Did you know that the global output of manufacturing increased by over 20% from 2020 to 2021? This is a significant number, and it highlights the importance of contract manufacturing services in today’s economy.
Contract Manufacturing Solutions enable businesses to outsource specific tasks or projects that would be too expensive and time-consuming to complete in-house.
When selecting a contract manufacturing service, there are several factors to consider.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of contract manufacturing services available. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
What Is Contract Manufacturing: An Overview
Contract manufacturing is an outsourcing service that provides specialized production and assembly services to other companies. This process involves transferring all or part of the manufacturing process to an external contract manufacturer.
In contract manufacturing, the contract manufacturer may be responsible for:
All according to the specifications provided by their client. The contract manufacturer also assumes responsibility for:
- Raw materials
- Components sourcing
- Supply chain management
Contract manufacturing allows companies to focus on their core competencies through efficient resource use and cost reduction. This can be especially beneficial for startups who don’t yet have access to large-scale manufacturing capabilities of their own.
Contract Manufacturing Services: What’s Available
Contract manufacturing services can provide a cost-effective way for businesses to get their products manufactured according to their exact specifications. This type of service is typically provided by specialized organizations with specific capabilities and expertise in production.
Contract designing and product engineering may also be part of the services offered, as well as:
- And other related services
Companies benefit from a streamlined production process since all services are outsourced to one provider that can handle the entire job at once. For any business that is looking to streamline its supply chain while maintaining quality control and efficiency, contract manufacturing is worth exploring.
Let’s take a look at some popular services provided by the top custom manufacturers.
Precision assembly is a contract manufacturing service designed to provide customers with highly accurate and repeatable parts assembly processes. Production of complex assemble components requires specific skills, from understanding design requirements to assembling several intricate parts.
Precision assembly services save manufacturers time and money by allowing experienced contract manufacturers with the necessary industry knowledge and qualifications to professionally assemble a wide variety of components in high precision. Industries rely on contract manufacturers like precision assembly for reliable parts manufacture and assembly, especially when complex components must be built quickly and accurately in a cost-effective manner.
Custom manufacturing involves contract manufacturers producing made-to-order parts according to the customer’s specifications. Companies of all sizes in almost any industry may need custom manufacturers to help bring products to life.
They offer more flexibility than traditional contract manufacturers, who often have lower minimum order quantities and are more open to changes in design and materials.
Custom manufacturers are established to meet the needs of companies wishing to produce unique or multiple products that may not fit into a contract manufacturer’s production system. These services come in especially handy when it comes to small batch production runs that might otherwise be too:
Warehousing and Fulfillment
Warehousing and fulfillment services provide businesses with a range of solutions related to:
- Contract manufacturing
- Product storage
- Transport of goods
These services are beneficial for businesses when they need more control over the quality standards of contract manufacturing and want to reduce infrastructure costs.
Furthermore, warehousing and fulfillment services allow businesses to consolidate multiple shipments into one service. This helps with managing inventory levels effectively, as it ensures that goods are promptly shipped out for delivery with no delays. Ultimately, these services can help streamline business operations by providing comprehensive coverage from contract manufacturing to shipping goods out.
Order consolidation is a vital service that many contract manufacturers provide. When integrated into a contract manufacturing process, it streamlines the supply chain and helps businesses to save money.
Essentially, order consolidation involves taking orders from multiple vendors and combining them into one place so that they can be shipped from one location. This allows contract manufacturers to avoid multiple shipping charges and reduce the cost of handling large numbers of single-line orders.
Order consolidation also helps contract manufacturers to save time when dealing with multiple vendors by helping to accelerate the flow of goods and materials between suppliers. By opting for order consolidation services, businesses can increase their efficiency while cutting costs at the same time.
Quality control is an essential part of contract manufacturing services– from ensuring regulatory and product requirements are met, to testing raw materials and confirming final product specs.
Quality control engagements may include:
- Initial supplier set-up audits to assess any potential risks
- Continual monitoring of processes in place
- Verifying records’ accuracy
- Evaluating factory conditions
- Reviewing available resources
- And more
This provides contract manufacturers with a better insight into the entire product’s lifecycle and safeguards their ability to produce a high-quality end product. Quality control services are necessary when contract manufacturers commit to meeting certain standards set by their customers and industry regulations.
