Outsourcing your industrial design to China is an excellent option to consider because of how much you could save your company and because of the vast capabilities outsourcing can offer you. Many businesses outsource their manufacturing design and production needs to companies worldwide to help bring their items to market quicker than they could if they decided to design in-house.
Are you and your team stuck between outsourcing or handling your industrial design in-house, and you need further guidance? If so, then you came to the right place. This brief outsourcing design guide will cover the pros and cons of outsourcing vs. handling things in-house and who you can contact for more information.
Benefits of In-house Design
One of the most significant benefits of keeping your product design in-house is you have the ability to manage your own team of designers. No one knows your product better than you and your design team.
You both have an indispensable amount of knowledge that can be quite beneficial to provide to your field service engineers. This allows them the ability to handle the repair, upgrading, and maintenance of your products.
Keeping everything in-house makes it easier to watch over the design process. You will know where, when, and how the project money is spent.
Disadvantages of In-house Industrial Design
Although some excellent benefits come with handling the design in-house, there are some disadvantages you must keep in mind. For example, maintaining an in-house industrial design team permanently can cost you a lot in the long run. To ensure you get your money’s worth, you will need to keep your designers productively occupied.
Investment in Resources
In addition to paying wages for your design team, you must also consider the cost of materials. To ensure you have all you need to design in-house, you will have to spend money on equipment, technology, infrastructure, and anything else you need to get the product developed.
A Fresh Pair of Eyes
Although it is great to have everyone on board, sometimes it is easy to fall into designer bias. When you outsource your work, you have a fresh pair of eyes that can help you catch any discrepancies or issues that you and your in-home team may not have noticed.
Benefits of Outsourcing Design
One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing the product development of your product is that it expands your capacity. When you hire a product development team, you get more people with expertise and experience in development. This gives you and your in-home team more time to focus on other tasks.
Even after you complete the design process and you dismiss your international design team, they are there for you to answer any questions or concerns you may have. This means that you can rest assured that if something goes wrong or you need help with something in the design, later on, you can always reach out to your international design team. They will know precisely how to help you.
Expedited Market Production
When you have more active employees working on the product lines, it is typical for the development of the product to go much faster than if you were to do it on your own. Outsourced teams are notorious for getting product out to the market quickly because that is what they are hired for. Their main job is to design the product, test it, and get it out to market as quickly as possible to meet your demands.
More Designers Less Cost
Although it sounds ironic that the more designers you have, the less it will cost, that statement is true regarding outsourced product development teams. Most international design teams charge you less when you request a team of designers instead of hiring individual designers.
This is excellent if you need to create complex products such as a new technology product, complete product design, or other types of electronic development. The more people you have working on the project, the faster things get done.
You Can Develop Products Outside of Your Expertise
Even if you aren’t entirely aware of all the complex details that go into your product, all you have to do is come up with an idea. When you work with an outsourced team, they have the proper staff members with the knowledge needed to bring your product to life.
If you’re developing a product and you come across a situation where you don’t quite understand a specific part of the design, you can rely on the help of your international design team to pick up where you left off. For example, let’s say you have an excellent idea for a new phone or gaming console, but you don’t know how to program it; you can reach out to a reputable overseas team to handle that part.
Exposed to New Opinions
As mentioned earlier, when you work on a product in-house, it is easy to possibly fall into designer bias. This happens when you and your team put their own opinions into the design so much that you miss vital parts that could significantly affect the design.
Instead, when you outsource the product development, the third-party company can give you their two cents about your design. They are there to ensure your product meets your user expectations and project goals.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing Industrial Design
Outsourcing your industrial design projects come with many great benefits, but there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of. For example, when you outsource, you lose some control of the production process.
With an in-house team, things are localized, and it is easy to step in quickly and make changes. When you outsource, you won’t be able to do that. So long as you are transparent with your international design team, there should be no issues.
Possible Hidden Costs
Even though outsourcing your product development is generally cheaper, there may be some hidden costs. To ensure that you control costs, make sure you partner with a reputable outsourcing company.
When you interview potential manufacturers, make sure to ask them about their fee schedules. If they are hesitant to answer your questions or give you a straight answer about payment, you may want to consider working with another company.
