.

Common Mistakes Companies Make With Outsourced Product Development

Did you know that 66% of companies with more than 50 employees outsource at least one of their business functions?

If you want to bring in a third party to perform a service for you, you might be interested in outsourcing product development.

Outsourcing this function can be a great way to get your products to market quickly. But it’s important to ensure you do it correctly. Mishandling the process can lead to costly disasters, including business stoppages.

Understanding the common mistakes with outsourced product development will be a good place to start. So read on to learn about some of the most common pitfalls you should avoid when outsourcing product development. 

Not Defining the Project Scope Upfront

When outsourcing product development, it’s important to develop a clear and concise scope of work.

The last thing you want is ambiguity around what your outsourcing partner needs to deliver. Ambiguity can lead to frustration on both sides and could even result in abandoning the project altogether.

Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you need the partner to deliver and that you communicate it to the outsourcing partner upfront.

Clarity will ensure that both parties are on the same page from the outset and will avoid any misunderstandings further down the line.

Not Conducting Due Diligence

You’ll be making a mistake if you choose an outsourcing partner without knowing about their capabilities. Start by researching the company and its track record. Ensure the partner has the experience and expertise necessary to deliver on your project.

For example, if you’re outsourcing to China, you’ll want to check that the company has experience with China’s product development. Your China manufacturing partner should also be transparent and dependable so you can get answers whenever you need them.

Failing to do this due diligence can lead you to choose a partner that doesn’t have the necessary skills and experience. You’ll experience significant delays, and cost overruns as the inexperienced partners try to get up to speed on the project.

It’s also important to visit their facilities and meet with their team to better understand their processes and culture.

Not Having a Backup Plan

You might make the mistake of thinking that you’re safe working with a single outsourcing partner. After all, it can be tempting to put all your eggs in one basket. Relying on a single vendor can be risky.

Your outsourcing partner can go out of business or experience other difficulties. In such cases, you may find yourself without a product and a way to get your project back on track. That’s why it’s vital to have a backup plan in place.

This might mean working with multiple vendors or keeping some internal staff on hand to pick up the slack if needed. The goal is to ensure that someone can step in and take charge if your outsourced product development team is not meeting expectations.

A contingency plan will ensure you’re meeting your customers’ expectations even during unexpected difficulties.

Not Protecting Your Intellectual Property

It’s likely to ignore protecting your IP rights when outsourcing product development. Without adequate protection, someone might steal or copy your intellectual property. Such actions will prevent you from reaping the benefits of your investment.

You might be unaware of the risks until it’s too late. You can avoid this mistake by having strong contracts that clearly define who owns the intellectual property. The contract should also state the protections that exist. 

You should also consider using nondisclosure agreements to protect your trade secrets. Such agreements will ensure that any IP created as part of the project remains your property and is not transferred to the outsourcing partner. You’ll protect your IP if you terminate the outsourcing relationship.

Not Being Prepared for Culture Clashes

Outsourcing product development to another country can lead to cultural clashes. There can be a difference in working styles, communication styles, and even values.

For instance, suppose you’re a western company outsourcing development to China. There will be a significant difference in how both cultures conduct business.

Chinese culture may place a higher emphasis on relationships. Your western culture is likely to be more results-oriented.

It’s important to be aware of such differences and make allowances for them. If possible, try to have someone on your team familiar with the outsourcing country’s culture.

You should also have clear communication channels and establish agreed-upon working hours. This will help to minimize misunderstandings and enable you to work more effectively. An understanding of cultures will also prevent disruptions to the project.

Failing to Manage the Relationship

Outsourcing product development is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. Once you’ve chosen a vendor, you need to manage the relationship. You should set clear expectations, communicate often, and monitor progress.

Many companies make the mistake of outsourcing and then forgetting about the project. This can lead to big problems down the road. You’re more likely to end up with a subpar product if you don’t invest in a good relationship with your partner.

You should be proactive and involved in the project. You should set clear milestones and expectations at the outset. It’s also vital to maintain regular communication with the outsourcing partner. 

Stay on Top of Common Pitfalls with Outsourced Product Development

Outsourcing product development can be a great way to save time and money. But it’s important to avoid these common mistakes if you want to ensure a successful outcome. By being aware of common mistakes with outsourced product development, you can set your project up for success.

If you’re considering outsourcing development to China, consider having Shield Works as your outsourcing partner. We have 17 years of experience in product development in China, which makes us confident that we can guarantee you 100% satisfaction.

Contact us today to discuss your project.

Made in China: The Process of Product Assembly

Assembly lines began back in the 19th century in meatpacking factories. The famous Henry Ford used this idea as a solution to produce his widely known automobiles. Ford realized the benefits of a product assembly line as it decreased his costs dramatically, to both his own products and those of Ford customers. 

As the demand for eCommerce grows, more companies are selling their products online. These products are being sold and then shipped from an external warehouse where products are assembled in massive quantities. 

Keep reading to learn more about the process of product assembly, its benefits and challenges, and how China has become the greatest manufacturing superpower. 

What Is Product Assembly?

Product assembly is the process of creating products in sequential steps. Each step has its own materials to put together in specific ways. All leading up to the final product.

This process was originally set up like a regular assembly line. It involves a number of workers standing in a line of some sort by a specific machine or piece of equipment. In some cases, they are sitting at a workbench with their own set of materials and tools. 