Supplier ID and Management
A Supplier ID and Management System is a process that can help businesses to contract out the manufacturing of their products to outside sources. This type of service is especially advantageous when companies need to contract out production instead of making their product themselves.
With this system in place, businesses can quickly and efficiently identify new suppliers and easily obtain price comparisons. They will also be able to track and manage supplier performance to ensure that contract manufacturers comply with the specifications listed in the contract.
Supplier ID and Management services allow companies a streamlined approach to finding contract manufacturers and maintaining important supplier records.
Contract Manufacturer: What Is the Right Choice for You?
While looking for a contract manufacturer, there are several factors to consider to make the right choice for your business. Some of the key points include:
- Quality control
- Delivery times
- Inventory management
Businesses should also evaluate the contract manufacturer’s capabilities in terms of:
- Production capacity
- Technological advancements
- Scope of services
Finally, businesses need to ensure that they are selecting a contract manufacturer who understands their particular industry and has the expertise to help them achieve their goals. By doing your research and considering all of the available options, you can find the perfect contract manufacturing solution for your business.
As long as it meets all of your needs, it will help ensure that your products are built with quality and delivered on time. With the right contract manufacturer, your business will be able to grow and succeed.
Let’s take a look at some questions you should ask your potential manufacturer before going into business with them.
Where Are They Located?
It is important to find out the exact location of your contract manufacturer. You want to make sure that they are in a suitable environment, with the necessary infrastructure to support your production. It is also important to find out the type of transportation services available for shipping and receiving goods.
However, it is also crucial to make sure that their standards are aligned with your mission statement and values.
What Certifications Do They Have?
It is important to ensure that your contract manufacturer has the necessary certifications and accreditations to produce your goods. This will ensure that you are producing a product that meets industry standards and is up to par with the quality of other products on the market. Additionally, certifications show that the contract manufacturer is reliable and reputable.
How Is Their Quality Control?
Quality control is a critical element of the contract manufacturing process. You need to find out what processes the contract manufacturer has in place to ensure that the quality of their products meets the standards listed in your contract.
It is also important to ensure that they are using updated technologies and processes that meet the industry requirements.
Take a Look At Their Experience
Experience is key when it comes to contract manufacturing. Make sure that your potential contract manufacturer has the necessary experience to meet all of your needs. You should also ask for references and check into their past projects to get an idea of the quality of their work.
What Is Their Process?
The ideal process of a contract manufacturer should include:
- Access to global resources
- Monitoring and oversight of the production process
- Transparency in communication and operations
- Global integration
Access to global sources is paramount for businesses looking for contract manufacturing solutions as this allows them to source the best materials at competitive prices for their product.
In addition, having an open line of communication with their contract manufacturer allows businesses to have a better understanding of the production process and oversee the quality control measures that are put in place.
Transparency in communication is also important for companies as this fosters trust between them and their contract manufacturer. Transparency ensures that companies are made aware of any changes that may affect the production process or timeline so they can ensure that everything is running according to plan.
Finally, having a contract manufacturer with a strong global presence increases efficiency in terms of delivery times and access to more resources. This type of global integration also helps businesses expand into new markets without having to worry about finding local manufacturing solutions.
All these factors should be taken into consideration when searching for a reliable contract manufacturer who can provide solutions tailored specifically to your business needs.
What About Security?
Before signing any contract with a manufacturer, make sure that their data protection policies and processes are in line with industry standards. Make sure that all information shared between your company and the manufacturer is securely encrypted and stored. Additionally, you should also ask about the measures taken by the contract manufacturer to protect your intellectual property rights so that your products remain safe from misuse or theft.
By asking these questions when looking for contract manufacturing solutions, you can ensure that your business finds a reliable partner who can help it grow and succeed in the long run. You will be able to find a contract manufacturer who meets all of your needs while still maintaining competitive prices and quality control measures.
Upcoming and Current Trends in Contract Manufacturing: What to Know
For those looking for contract manufacturing services, it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends in the field. This ensures that projects are completed effectively and efficiently while avoiding any costly over-complication of processes.
Currently, many experts in the manufacturing industry are recommending that companies use product lifecycle management (PLM) software to streamline certain product assembly processes. In addition, there is a recent trend towards more hybrid models of advanced automation and traditional manual labor. This blended approach capitalizes on both manpower technology and automated solutions to maximize speed and accuracy across the entire workflow.
