In my last blog, I explained why working globally is essential to your bottom line and reaching your company goals this year. That being said, many decision-makers are concerned about outsourcing particularly complex products or components, especially industrial parts. In years past, the trend was to manufacture critical components in-house and to outsource only generic or less costly parts. This is due in part to controlling the final product and because there are several misconceptions about China. The reality is, by falling into this pattern, you could be missing out the lion’s share of available cost savings! In fact, having a difficult product which includes many processes or assembly steps can work in your favor when considering the cost of labor. Concerns can vary from “Are my tolerances too tight" to “Is this part too complex; are there too many processes”? These questions are valid, but when you find the right partner to outsource your precision components, not only will you find you can successfully manufacture a highly complex product, but it can also meet all of the certifications required by the end user. So how do you know you have the right partner? Here are some things to consider:
- How long have they been in the business? Finding a partner with experience, such as United Global Sourcing, is essential to the process, especially when manufacturing complex, industrial parts.
- What is the potential partner’s focus? What are their core competencies? Ask for examples, ask for referrals, ask for case studies.
- What are the potential hidden costs? Your partner should be able to be up front about the costs you will be incurring, if cost of freight is additional(or if it is included), and if the item will come fully packaged, sorted, etc. Clear communication, transparent quotes, and honest discussion of expectations from both sides are imperative to avoiding hidden fees.
- Does your partner work with their suppliers to develop them or do they shop only for the lowest bidder? Having a steady group of suppliers who are trusted and always being developed will create a consistency of product and alleviate potential quality issues before they happen.
- Can a part made overseas be ISO compliant or pass required audits? Social and quality audits are something that a reliable Asia sourcing company can facilitate easily to ensure everything is done properly and to your specifications.
Finally, it all comes down to how two companies work together. Ensuring you are comfortable with the level and style of communication, the format timelines are provided in, along with agreeing on payment terms can all increase your confidence exponentially. When finding a partner, outsourcing or otherwise, their values should be similar to your own and there should be a sense of trust that develops to cement the working relationship.