Product Assembly Methods

You may recognize the classic assembly line as a large industrial-type room filled with different work stations or product lines. The workers are either sewing clothing, piecing together a television, and others. 

The process of product assembly boosted the production of goods and manufacturing. This massively increased efficiency and decreased the amount of time it took to produce large quantities of products. 

The higher the quality and the greater the availability of technology in modern times, the greater the need for a smooth process for businesses. There is also the perfecting of operations and mass manufacturing of products.

These manufacturing plants and warehouses involve a lot of detailed operations, management, and technicians to ensure the regular flow of systems. It becomes an entire business operation in itself and requires proper function. 

Classic

The classic assembly lines using factory workers are still very much in place. However, switching to using large factories with heavy machinery has become more popular for big players in the field. 

Automated

Through automated processes, different machines or large pieces of equipment are used to put a product together piece by piece at different stages. This was done to create an end product with great speed and efficiency.

Which Product Assembly Method Do I Need? 

Depending on your product, the method of product assembly will differ. For example, there will be no need for something like weld assembly if your product is clothing. Ask yourself, is it large and complex needing automated product assembly or can it be done with a classic assembly line? 

Also, is your product one that is shipped out fully assembled, or is it completed elsewhere? This refers to things like furniture that’s shipped to a storefront in pieces versus an automobile that you don’t expect a customer to complete themselves. 

With product assembly, millions of products and goods are shipped across the globe daily. It has provided hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of factory jobs. 

Assembly lines have grown to include large factories across the world, with the most manufacturing being done in China.

Product Assembly in China

China has perfected the product assembly line through decades of practice. They are trusted as the top manufacturing nation in the world for many reasons.

There is no requirement to employ highly-skilled workers. Unless it’s an engineered product, factories can usually hire many more people at low costs. It’s great for the plant as more workers means more hires and increased productivity and goods production.

China has also optimized on factories or manufacturing plants being concentrated to one industry. What this means is that textiles will be produced in one area and electronic parts in another. These are generally referred to as production clusters

This process results in streamlined manufacturing for more goods in one place. It has really put China above the rest of the world when it comes to production. 

What You Need to Know When Choosing to Produce in China

The most important thing to consider is to figure out what type of assembly is required based on your product. Are you looking to manufacture textiles? Is there a need for engineers in your assembly line, or do the steps require low capacity?

The process of the product assembly itself depends on the operations of the plant. This can also involve what type of product you have and which method of assembly you choose. 

Is it line assembly where workers are assigned to each step in the process, whether it be quality testing at the end or checking for issues from the start? Your warehouse might have an inspection line in itself. 

It’s important to think about production times. Take into consideration the product, type of assembly, and how these two can affect each other. 

Research 

Of course, for businesses, there is a lot of legal paperwork involved in selecting a product manufacturing plant in China. Additionally, agreements need to be made before any production begins and plans are finalized.

To ensure you choose the best option for you, be sure to research different manufacturing warehouses in China. Research can be done through looking through all their social media (if available). This will give you a sense of their following and their level of popularity in the community.

Another great way to do research would be by looking up company reviews. Do they have a lot of happy customers? Do they have long-lasting business relationships or testimonies? You can also research any news about the company.

Tour the Space

As a business owner about to invest in a manufacturing plant, there are structural and operational things to look out for too. Check the condition of their warehouse in terms of cleanliness, safety protocols, and more. Look at the size of the space and check out the quality. Given the current travel restrictions in China, it is unrealistic for many businesses oversea to physically pay a visit. Hire a qualified 3rd-party QC agent to perform factory audits for you.

If you notice some equipment is broken or sitting unattended ask questions. Be prepared to ask about how they operate. Do they only hire skilled workers, or are they open to having different skill levels of staff? Remember this might not be as important depending on your product. 

Have a Trusted Source

Contracts should be laid out with every detail included to cover any possible scenario that could halt production such as delays. There need to be planned solutions for issues with unmet timelines or quality expectations.

Meet with your manufacturers before you make a choice. If you can, visit the warehouse or plant location to have a look for yourself. If not, you should have a liaison in China who can do this for you. A trusted resource to communicate issues and updates to you is beneficial. 

The Benefits of Product Assembly in China

Over time, the quality of outsourced production has increased with more and more North American companies using warehouses in China for several reasons. 

Production in China has much lower costs for higher reward. The cost of labor is lower so more employees can be hired. The production level is massive so products can be ready quicker resulting in more purchases. 

There is no need to track down a manufacturing plant because they are so readily available in China. They are usually already operating for other companies as well. This removes the need for a business to build one themselves, which would require hiring your own staff and paying for your own space. 

Choosing a China assembly service for manufacturing jumpstarts the process of product production. This means a quicker start to making revenue. 

The Challenges of Product Assembly in China

With the efficiency and ready-to-go structure of a manufacturing space in China, there are some challenges.

There will be a need to have someone on your team to oversee general factory setbacks that may occur. Because you aren’t able to just drive over in an emergency, it would be good to have a contact who lives in that country. This could be the owner of the plant itself. 

Communication is Key

It’s important to keep communication smooth, open, and at a steady pace. There could be things lost in translation or miscommunications that can cause very big problems. Imagine asking to change a part in assembly and it happens to be the wrong one?

Also related to communication, there could be massive time differences between your country and China. This can make it difficult to have regular communication. It could make it tough to have a good relationship with the manufacturer. 