Potential Intellectual Property issues
Most people don’t know that your intellectual property rights don’t transfer to other countries. Just because you have your trademark in your home country does not mean it exists in other countries. To ensure that you protect your intellectual property, make sure you work with a company that protects your interest as they create your product.
Possible Public Backlash
There are several clients who disagree with outsourcing due to unfair and unethical labor practices in certain countries. To help prevent a PR disaster, make sure you work with a company that follows fair, ethical labor laws. Certain countries don’t have labor laws in place for their workers, so make sure you do your research before you partner with any manufacturer.
Best Practices To Ensure Outsourcing Success
If you need to outsource your product development process, there are a few things you should do to ensure your project’s success. For example, you will want to make sure you establish clear communication. In order for the product development process to be a complete success, there needs to be clear and open communication across the team.
If you decide to work with a manufacturer in China, it would be best if you worked with a manufacturer with a dedicated contact. This agent is a liaison between you and the design team. They have the ability to clearly understand your needs and translate them to the product development team.
Choose a Team With Expanded Capabilities
It is very important that you work with an international design team that has a wide variety of expertise. Product development teams who have experience across different industries and experience with other platforms, materials, and components are the best way to go.
The product development team you choose to work with may not have experience developing a product just like yours, and this is ok. The team mainly needs to be able to apply their knowledge and skills from previous projects to yours.
When looking for the right manufacturer, be sure to ask them about their portfolio of projects. They should be able to show you other jobs they’ve worked on to best highlight their abilities.
Don’t Pick Your Industrial Design Team Solely Based on Cost
We get it; you and your team are probably on a strict budget that you must stay within, or else you won’t be able to bring the product to market. Although you should keep cost in mind, you shouldn’t opt for the cheapest option to stay on budget.
It is much better to consider quality over cost. The last thing you want is to be in a position where you’re spending more money to remedy the situation instead of choosing a higher-quality industrial design team.
Have a Clear Product Specification Sheet
In addition to making sure that there is clear communication between development team members, you will want to make sure there is a clear understanding of your product specification sheet. Be sure to stay open and honest with your manufacturer about the needs of your product so they can meet your demands. If you don’t have precise specifications, your manufacturer will only be able to go off of what you give them.
Don’t Underestimate Security Concerns
When doing business overseas, make sure that all of your data is kept secure. It is unwise to assume the security and safety of your data when outsourcing. Make sure that you seek a technical expert to make sure that all of your data and information is kept safe.
How To Find the Right Industrial Design Team
When looking for the right industrial design team, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Of course, you want to do your due diligence and research a company thoroughly before you sign any paperwork.
Do not pick a manufacturer based on price alone. Make sure that they have the right product and business licenses needed to operate in their country.
It isn’t uncommon for oversea manufacturers to outsource their work to subcontractors if they have too much on their plate. If they do, you will want to make sure you have information on that subcontractor as well.
Research Turnaround Times
When you outsource the manufacturing process of your products, you should expect for your products to have a longer shipping time. This is because customs and other overseas procedures must take place before your package can arrive in your home country. It is imperative that you partner with a company that can help ensure that your goods will get to you within your target deadline.
Reputable Industrial Design Manufacturers
When you have an industrial design that you need to hit the market as quickly as possible, you will want to make sure you work with a reputable company that can handle your demands. There are several benefits that come with outsourcing and some disadvantages that you should keep in mind as well.
To ensure that your project is a complete success, you should make sure you work with a company with a robust and experienced international design team. If you are in the process of developing your product and you are ready to start manufacturing, contact us. Our team is ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you have about the manufacturing process.
As you may notice that there’s more to every product than meets the eye.
Today, people are bombarded with thousands of choices each day, and it’s easy to overlook one mediocre product among so many great ones.
The appearance of a product can be as important as its functionality because people will judge the product by its look at the first glance. A good-looking product can be popular and dominate the market in a short time.
Here’s how product design services can help you with your next big project. Let’s get started!
What is Product Design?
Product design, as its name suggests, is all about designing products. It has several variants including industrial design, graphic design, and software design.
Product design is used to improve the appearance of products, making them more appealing to consumers. It can also be used to improve the function of a product, making it more user-friendly or efficient.