For those looking to contract high-quality product assembly services, it is invaluable knowledge to stay aware of these upcoming trends to efficiently get their products ready for market.
Get Started with Shield Works Today
If you’re looking for a contract manufacturer that can provide quality solutions tailored specifically to your business needs, Shield Works is here to help. We have over two decades of experience in the industry and are experts in providing high-quality product assembly services.
Contact us today to get started on contract manufacturing!
Contract manufacturing, original equipment manufacturing, and ODM manufacturing, oh my! There are so many different types of manufacturing companies that you can use to fulfill the needs of your business.
When you need to manufacture your product, you will want to pick the one that best protects your intellectual property while upholding the best labor practices possible.
If you are looking for more information about these product manufacturers and how to choose the right one, you came to the right place. This brief product manufacturing guide will cover all you need to know about the common manufacturers and who you can reach out to for more guidance.
What Is Contract Manufacturing?
Contract manufacturing is when you outsource part of your product’s manufacturing process to a third-party company. A large majority of companies use this method, so they don’t have to handle the bulk of their production process. Instead, a contract manufacturer manufacturers products for the OEM, producing items based on a set formula or design.
Advantages of Contract Manufacturing
A significant advantage of using a contract manufacturer is that they can help you create your products without investing in machinery or equipment. This also allows you and your business to minimize labor costs, free up capital, and commit additional resources toward research and development. Contract manufacturers also accept a certain amount of manufacturing-related liability.
Disadvantages of Contract Manufacturing
A major disadvantage of working with a contract manufacturing company is that there is more research and development work. The time to market your product is also a disadvantage.
Because it takes a bit longer to get the product, you will have to wait. Be sure to have a testing and validation plan from the beginning so you and the manufacturer can adjust it over time.
Types of Contract Manufacturing
There is a wide range of contract manufacturing services available. Standard contract manufacturing services include molding, assembly, machining, packaging, and sterilization. It is imperative that you partner with a contract manufacturer that provides the right services needed to support your product.
ODM manufacturing, also known as Original Design Manufacturer, is a business that creates products designed by you, but they are based on existing products. When you work with these types of companies, you purchase items that the factory already produces; you can just customize the items and add your logo.
You don’t always have to change the logo or design unless you want to. China is currently the leading ODM manufacturer, and most manufacturers outside of China are contract manufacturers.
Advantages of ODM Manufacturing
When you work with an ODM manufacturer, you don’t have to wait too long to market your product. There is also a much lower introduction price since you don’t have to go through the research and development process. ODM manufacturers also have strong expertise in technologies and in the market space.
Possible Issues with ODM Manufacturing
ODM manufacturers have the ability to send out your products quickly because they already have the item on hand or the specifics of the item on hand. A significant issue that comes with working with an ODM is intellectual property and who owns the design of the product even after you add customizations.
For the most part, the manufacturer created most if not all of the design, so they technically own the product’s intellectual property. This means that you own the copyright to the branding.
If you decide to work with an ODM manufacturer, make sure that you check the product you wish to customize. If the product looks similar to another name brand company, they can sue you for using their intellectual property.
OEM, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer, is a company that creates a product based on the blueprint you send in. When you create a partnership with an OEM manufacturer, they expect you to provide them with a product specification sheet and a product design document so they can make your product properly.
There are several different varying degrees of original equipment manufacturing companies. Some of them already have a product on site that they can use to make changes to, or you can start from scratch and create a brand new product.
If you plan on creating a brand new product, you may want to reach out to a contract manufacturer for more assistance. With most original equipment manufacturing projects, the client must create custom molds or some other tooling to create the item.
If the OEM does not already have what you need, they will need time before production to get that all prepared. This is a cost most clients have to bear upfront, but there are other manufacturers who purchase molds and just charge you after the fact.
Intellectual Property with an OEM
Since you’re the product designer and you created the product specification sheet, you most likely own the intellectual property of your product. Since you’re also paying for the parts of production (tooling and molds) and you have contracts that prevent the manufacturer from using the specification of your product, the intellectual property is yours. Just to be safe, make sure that you protect your intellectual property with the appropriate documents.
Advantages of OEM Manufacturer
The time to market with an OEM manufacturer is typically relatively short. This is because the original equipment manufacturer already makes products similar to yours, and they can use their current suppliers. Working with an OEM manufacturer comes with lower research and development costs.