Depending on where you reside, China is across the world and in an entirely different country. This can make you feel very disconnected by the inability to be on-site regularly.

Ensuring your supplier of parts and materials are also openly communicating is crucial. This refers to communicating with the business owner and with the manufacturing plant. Issues can arise if parts aren’t being sent on time or are incorrect or missing. 

Remember that some companies can be committing fraud. Keep an eye out for fake websites, no contact information, no reviews, or a location. There have been cases of companies accepting deposits or a related hold and backing out without contact.

Additional Challenges

In terms of shipping times, they will increase dramatically when your products are being outsourced from China. Standard shipping can take up to two weeks. 

Take into consideration that production is so vast in China that it sometimes negatively affects the environment. The levels of air pollution from factories has only increased over the last few decades. But efforts have also been made to improve the air quality and the improvement is significant as well.

There is also the challenge of a lack of resources from the massive production in China. The availability of resources and materials in China to produce goods across these warehouses has dwindled. 

In 2018, President Trump also enacted an increase in taxes on imports from China. This caused a riff in the relationship between production in China from US-based companies. Some actually moved their production out of China as a result. 

The Future of Product Assembly in China

China has plans in place to continue holding its spot as the largest production superpower in the world for many years to come. With the growth of intelligent technologies and a never-ending need for low-cost manufacturing, this seems very likely. 

There has even been discussion around using data from manufacturing plants to understand customer product needs. This can increase happy customers and thus potential revenue for businesses worldwide. 

Contract manufacturing in China is on the rise. Think about how many products you buy that are ‘made in China.’ It’s no surprise that companies outsource their business in this country. The benefits certainly outweigh the cons outlined in this article. 

Get a Consultation

Based in the UK, Shield Works has 16 years of experience outsourcing product development in China and product assembly on-site, fostering long-term relationships with their clients. 

Its founders and leaders are experts in the field of manufacturing with direct connections and communication with China as partners of their business sphere. They have worked to assist both large and small businesses through the process of finding the best manufacturing facilities in China, while also supporting manufacturing in-house. 

If you are interested in product assembly services in China, connect with our professionals in the product assembly and product manufacturing field for assistance. If you are manufacturing in-house and looking for a new space, we can help with that too.

9 Tips For Running an Efficient Assembly Line

The assembly line first went into use around the 14th century in England. By the early 20th century, assembly lines were being used in production plants all across the United States. Not long after that, assembly lines began popping up in factories all over the world.

There are many reasons assembly lines have increased in popularity over the years. One reason is that they tend to be more efficient than other production methods. When done correctly, assembly lines can help increase productivity and decrease costs.

If you’re thinking about implementing an assembly line in your own factory, there are a few things to keep in mind. A single slowdown can cause a ripple effect that impacts the entire production process.

This blog post will discuss nine tips for running an efficient assembly line.

1. Have a Plan in Place

An assembly line is only as efficient as the plan that’s been put in place. Before starting production, you need to have a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished. This includes everything from setting targets to designing the workflow.

Once you have a plan in place, it’ll be much easier to keep the assembly line running smoothly. Furthermore, you need to make sure that everyone involved understands the plan. This way, they can all work together to achieve a common goal.

2. Set Realistic Targets

If you want your assembly line to be efficient, you need to set realistic targets. This means that you can’t expect it to produce perfect results every single time. There will always be room for improvement.

However, you can ensure that your assembly line is working as efficiently as possible by setting realistic targets.

One way to set realistic targets is to use a production simulator. This will allow you to test different assembly line scenarios and see how they impact the final product. Using a simulator lets you find the most efficient assembly line configuration for your needs.

Another way to set realistic targets is to track your assembly line’s performance over time. It’ll give you a good idea of what improvements are necessary. You can also use this data to make predictions about future assembly-line efficiency.

3. Communicate With Your Team

Your production line is only as efficient as the people running it. That’s why it’s important to communicate with your team and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

One way to do this is to create a production schedule. This will help everyone know what’s needed of them and when. You can avoid assembly line disruptions and keep the assembly line running smoothly by having a schedule.

Additionally, hold regular meetings to discuss assembly line problems and brainstorm solutions. It’s also a good opportunity to give feedback about the assembly line’s performance. It’ll ensure everyone is working to improve performance and assembly line efficiency.

4. Implement Quality Control Measures

If you want your assembly line to be efficient, you need to ensure that its products are of high quality. You can achieve this by implementing quality control measures.

One way to do this is to have each product inspected before leaving the assembly line. This way, you can catch any defects and fix them before they cause problems further down the line.

Another way to improve quality control is to use assembly line robots. These robots can be programmed to spot defects and remove them from the assembly line. This helps to ensure that you only make products that customers love.

5. Minimize Part Count

One way to keep an assembly line moving smoothly is to reduce the number of parts that need handling.

You can do this by incorporating more components into each part or redesigning the product so that fewer parts are necessary. Assembly line workers will appreciate having fewer parts to deal with, and it’ll help keep the line moving at a steady pace.

Additionally, reducing the part count can also lead to reduced product assembly costs. So it’s a win-win for both the assembly line workers and the company’s bottom line.

6. Use Modular Components

Another way to reduce the part count is to use modular components. This means that you can use each component in multiple products. For example, a company that manufactures car seats could use the same basic seat frame in their standard and luxury models.