Product design is one of the main processes in new product development that aims to create successful products that solve customer problems. In order to do this, product designers must comprehend what both clients and users want as well as make sure they have an excellent experience with the item.
From smartphones and washing machines to furniture and cars, you’ll find many of the products that we can see, touch, and use in our homes, workplaces, or anywhere else in our daily routines are the result of this practice.
A good product can win over customers quickly while a bad one will end up costing your company thousands of dollars in return fees, wasted resources, and irreparable brand damage. That’s why you have to ensure that the design process is perfect before mass production or else things can go very wrong.
What is The Difference Between Product Design and Industrial Design?
The distinctions between industrial design and product design are often unclear, or even inconsistent depending on whom you ask.
What is Industrial Design?
Industrial designers are tasked with addressing both the aesthetics of an object as well as its functionality. It requires more work in transforming and customizing designs to make products ready for mass production.
What is Product Design?
Product design is a subset of industrial design. A product designer focuses more on the detailed appearance of the products following the client’s specifications and applicable standards.
Today, it’s common for many product development and manufacturing companies in China to use both terms interchangeably because an industrial designer and a product designer are both playing nearly identical roles professionally and share virtually the same goals of designing well-made products.
How Does Product Design Work?
Product design is one of the main processes of creating a new product, and it usually begins with research, followed by ideation, prototyping, testing, and finally production.
Stage 1: Ideation and Strategy
Before you pass your idea to the product designer, it is important to have a clear vision that determines the product type, the main features, and functionalities, and the problems the product will solve. Also, you need a strategy to define how to make it, and why it would succeed for it in this current market.
The product designer also needs to provide design specifications for the developers. Design specs provide in-depth information about the design of a product, including details of the interface such as colors, typefaces and fonts, and detailed measurements. They might also include usability information, such as animation and motion details, user flows, and product behavior.
Stage 2: Designing
The product designer needs to provide design specifications for the product engineers before creating a prototype.
These are detailed instructions that tell exactly how products will look, including colors, dimensions, weights, materials, and other technical details.
Stage 3: Prototype
After finalizing the product design, it’s time to build a prototype or series of prototypes to test your hypothesis.
Creating a prototype allows the designer to discover if they’re on the right track, and it often sparks different ideas that you wouldn’t have come up with otherwise to further streamline product development.
Using the physical prototype can help to test function and user experience although it will be expensive when compared with a digital design.
Stage 4: Testing & Modification
Product designers rely on usability testing to test and validate the product’s design with target users.
This allows you and your design team to see and learn about how people will interact with your products, which is a good way to gather qualitative data, identify user experience, and measure user satisfaction. After that, you and your designer can make changes accordingly and create a new prototype to keep testing until it’s ready for launch.
What Are Some Things to Consider Before Hiring a Product Designer?
A good product design can make your product more marketable and successful.
If you’re looking to design your product, but don’t have the in-house team and facility available, working with a product development company with a team of experienced product designers can be the perfect solution.
In this case, there are five main considerations you should keep in mind before moving forward:
- Think about what you want your product to look like. This will help you communicate your vision to the designer.
- Consider your budget. You can find some cheap product design services online, but a good product design can be expensive, so you’ll need to make sure you can afford it.
- Decide on the type of product design you need. There are many different types of product design, so you’ll need to choose the one that’s right for your product.
- Check out the designer’s portfolio to get an idea of their experience, style, and skills.
- Consider the timeline for when the project will be completed.
Ultimately, using product design services can help you create a better product that is more likely to succeed in the marketplace.
If you need any help, look no further than Shield Works. Founded in 2020, we are an offshoot of the British-owned and managed C2W Group located in the South China Greater Bay Area offering high-quality and competitive manufacturing services, supply chain management, quality control, and product development requirements.
We focus on the provision of a tailor-made solution based on your situation to meet your standards and requirements. Start your journey by reaching out today to discuss your product and learn how we can help.
It’s estimated that every split suborder adds a shipping cost of 1.9 dollars. Even though that number might seem small, the figures amount to a lot of wasted money.
Plus, the excess packaging leads to environmental waste, which is terrible for the environment. So, what’s the solution?
Package consolidation is a great way to reduce shipping costs while still receiving and sending high-quality products. If you’re not already using order consolidation methods, you will be after reading this article.
