5 Value-Added Services Mfg Partners Should Offer
Posted by Paul Nelson on Wed, Jul 03, 2013
Partnering with suppliers that deliver quality products on-time and on-budget is great – but is it "good enough"?
In today's global marketplace, you need every competitive advantage you can get. That's why it's worthwhile to look at opportunities to leverage the value-added services the world's foremost outsourcing partners.
The significant additional business benefits of value-added services are also one more reason to partner with Canadian or American suppliers, who can take advantage of a shorter, tighter supply chain and easier collaboration to help you reduce costs and lead times, optimize purchasing and inventory, and more. Here are five value-added services that leading outsourcing partners in the custom cable manufacturing marketplace can offer:
1: Design review and support.
Among the key value-added services that a contract manufacturer can offer to reduce OEM costs and lead times is design collaboration. As experts with unparalleled experience in their particular disciplines, outsourcers employ engineers who can advise on the manufacturability of a design, suggest ways to reduce costs and improve quality and reliability, and offer guidance on component and tooling choices.
2: Rapid prototyping.
Accelerating the prototyping process for parts or sub-assemblies can reduce time-to-market, as well as project cost and risk. Prototyping helps ensure that the end-product meets design goals for manufacturability, reliability and performance. It also supports higher quality, lower development costs and faster product rollout by identifying design issues earlier in the process.
3: Reverse engineering.
Also called “reverse modeling,” reverse engineering is the process of using an existing manufactured part to create a CAD model; e.g., to create an enhanced version of a part. Outsourcing this process to experts with the latest tools and techniques can offer significant savings in both time and money, while yielding more accurate results.
4: “Custom” customer support.
Your business has unique support requirements. An outsourcer focused on your satisfaction and success can assist with order processing, order expediting/tracking, Requests for Quote processes, personalized project management, and coordination of prototyping/first piece activities. All these services, while they might not be “rocket science,” can cut lead times and improve speed-to-market.
5: Supplier-managed replenishment services.
Top-tier suppliers can manage the replenishment of your stock, enabling you to optimize your purchasing, inventory and delivery costs. Your business can directly bvenefit from systems and services like:
- Kanban - the automatic replenishment of stock based on signals you specify, so you never have excess inventory and never need worry about stock-outs.
- Stocking agreements – letting the supplier warehouse your inventory can be a great way to outsource a non-core competency and save on a wide range of costs related to storing and shipping inventory.
- Custom packaging – the sharpest US and Canadian outsourcers can kit different assemblies to arraive at precisely the correct points on your assembly line, streamlining your manufactuing process and accelerating production.
Greater supplier involvement and collaboration around your product development process can enable your company to benefit from additional expertise and resources in areas from industrial design to project management to purchasing – leading to higher profit margins through accelerated time-to-market and improved product quality, durability and performance.
Are value-added services part of the equation in your organization's outsourcing decisions?