This approach has several benefits. First, it reduces the number of unique parts that you need to stock.

Second, it allows assembly workers to become more familiar with the components. This leads to increased productivity and efficiency. Also, it’ll lead to a reduction in assembly costs.

7. Improve Ergonomics

One way to make assembly line workers more productive is to improve the ergonomics of the assembly line. This is possible if you ensure workers have the proper tools and equipment to do their jobs.

Make sure that the assembly line design allows workers to work without having to reach or bend too much. Additionally, assembly line workers should get breaks regularly to avoid fatigue.

Improving ergonomics on the assembly line can lead to increased productivity and fewer errors. Additionally, it can help to reduce the number of workers who experience injuries on the job.

8. Implement Quality Control Checks

Another way to increase production line efficiency is to implement quality control checks.

These checks can help ensure that products are assembled correctly and that there are no defects. Quality control checks can be performed by assembly line workers or separate quality control teams.

This process can help improve the quality of products and reduce assembly time. It’ll help identify assembly line problems, which allows you to fix them before they cause major issues.

9. Use Assembly Line Software

There are many assembly line software programs available that can help to improve efficiency. These programs can track assembly progress, schedule workers, and perform quality control checks. Additionally, some assembly line software programs can also automate assembly tasks.

Using assembly line software can help you optimize the assembly process and make it more efficient. Additionally, it can help you track assembly progress and identify issues so you can fix them quickly.

How to Run an Efficient Assembly Line

There are many ways to improve assembly line efficiency. By following these tips, you can increase productivity and quality while reducing assembly costs. Implementing even a few of these tips can significantly improve your assembly line’s performance.

Did you find this article informative? Now that you know what goes into improving your assembly line, please contact us to learn more about our assembly line solutions.

The Benefits of Using a Contract Manufacturer

Manufacturing continues to grow throughout the years and has become incredibly profitable. Did you know that manufacturers contribute about $2.71 trillion each year? 

If you’re thinking about using a contract manufacturer, you might wonder if it’s worth it. There are several benefits to using one, and some might surprise you! Read this guide on the various benefits of using a contract manufacturer today.

Keep Costs Low

Contract manufacturing is a great way to reduce the cost of your services and products. This is because there’s a lower chance of errors. You can also benefit from bulk purchasing and skilled labor. 

All of this can lead to satisfied customers since you can lower the cost of goods. Manufacturing businesses specialize in high-volume production lines and cutting costs. 

This means that you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about production or making errors. Many companies are experts in their field and what they sell, but they struggle with the production process. That’s where a contract manufacturer comes in. 

Save Money

Did you know that manufacturing accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy? You’ll be able to save money since you won’t have to worry about buying equipment for production. Skilled laborers will already have the equipment that you need. 

If a product is high in demand, a manufacturer can focus on decreasing the time that it’ll take. 

Test Products

You can test products before they’re in the hands of your customers. This is a great way to save money by not producing a defective design. 

Determine what the needs of your business are since each manufacturing company could offer different services. They can also make changes to the product as necessary. 

They can improve the products, increase the production rate, and give you great profit margins. 

Professionalism

Product manufacturing companies will provide you with products without errors. This will help the reputation of your company.

Some companies will try to do production on their own and then make a grave error. Let a manufacturer perform production and watch your production rates increase. 

They can also bring fresh, new ideas to your products. Manufacturers are experts in design and can help your product shine. 

Improved Efficiency

Many manufacturers learn how to reduce waste. They can perform various tasks such as painting, machining, difficult assembly, welding, etc. This can help reduce the manufacturing costs for your company.

Manufacturing companies can also provide you with more flexibility. Whether you’re looking to scale production, develop products at the same time, etc.

You can start and schedule projects when it makes the most sense for your business. You’ll also know that they’re using the top-of-the-line equipment in the company to provide you with high-quality products. 

Save Resources

Since they’re knowledgeable about reducing waste, you can lessen your carbon footprint. This also means fewer costs for you. 

Your staff will have more time to work on business tasks. You can focus on your business, marketing, etc. 

If you wanted to do production yourself, you’d need to hire a large staff. This could include operators, engineers, managers, etc. 

Whereas contract manufacturers already have their staff in place. You’ll have a large team working on your products without having to worry about shifts, payroll, or hiring workers. 

Sell Your Products Sooner

Since managers can create your products fast, you can get your products out there to the consumers quicker. There are different methods such as CNC machining and Rapid prototyping that can help speed up the process. 

You might be able to get your products out there in a few weeks! 

Various Options

They can handle various aspects of the manufacturing process. These can include material purchases, product design for manufacturing, assembly, packaging, etc.

Since everything is happening under one roof, it reduces costs for you. They’ll handle the difficult parts of the manufacturing process so you as a business owner can have less stress. 

Deadlines and Estimates

You’ll know in advance how much to budget for the process. They’ll provide you with a detailed estimate before they begin. 

This will make it less likely that you’ll experience delays or unexpected costs. They’ll also be able to tell you how long it should take. 

Improved Communication

If you try to have the product manufacturing process internally, you’ll need to contact multiple vendors at all times. Through contract manufacturing, you’ll be able to stay in communication with them. You won’t have to worry about a response. 

Who Can Benefit From Manufacturing Contract Companies?

Most businesses can benefit from contract manufacturers. You might decide to use product assembly services in China since it’ll save your business money. Keep in mind that how skilled a manufacturer is will vary. 