This article will briefly summarize package consolidation and how it can benefit you. That way, you can start implementing changes by consolidating packages.
What Is Package Consolidation?
As online shopping continues to rise, there are more and more packages being transported worldwide every day. From a business point of view, this is the dream scenario.
However, it can cause logistical problems in reality, resulting in higher costs and limited resources for other parts of your business. The idea behind package consolidation is that you group multiple items in one place.
This is an excellent solution if you work in clothes retail and have several t-shirts going to one household. You can safely transport goods without having to pack various boxes and packages.
Package consolidation is a low-cost alternative to sending packages internationally and could save you thousands of dollars in the long term because you can optimize the space in each container.
6 Benefits to Package Consolidation
Above all else, having an order arrive in one box with all the items is a guaranteed way to make your customers happy. When someone orders online, they want to receive everything at once.
1. Happy Customers
Customers keep a business thriving for years; without them, you wouldn’t be able to sell your beautiful products. So, it’s a top priority to make your customers satisfied.
When there’s so much competition online, you want to do everything you can to stand out and get noticed. The easiest way to build a better reputation is to send orders that arrive quickly and efficiently.
That means grouping items together into one package. The order is also less likely to experience damage in transport when it’s sent with other products, which will lead to fewer customer complaints.
2. Opportunity for Bundle Packages
Being in charge of manufacturing means you have control over the product assembly, so you can choose to group certain items in your store.
For instance, if you sell sports shorts, you can offer a deal for a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and socks. You can get customers’ attention and encourage them to buy products together.
This marketing strategy makes it easier for you to transition to package consolidation and cut shipping costs while providing a great customer experience.
Package consolidation works for everyone!
3. Offer a Free Gift for the Extra Weight
In the shipping world, you’ve probably come across dimensional weight (DIM), which refers to the weight of a package and its dimensions.
Sometimes, you can be charged extra if the DIM exceeds the package’s weight. If you’re looking for a way to minimize these frustrating costs, you can use the free space with package consolidation.
For example, you can include a free cycling hat, notebook, or another item suitable for the order. Not only will your customer receive a freebie, but you’ll also reduce shipping costs and use the extra weight!
4. Package Consolidation Costs Less
On average, package consolidation costs less than sending items separately. Sometimes, you have to cover charges for deliveries to remote locations, delays, and other issues that arise during the shipping process.
Thankfully, when you merge orders into one package, you’re already reducing the overall cost of the order. Even though you might still encounter extra charges, it will be much less than if you shipped separately.
So, it won’t solve the problem entirely, but it will make your budget more flexible and allow you to maintain a high standard for your products without sacrificing the shipping time.
5. Better Safety for Workers
The employees in charge of your shipped orders have to handle hundreds of packages daily, which comes with many risks. There are often safety problems as the volume of packages is so high.
During the pandemic, logistic departments suffered from the absence of employees, which is why it’s essential to find practical solutions that take the pressure off these workers.
Package consolidation creates fewer packages for employees and reduces the health risk of transporting items from country to country.
6. A More Eco-friendly Approach
If fewer packages are making their way around the world, there is less waste being produced which pollutes the environment.
So, if you’re concerned about your impact on your planet, package consolidation is a great way to get involved with the movement to more eco-friendly practices.
You can also switch to eco-friendly packaging materials like recycled paper and cardboard that can be reused in other areas of life. It’s a great way to show you care about the environment and are actively managing resources.
But, first, you need to work with a manufacturing company that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you could end up with broken items, damaged packages, and worthless investments.
Luckily, at Shield Works Precision Manufacturing, we have years of experience handling package consolidation in China. Our services include quality inspection and testing as well as order consolidation.
We can assist you with anything you need.
Choose the Right Option With Package Consolidation
As you can see, package consolidation is the best way to reduce shipping costs and make your customers happy with your products. There are also numerous other benefits like helping the planet and reducing safety risks.
You must work with a suitable manufacturer to ensure your high-quality products and the shipping from Chinese product sites runs smoothly.
Our team is ready to answer any questions you have about changing to package consolidation. So, you can start shipping goods and getting them to their new home as quickly as possible.
Get in contact to learn more about our services and what we can do for you at Shield Works Precision Manufacturing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.