The quality of your component can depend a lot on the quality of your suppliers. If your supplier isn’t following certain component processes, there could be a greater risk of mistakes and delays during the manufacturing process.
This could cost you extra money and result in stress that you don’t need. Below are just some of the component processes that your supplier may not be following that could be worth checking.
When hiring a manufacturer, it can be comforting to know that at least some of your component is being manufactured in-house (i.e. they’re making the component themselves and not hiring another company to do it for them). It is common for manufacturers to outsource other manufacturers for certain parts or materials.
However, a supplier that describes themselves as a manufacturer shouldn’t simply be outsourcing the entire manufacturing process to another company - you may as well be going directly through that other manufacturer to save yourself some money. Taking steps such as a factory visit can be useful to get a good idea of how much in-house manufacturing is being carried out by your supplier.
Multiple Supply Chain Setup
If your supplier is also using suppliers, it could be worth checking what types of suppliers they are using. The best manufacturing companies use a range of suppliers rather than getting all of their parts and materials through one supplier.
This allows them to access the best materials and parts out there at the best prices. Multiple supply chains may be harder to keep track of, but they’re often better for business by allowing access to a greater range of resources.
Planning of Component Manufacturing
The component’s manufacturing process should be thoroughly planned out. There should be a clear idea of which materials and parts are needed and where they will be sourced from. There should also be a clear time scale.
It’s worth checking that your supplier has planned out the component manufacturing process - a good supplier should be able to provide you with a solid plan that you can easily understand.
Continuous Process Manufacturing
Continuous process manufacturing is a way of ensuring that there is a constant flow between different manufacturing processes. It ensures that there are no interruptions, ultimately allowing the component to be delivered faster and allowing changes to be made more quickly.
Continuous process manufacturing isn’t suitable for all manufacturing tasks - it depends very much on the demand of the item being manufactured, the quality, and the speed at which you need it.
Batch Process Manufacturing
Batch process manufacturing is an alternative to continuous process manufacturing. It involves creating items in batches - one batch must be completed before the second batch starts production. Batch production can be more suited to unique one-off orders such as limited edition series and prototypes.
Some suppliers use a mixture of continuous and batch process manufacturing in order to meet a variety of demands. It’s worth talking to your supplier to find out exactly which processes they use.