Why End-to-End Solutions Provide Value to Your Company
Efficiency is an important part of any company’s operation. As a truck driver, you wouldn’t take a trip from Seattle to Los Angeles by way of Kansas City without a very good reason (excellent barbecue doesn’t count). Why would you take a similarly roundabout approach to your outsourced manufacturing needs?
Inefficiencies cost time, and time equates to money. With outsourced manufacturing, you can maximize efficiency by consolidating your manufacturing needs with one reliable partner that provides end-to-end solutions—from the conceptual and design phase all the way through to product delivery and long-term supply programs.
How does the value of end-to-end solutions show up in your bottom line? Here are just a few examples.
When suppliers are involved in the complete process, both sides have a deeper understanding of the collective goals and capabilities. Suppliers may potentially spot areas where the product can be improved or made in a more efficient fashion. Value can manifest itself through decreased production costs, increased sales through improved product design, or both.
Value is also provided through improved communication. The more that projects are handed back and forth constantly between different entities, the more likely it is that communication errors and mistakes will occur. Every transfer of information is a potential trouble spot. With a vendor that provides end-to-end solutions within a collaborative environment, you minimize trouble spots and make the existing information transitions as smooth as possible.
Smooth transitions are an essential when many changes and revisions are involved. Close involvement by the supplier can be critical in spotting and preventing potential mistakes that can cascade into resource draining rework at best and product failures at worst.
Consolidating work with one supplier can allow both parties to make the best use of the economies of scale. Juggling multiple parts suppliers and contract assemblers can be a logistical nightmare, and the process rarely results in increased value for your finished product.
By selecting a vendor with the proper expertise and capability to execute end-to-end solutions for your projects, you not only provide greater economic value on an individual project, but you also build a relationship that can be applied to multiple projects and future manufacturing needs. You can receive tangible value in volume discounts and intangible value in a smooth working relationship.
Every once in a while you may have a manufacturing need that’s economically difficult for everybody involved—it’s critical but relatively low volume, and as a stand-alone project it isn’t economical for anybody to tackle. That’s where the intangible value of an excellent working relationship can convert into tangible value. A outsourced-manufacturing partner may be willing to cut you slack on that particular project for a benefit elsewhere.
There’s a reason you have turned to outsourcing your manufacturing needs in the first place. Either you lack the expertise to design/produce the necessary part or assembly by yourself, or it’s not economically feasible for you to do so. If that expertise is relatively narrow, such as a particular metalworking skill or simple labor savings, value exists—but it may not be maximized.
A supplier who has the expertise to provide assistance throughout the process can maximize value. Look for a supplier with the greatest complementary capability to your skills, with enough overlap to provide further value if your internal resources can be put to better use. Assembly operations are an excellent example, as they are usually one of the lowest value-added parts of a process. By choosing a supplier who can handle both parts manufacturing and assembly needs, you have the flexibility to put your resources where they are most needed and maximize total value.
Just as multiple transfers are opportunities for mistakes, they are also opportunities for increased shipping costs. That’s not only from the potential for multiple shipments within a project, it’s also from having to expedite shipping when schedules break down.
A supplier providing an end-to-end solution can manage the logistics for you and prevent you from having to juggle multiple suppliers and timelines to achieve your product goals. You can save money directly on shipping costs and also institute just-in-time methods or other inventory practices that can save on inventory costs.
In the best case, a collaborative manufacturing partner can tailor a supply program directly to your needs and provide further value. Given end-to-end capability, a supplier has enough control over all the variables to make the supply program beneficial and economical for both supplier and customer.
The Whole Package
End-to-end solutions provide value to your operation through promoting efficiency and are greatly enhanced when implemented within a collaborative partnership. Even with a supplier that can provide end-to-end solutions, full value won’t be realized without sufficient collaboration and joint planning. At Smartrend Manufacturing Group, we believe in this approach and strive to establish these types of partnerships with our customers. Collaborative efforts tend to create value on both sides of a business relationship.
SMG has the expertise to provide complementary efforts wherever they are needed in your project. From design and prototyping assistance through our qualified international manufacturing facilities and customizable local direct supply programs, we can help to create value along every step in your product development path.
Don’t take that metaphorical detour to Kansas City. Save your company time and money through suppliers that make efficient use of end-to-end solutions, and check out that fine Kansas City barbecue on your own time—and your own dime.