Some ways they can help include: 

  • Packaging products
  • Manufacturing products manually
  • Product assembly
  • Creating computer models of products
  • And more 

When you’re first starting out with a production company, it’s a good idea to test out a contract manufacturer. See how their production process is and if it slows you down. You might find that you’ll have more time to focus on your business and productivity will increase overall. 

Understanding the Benefits of a Contract Manufacturer

After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of the benefits of a contract manufacturer. Take your time deciding if it’s right for your business. 

Are you ready to speed up the process of manufacturing in your business?

Contact us today! We offer customized manufacturing, including developing new processes, using top-notch equipment, and customizing work procedures. 

What’s Included In a Product Assembly Service?

Are you a startup or an already established company debating if you need to use an assembly service to meet your client’s demands? Have you thought about working with an overseas company, but you aren’t sure what to expect?

There are many different vendors that you could use who are local to you. Do they have the right materials you need to meet the demands of your clients? Like you, many product-focused companies and entrepreneurs take advantage of using oversea companies to meet their needs. 

If you are in the looking stage of comparing product assembly services and you need more information on finding the right distribution company, you came to the right place. In this brief product assembly service guide, we will cover how to find the right manufacturer and who you can contact for more information. 

What Are Product Assembly Services?

Product assembly services or product assembly companies create your product, and they ship them either to you or your customers. Doing this process on your own can quickly become expensive. It is best to partner with a reputable assembly service company to save you more time and money. 

Product Assembly Services in China

The best way to save time and money is to outsource your product assembly tasks to a third-party company to build your items. Many companies outsource their work to China because of the cost-saving benefit. A company saves a large percentage in production and distribution costs when they partner with a reputable assembly service company. 

Choosing the Right Product Assembly Company

When choosing the right product assembly company, make sure that you look for a company with certified professionals. High-quality 3rd party assembly companies typically have favorable testimonials from the past experience, which consistently demonstrate their ability to provide products that meet client requirements. 

Review Their Expertise

Even if a company’s professionals have the required certifications, you should check out their previous work. As you compare different companies that offer assembly and inspection services, ask about their internal quality control process and methodology.

Does your inspector use statistical models? Does this company use random sampling?

Are all your assemblers certified quality assurance inspectors? Don’t be afraid to ask your distribution company questions about their process and timelines. 

Look at Other Reviews

When speaking to a prospective company, it would be best to look at their reviews. You can use third-party review websites to see what clients did or did not like about working with them.

Although reviews are a great place to start, the only way to gauge a company is to call them and speak with them. One company’s expectation requirements will be different than yours, so what you may not like, someone else may have loved.

When speaking with your assembly company see how they respond to your requests. Do they handle requests on time?

Do they have excellent client service? Partnering with a distribution company is a long-lasting relationship, so make sure to work with a company that has top-tier customer service. 

Available Assembly Capabilities

Not all assembly companies are the same. Some specialize in product assembly of all kinds, whereas others may only focus on producing products made with a specific material. The most common types of general product assembly use composites, carbon fiber, plastics, metals, and textiles. 

Other types of assembly services:

  • Prepackaging
  • Food packaging
  • Product re-assembly
  • Assembly testing
  • Powder and liquid filling

When comparing different companies, ask if they have the right items and materials to complete the job. You can also ask if they have experience making products like yours. 

Intellectual Property Protection

All countries have their own sets of rules and regulations when it comes to privacy and the protection of intellectual property. It is a company’s worst nightmare to have its product specifications compromised after years of development. If your distribution company sends products to your clients, you want to make sure that their data is also safeguarded. 

Before you partner with any company, be sure to look into their country’s intellectual property laws and their track record with other clients. If their track record is not good, even in the slightest, you should look elsewhere. There is no margin for error when it comes to protecting the rights of your products. 

Software Information

An additional step in securing your intellectual property information is to look into the type of software your distribution company uses. Is their technology well-known for privacy features?

Does it mimic the same safety measures you set for your own business? If they are not willing to share that information with you, they may be hiding something. 

Product Timelines

As you start interviewing different companies, you should inquire about their product project timelines. The amount of time it takes them to create and ship your orders can hugely impact how long it takes for you to deliver your product to your clients. 

Of course, you want to partner with a company that can produce high-quality items without taking too much time, but you also don’t want to rush the process if they don’t have the capabilities to deliver high-quality items quickly. 

When speaking about timelines, don’t just focus on how long it takes for them to create the product. Make sure to ask how they handle natural disaster situations and other weather-related delays. When these types of moments happen, you also will want to have a primary point of contact to reach out to for the next steps. 

Product Assembly Process

The first step of the assembly process is to find the right company. Once you find them, you will want to send in a request. The right company will suggest scheduling time to speak with you about your product over the phone. This way, they can gauge what type of materials they will need, how much they will need, and more to make sure your product comes out just as you need it. 

During the first few stages, you and the company should clearly understand what to expect of the product. You should receive a rendering of your product and a physical model in your hands before you ok the rest of production. Each company has its own processes, so make sure that you are aware of all steps during their production process. 

Advantages of Oversea Manufacturing

As mentioned earlier, many companies like to outsource their products to cut down on their costs. Another major reason is because of a particular concentration.

For example, many corporations use China for their production needs because of their concentration on electronic products. They are also well known for creating plastic products and other mainstream items like clothes. 

