While several options exist, companies often wonder where to start when looking for a contract manufacturer. Making the choice to outsource is an extremely important decision. It’s crucial that organizations take the time necessary to interview several companies.
Businesses can evaluate potential partners using the following criteria.
Above all else, it’s important to select a contract manufacturer that will go the extra mile to make sure your product launch is a success. Look for a CM that offers flexibility. Make sure the contract manufacturer is able and willing to change direction when the project requires it.
It’s extremely important that the contract manufacturer you choose has the experience, infrastructure, and NPI processes in place to ensure a smooth transition from prototype to volume manufacturing. During your interview, ask about their New Product Introduction (NPI) process.
When selecting a CM, it’s important to ensure they have the technical experience and skills needed to complete your project. It’s not unreasonable to ask to view examples of past projects the CM has completed with similar technical requirements.
A lot of companies mistakenly believe that bigger equals better. This isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to contract manufacturing. Partnering with a large CM when you’re a small to medium-sized business could lead to problems down the line. Small to mid-size companies often feel they don’t get the attention they deserve from larger contract manufacturers. Alternatively, partnering with a very small CM could lead to problems if your needs are bigger than their facility and/or people can handle.
Working with a CM that’s located in your general area makes communication and validation much easier. Meetings and project updates can take place face to face as opposed to over the phone. This increases visibility and confidence as you move into production.
Quick production time means nothing if the finished product doesn’t meet the quality standards of your organization and your customers. It’s important to look for a contract manufacturer with skilled staff and QMS certifications including ISO 9001 and AS9100.
Organizations looking to outsource part or all of their production should look for a contract manufacturer that meets all of the criteria mentioned above. Although your organization may have other requirements as well, these six areas can have a major impact on the overall success of your project.
Please contact us for information about our contract manufacturing services.