Disadvantages of OEM Manufacturer
Although working with an OEM manufacturer comes with several beautiful advantages, a few significant disadvantages can affect your project. For example, if you have to change suppliers, you can’t just make a quick switch.
You will have to change up your entire supply chain. This means you will need a new component supplier as your OEM won’t disclose their component supplier to you.
Because these sub-suppliers are not disclosed to you, there is a chance the OEM could switch out sub-suppliers without you knowing. This could significantly affect the quality of your product.
How to Find a Product Manufacturer
Before you can look for the right product manufacturer for your needs, you must decide if you want a factory overseas or here in the United States. The best solution for your business needs depends on your personal goals and priorities.
Advantages and Disadvantages of U.S. Manufacturing
Using a factory in the United States does come with a few benefits. For example, when you use a manufacturer in the United States, you have more direct control over overproduction. You have the opportunity to visit the site more regularly, and you avoid dealing with international shipping logistics and tariffs.
Unlike overseas factories, manufacturers in the states allow you to order smaller batches of products. Overseas, they have minimum order requirements that you must meet before they fulfill your order. If you don’t meet the minimum, they may add an additional fee.
One of the most significant disadvantages of working with a supplier in the United States is the fact that they cost more. Sure, you may have access to the supplier, but they typically charge more since they are closer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Overseas Manufacturing
A factory overseas is almost always cheaper than using one in the United States. When you look for a product manufacturer overseas, you will notice that you have more options than you do in the United States.
This means you will have a large pool of applicants to choose from who have experience creating products similar to yours. The biggest challenge that comes with outsourcing is the longer shipping times and handling of import/export regulations.
There is also an issue of a possible language barrier. Thankfully, there are several different companies that have a dedicated representative that can communicate your needs in your language.
Look for a Product Manufacturing Plant
You can attend several networking events for more information on other Chinese manufacturing plants. International trade shows in the United States are another great resource to use when looking for the proper manufacturer.
When looking for the right company, make sure they make products similar to yours. A manufacturer may be eager to let you know that they can make it, even if they have no experience doing so.
Although this may work in some factories, that does not work with all of them. If they offer to create the product but have no experience, the product may lack quality.
United States Exports
Lastly, it would be best if you looked into a manufacturer that regularly exports products to the United States. These manufacturers already have experience complying with product safety standards, quality standards, and packaging requirements.
Look for a company that is a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise. Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise, also known as a WFOA, is a company that has production facilities in China. Still, the ownership and management of the company are run by non-Chinese teams. Depending on who owns the facility, you can expect the same quality and service that you would receive from a western company.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
As mentioned earlier, regardless of who you use to manufacture your products, you will want to protect your intellectual property at all costs. Without that protection, you risk having the manufacturer sell your product to another client.
You can use trademarks, copyrights, and patents to protect your intellectual property. Make sure that the protection you use is also designed for international situations.
If you would like to, you can use an NDA. An NDA, or a non-disclosure agreement, is a legally binding contract prevents other companies from copying your product. It would be best if you made potential manufacturers sign an NDA before you get any quotes.
Questions to Ask the Manufacturer
Before you partner with a manufacturer, you must ask a few questions to ensure they are the right fit for you. For example, make sure to ask the company about their labor practices.
The last thing you want is to work with a company that uses unfair labor practices. Not only is that inhumane, but it can also damage the reputation of your business.
Ask to see their business license and any documentation that proves they have a solid quality control system. It would also be best if you asked about their proof of inspections or their third-party audits. If a company refuses to give you that information, they may be hiding something.
Additional probing questions to ask your potential manufacturer:
- What is the price for production?
- What are your company’s payment terms
- Do you have a minimum order quantity?
- How long does it take to get the product exported
- Who are some of your clients?
- What experience do you have making products similar to mine?
- Do you charge for samples?
- Is all of your work in-house?
- Do you use sub-contractors?
Asking these types of questions can help you determine which manufacturer is best for you and your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. You’re hiring them to do a service for you at the end of the day.
Partner with the Best Product Manufacturer
Picking out the right manufacturer does not need to be a complex process, but it can be challenging if you aren’t sure what you’re exactly looking for. Once you figure out which type of product manufacturer you want to use, check out their reviews and business licensing.
You want to make sure you partner with a reputable manufacturer that can make your product just the way it is intended to be made. Contact us now if you are ready to learn more about your manufacturing options. We also offer warehousing and logistics if needed.
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.
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.