High-Volume Capabilities

One of the most significant advantages of partnering with a manufacturing company overseas is their production capacity. Most manufacturing companies can produce huge quantities of your items within a short time frame.

Depending on your production needs and your manufacturer, they may offer you a discount for ordering large volumes of product. When working with certain companies, they may have a minimum purchase order requirement. This helps keeps control costs on both ends. If you need a small order, you can expect high fees and costs. 

Skills and Talent

The skill level in other countries is much higher than in the United States, mainly because many Americans don’t work in manufacturing jobs. This creates a skill gap in the US, forcing many companies to seek help overseas. 

The most significant need in the United States is for those with computer and digital skills, technical knowledge, and programming expertise. All of these skills are easily found overseas in major manufacturing companies. 

Close Proximity to Raw Materials

United States factories have to source their materials from overseas, increasing their costs and time-to-market deadlines. Many manufacturers in China have access to these raw materials already at their plants.

If they don’t, they know someone or some company that has what they need. They also most likely have a relationship or some partnership with those companies. 

If you manufacture your product in the United States, you will face delays if your product requires raw materials. Countries that ship to the United States may have to charge you higher shipping costs, and you may experience long wait times due to the impact of COVID. Instead of having them ship you the materials, you can cut costs by having your manufacturer produce the product on your behalf. 

Disadvantages of Oversea Manufacturing

Although there are many fantastic advantages to outsourcing, you should keep a few disadvantages in mind. For example, the components and cost of production are usually cheaper, but the shipping costs may not be ideal. If you find that the shipping costs are too much, you can always negotiate better shipping rates, especially if you plan on working with that company long-term. 

Longer Lead Times

Even though creating and producing large quantities overseas is cheaper, the lead time can be longer than expected. What this means is that it takes time for your goods to make their way from overseas into the United States. When calculating the time it will reach you; you must consider shipping times, country holidays, and the manufacturer’s demands. 

Possible Language Barriers

When working with a manufacturer overseas, you will most likely run into cultural and language barriers. This can cause issues when you try to understand workflows and negotiate pricing and contracts.

You may also need to learn about their culture and what they do and do not value. To make it easier to work with your manufacturer, you may want to partner with a company with a local resident familiar with your language and the language of your manufacturer. This liaison person can speak on your behalf to protect your best interest. 

Safety Risks

Environmental and worker safety should always be a top concern for you and your business. Not every country values the environment or employee safety. Hence, it is best to partner with a company that follows good labor practices, takes care of the environment, and implements safety programs. 

Local vs. Overseas

When trying to figure out where to manufacture your product, you can choose between using someone overseas or a local company. When you partner with a company local to you, you may have an easier time communicating your needs in your own language. You can also save on expensive custom and shipping fees and have a shorter delivery time. 

That may sound ideal, but you may have a limited array of supplier capabilities. Not every manufacturer in the United States has the talent, skills, expertise, or raw material you need to create your product. 

If you have a hard time sourcing a manufacturer local to you, you may have to reach out to a reputable company overseas. Of course, before you partner with any company, make sure you communicate with them to gauge if they can meet your demands. 

Cut Down Production Costs Now

No matter how great your idea is, you need to have a reputable and high-rated manufacturing company on your side to bring your vision to life. These companies have the skills, experience, capacity, and raw materials to help you meet the demands of your customers.

Making sure that you and your distribution company are on the same page is crucial. The last thing you want, as a business owner, is for the entire operation to fall apart and for you not to be able to hit your quota because of your assembly service. 

Contact us now if you are ready to bring your idea to fruition and want to work with a company that values quality and a safe working environment!

Supply Chain Networks: Why Does Manufacturing in China Still Work?

Whether you’re outsourcing your production to China or not, there is no denying that manufacturing in China is one of the best options for many overseas companies.  

China has maintained its position as the world’s largest manufacturing hub for the past 12 consecutive years.

There are many reasons why manufacturing in China still works.

Let’s dig a little deeper into why.

Does China Still Have Cost Advantages?

In the past decades, we have witnessed the rapid growth of China’s development. Most believed that it was the cost advantage and human resources that made China succeed.

Maybe it was, but things have changed.

Nowadays, China’s average labor costs aren’t low compared to many southeast Asian nations, such as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The wages of skilled workers and high-teach talents grow fairly fast. Also, the average land prices are rapidly rising.

Therefore, there are many concerns that overseas companies tend to move their production to lower-cost countries since labor costs and land prices are getting higher in China.

However, it’s reported that foreign direct investment (FDI)  topped 1 trillion RMB in 2021. It’s pretty clear that the comprehensive strength of China as a manufacturing superpower shouldn’t be neglected.

The answer is that China’s supply chain system is far more advanced than any other in the world.

Products Sold Worldwide Are Manufactured In China

You may have heard that in China, there are some small cities or even small towns

that are inconspicuous making world-class manufacturing contributions.

For example, Huludao, a coastal city in the Northeast China’s Liaoning province, is producing 25% of swimsuits in the global market. Since 2011, Huludao has been hosting an international beach-swimwear culture expo to expand its businesses and brands internationally.

In Yucheng County, located in Henan Province, more than 1,200 measuring tape making companies whose combined annual output exceeds 1.5 billion steel measuring tapes, accounting for 85% in China and 60% around the world.

