Contract Machining: How To Avoid Surprises

In today’s manufacturing climate, it does not make sense for many companies to set up a department to produce one or two specialized products. Any attempt to do so could be prohibitively expensive. Hiring and training new employees are one cost to add to the other – the outlay for new equipment. Rather than embark on what could be a limited venture, many OEMs prefer to outsource to a contract machining company.

Avoiding Surprises

The very first thing to remember when looking at candidates is to remember this is a partnership. It may last only for this one project. It could also last for several years. As a result, it is important to consider factors indicating compatibility.

* Capabilities: What can the contractor do? Does it match your requirements?

* History: Have they performed similar or identical work before?

* Regulatory Certifications: Does the company possess the right certifications and meet designated guidelines for your products, e.g., ISO 13485 certification for medical devices

* Technical expertise: Does the contract manufacturing shop come equipped with the latest technology and the skills to operate it?

* Communication Skills: Can the two of you communicate effectively about every aspect of the project?

* Adaptability: How well does the contractor adapt to sudden changes?

* Capacity: Can the contractor grow to meet growing demands if necessary?

Contract Machining

Setting up a new department to handle a specialized product often does not make sense to a large OEM. It can also be prohibitively expensive for smaller companies. The option in both situations is to hire a contract machining firm to handle the orders. Remember to choose wisely. By working closely with this contractor, an OEM can establish a solid, working partnership advantageous to both parties. Failure to select a compatible company – one that understands specifically your needs and requirements, can negatively affect many aspects of your company including your time, budget, resources, market availability and customer relationships.

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    Author: Timothy Harvard

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