So, you may wonder how such industries without high technology or difficult designs find their business opportunities.

By relying on China’s supply chain system, manufacturing in China will be more efficient, helping many businesses from home and abroad are able to gain their footholds.

The Problem Between Efficiency & Flexibility

Simply put, imagine that you want to outsource your production to a factory in China, there is no doubt that you will choose a high-efficiency factory to work with.

But keep in mind that only by being more specialized can a factory improve efficiency. In this case, it’s not hard to imagine this factory will be locked in certain product lines.

In this case, if you want something to be changed quickly, this factory will not be able to satisfy your needs and maybe you will turn to someone new. So, you also want the factory to be flexible. But flexibility is an obstacle to becoming a specialization.

Now you can see that keeping high efficiency and flexibility may not be compatible at the same time in a normal factory.

How Do Supply Chain Networks Work?

However, things will be much different if there is a powerful supply chain network.

Now there are tons of small and medium businesses (aka SMBs) that are ready to produce only some basic parts. And these SEBs are specialized in their field. Only in this way can these factories improve their efficiency without sacrificing much time and resources. Each SMB produces the basic elements, and every part can be easily assembled in another factory.

Then, all the SMBs get connected to be a wide supply chain network, solving the flexibility problem. In the end, these SMBs in the towns or the cities make themselves the certain type of manufacturing clusters.

It’s like Lego construction. Different factories produce different specific shapes of blocks with high efficiency. When you need some certain shape of blocks, you can purchase whatever you need and get them assembled, building your products.

The supply chain network connects businesses, making it easier for you to gather information and build your enterprise.

More importantly, the whole network nurtures an ability to control costs, which makes it hard for lower labor costs and land prices hard to contend with.

Let Shield Works Be Your Custom Manufacturing Partner

If are moving your production to China and looking for a reliable manufacturing partner, look no further. We are glad to help.

Shield Works is a British owned and managed company providing customized OEM manufacturing and assembly activities. Contact us to discuss your project today.

Quality Control Services In China: How Important Is It For Your Business?

Quality control services in China are essential to making sure that your products are defect-free and of the best quality before they hit the market.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to make the next big thing, it’s easy to overlook this important step, but it can be one of the most crucial elements of your new business.

Here’s what you need to know about quality control services in China, including why they’re so important, and how to find high-quality services at competitive prices.

What Are Quality Control Services in China?

Quality control, or QC, refers to a range of measures to check the product quality in a batch.

Ensuring that your products are properly inspected throughout the manufacturing process is important.

This is where quality control services in China come in.

Be sure to work with a third-party quality control provider that offers a comprehensive range of inspection services to meet your needs.

Why Do You Need Quality Control?

The most valuable thing quality control in China offers is peace of mind.

As a buyer, the last thing you want to see is finding out that your product is defective and might hurt when you put it on the market.

By hiring a third-party inspector to conduct regular checks throughout production, you can be sure that your products are safe for consumption.

How Does Quality Control Service Work?

Typically, China quality control services will be conducted by a third-party inspection agency.

Through a one-time assessment, a qualified inspector will select a percentage of a product randomly based on your needs and requirements to test the product parameters such as:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Color
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Durability
  • Dimensions
  • Functionality

The inspector will then provide specific criteria for compliance and detailed instructions on how to proceed if your products fail inspection during production or shipment.

What Are The Most Common Quality Inspection Services In China?

Typically, there are three main categories of quality inspection services to cover all stages of the production line including before, during, and after inspections.     

  • Pre-Production Inspections (PPI):
  • Factory Audits & Verification
  • Social Audits
  • Pre-Production Inspection
  • During Production Inspections (DPI/DUPRO)
  • First Article Inspection
  • In-Production Quality Control
  • Defect Sorting Services
  • Pre-Shipment Inspections
  • Container Loading Inspections (LS)

Last Thoughts on Quality Control

A lot of business owners feel that quality control inspections are unnecessary because they believe their suppliers will inform them of any mistakes.

However, it’s important to get a third party involved.

You need an objective source that can look at your product and confirm that it meets your standards.

Furthermore, a third-party inspector can help identify where you need to make improvements in your manufacturing process as well as give you valuable feedback so you can improve your products to take on new clients.

Choosing The Right Quality Control Services In China

If you are not based in China but are using Chinese factories for production, you need a reliable manufacturing consultant that can serve as your local representatives—your eyes and ears on the ground—to oversee all stages of production.

Shield Works can be your local inspection team who are highly experienced in all manufacturing sectors. Contact us today to learn more about our end-to-end suite of services.

Look to the East – How China Manufacturing Facilities Provide an Edge

Choosing the right manufacturer for your business will play a significant role and how much revenue you are able to generate. For this reason, most entrepreneurs tend to work with a Chinese manufacturing plant.

However, not everybody understands the benefits that they can experience from doing so. Let’s explore the key details you need to know about China manufacturing.

Lower Overall Costs

As you might assume, one of the primary benefits of outsourcing your manufacturing to China is the lower labor costs.

This is simply due to the fact that Chinese facilities have much less overhead to work with. Additionally, they also have fewer training costs. When manufacturing domestically, facilities need to allocate a significant amount of money to cover these expenses.

This leads to businesses of all types outsourcing instead. Of course, wages in China are also lower than those in the United States.

This allows each dollar you spend to go much further when outsourcing. Keep this in mind when moving forward so that you can take advantage of the utility Chinese product assembly can provide.

Larger Production Volume

Not every business needs to manufacture thousands of products within a single order. However, large organizations often find it difficult to find a domestic facility that can satisfy their needs.

Chinese factories produce goods for a substantial number of countries on Earth. This means that China has typically created facilities that are capable of high-volume production. In fact, even the average Chinese factory could drastically outperform most facilities within the United States.

For companies that need a massive supply of their product, there is simply no better alternative than outsourcing to China. In many cases, doing so is also the only way to hit your target metrics.

Diversification

Part of long-term success involves scaling your business.

This can occur in a multitude of different ways. For instance, you might introduce a new product line to customers in order to generate additional revenue.

Or, you may break into growing markets in order to establish a niche. Regardless of how you do so, Chinese manufacturers can help you diversify your business opportunities. Creating new products, in particular, is one of the primary ways in which they can help.

In some circumstances, choosing a Chinese OEM manufacturing plant could be what helps you set yourself apart from your competition.

Quick Changes to Product Design

Domestic facilities can’t always accommodate design changes. More specifically, it may take them days or weeks in order to implement your new ideas.

As you can tell, this can easily cause issues with your sales numbers. Your current product might not be something your customers would be satisfied with. Delayed orders due to design changes also carry the risk of having your audience turn to competitors instead.

Chinese facilities are always ready to implement required changes. In fact, all you need to do is get in touch with a representative from your manufacturer and convey what you need.

More often than not, the facility will begin manufacturing the revised products immediately. This is a crucial factor to consider, as it can often mean the difference between whether or not you maintain your brand reputation.

Intellectual Property Protection

Interestingly, many people are unaware of the fact that many Chinese factories prioritize intellectual property protection.

This means that they painstakingly work to avoid any sort of infringement that could land you in legal trouble. For example, let’s assume that you sell a product that is highly similar to that of a competitor.

A reputable manufacturing facility in China will go out of its way to ensure that no copying or reverse engineering has occurred. As with any other manufacturing industry, there are shady facilities that employ the above tactics.

The good news is that you can research the reputation of your prospective factory to ensure that you avoid working with ones that use underhanded tactics. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation that is difficult to overcome.

Overall Efficiency

Not only are Chinese factories capable of mass production, but they can also do so at a notable rate.

These facilities have the newest and most efficient equipment that makes them capable of meeting virtually any production standard. This also allows smaller organizations to compete with larger ones.

Under many circumstances, small companies simply can’t keep up with the rate at which larger companies produce goods. Without the right manufacturer on your side, there’s a strong chance you can’t remain competitive.

How Can I Find The Factory Right for Me?

It can seem overwhelming to find a Chinese manufacturer. Not only are there time zone complications, but the language barriers in place often deter entrepreneurs from doing so. Working with a professional will help get you in touch with the facility that is ideal for your business.

These individuals will serve as the liaison between you and the other party. So, they will handle nuances making agreements, conveying production needs, etc.

You can check out this resource to learn more about how you can benefit from doing so.

China Manufacturing Can Be Game-Changing

So, be sure that you keep the above information in mind when determining whether or not this decision is right for you. From here, you’ll be able to leverage China manufacturing if it’s appropriate for your business.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

Know How Custom Manufacturing Company In China Help With Your Business

Custom manufacturing is the ability to manufacture, design or engineer original products in line with personalised requests. This is done on a made-to-order basis, giving you complete control over the manufacturing process.

Reputable and Experienced

Unlike most other manufacturing companies, the custom manufacturing company can adapt to your personal needs. They can offer you fully customised manufacturing procedures and equipment. In addition, they can even develop bespoke assembly lines to meet your requirements.

With the ability to operate flexibly and adapt quickly to innovative ideas, Shield Works is reputable due to our parent company’s 14 years of experience. China 2 West has knowledge of every stage in the manufacturing process. It means that Shield Works begins as an expert in a vast range of areas.

Open-minded

Shield Works welcome any new ideas related to customised Manufacturing from our clients. We also accept the challenge by offering a vast amount of dedication and support for such ideas. This support can come in the form of: new training, new equipment, techniques and even specialized processes. All of these can be introduced at our facility, helping to enhance our manufacturing strategies. We are able to bring your ideas to life.

Protect Your Interest

Our commitment to customised manufacturing stems from our belief in moving forward and improving business. Driving forward with the latest innovative products and strategies is crucial in continuous growth and success and we want to share this vision with our clients.

Furthermore, you can be sure that when discussing new ideas there will be no losses in communications. Our diverse team can speak an array of languages, including Chinese. So we can deal with new ideas smoothly and directly.

The custom manufacturing company In China can help If you have a special process you would like to relocate from your shop floor. What’s more, they might offer critical IP sensitive step of the manufacturing process that you would prefer to keep away from your Chinese supply chain.

Shield Works also offers you a vast range of IP protective steps to give you extra security. It’s important when doing business abroad, in case our customised manufacturing wasn’t quite enough for you. For example, Shield Works has state-of-the-art finger print access secure production zones to protect your interests and provide full IP protection at the source of manufacture. We will also have legally binding non-disclosure agreements with every external body that we may work with during the process of your assembly line in order to ensure this is protected.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your custom manufacturing requirements. You can also visit our website for more information about Shield Works’ customised manufacturing.