It’s strange to think of end-to-end manufacturing as the next stage of industry 4.0 because for so long, segmentation has reigned supreme. Companies outsource many different tasks in the manufacturing process, believing this will save them money in the long run. However, end-to-end manufacturing creates transparency and builds scalability that today’s creators need to roll out their products to the mass market.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of challenger brands. These brands can compete with major industry players and even pull market share away from them because they’re far more agile. They can redesign products and change directions in response to market demand, unlike their larger, more cumbersome competitors. End-to-end manufacturing grants them an advantage which allows them total control of the product design and creation process while providing for scalable production.
What is End-to-End Manufacturing?
End-to-end manufacturing, in the loosest definition, is a production process that takes a design from concept to creation without the assistance of a third party. Of course, that’s not to say there are no outside vendors. Things like raw material sourcing, retail relationships, and shipping are often dependent on vendors. End-to-end is more about the process, rather than the materials.
In an end-to-end manufacturing environment, the same company that developed the prototype for the creator will also establish their manufacturing process. Taking the product from concept to market gives them a lot of insight into the process which streamlines production. There are many benefits to end-to-end manufacturing that make this an invaluable strategy for new creators.
9 Benefits of an End-to-End Production Process
End-to-end manufacturing is popular among new creators who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of production. There are many reasons for this, though chief among them are these nine benefits:
An end-to-end production process typically involves working with a company that already has access to the machinery needed to create products. This method saves time in sourcing equipment and tooling. Also, by establishing manufacturing methods during the design process, less time is wasted on training workers.
By cutting out legs in the journey from creation to production, creators can also streamline costs that stem from shipping and production delays. This strategy will ensure the product creation process is cost-efficient and designed to reduce manufacturing waste.
#3: Reduced error rate
Often, the most errors in the production process come from lack of training. In an end-to-end environment, the same person who created the product sets the production process. Many end-to-end companies also use lean manufacturing methods to ensure tasks are predictable and measurable. This strategy minimizes errors that lead to losses.
In a segmented process, contracts are worked out based on a set number of units. It can be very challenging to change these terms without breaching existing agreements. An end-to-end environment is far more scalable, allowing creators to reduce or increase output as needed.
#5. Personal service
When working with a contract manufacturer, it’s important to recognize that they’re likely handling a lot more projects than just the creators. This can create a barrier between the creator and the manufacturer that limits effectiveness. An end-to-end environment ensures a single point of contact for all parts of the process, which increases personalized service.
#6: Increased output
It can take a very long time to find a manufacturer after the creation of a product. End-to-end allows the creator to move right to production upon design completion. By eliminating this lead time, the creator can increase their output to meet demand.
In a segmented environment, the creator doesn’t have a lot of control over the various parts of the production process. When time is of the essence it can be challenging to predict deadlines or manage relationships. The end-to-end manufacturing process is far more predictable as the process comes from the design. The creator can easily predict deadlines and share that information with stakeholders.
Eighty-six percent of American consumers believe that business transparency is more important now than it ever has been. On top of that, 73% report they’re willing to pay more for products that offer this transparency. Transparency centers on responsible supply sourcing, the fair treatment of workers, and ethical environmental practices. All this information is hard to glean when there are multiple stops in the production process. An end-to-end system makes it significantly easier for manufacturers to share every step of their creation process. This results in a higher appeal to today’s discerning consumer.
#9: Turnkey capabilities
Oversight is entirely flexible, based on the creator’s desires. Creators who wish to take a hands-off approach to the manufacturing process can ensure task completion without regular intervention. The entire process is set from the earliest stage, so they can easily predict the output. Alternately, creators can be as involved as they want to be because they have a direct line to the people creating their products.
An end-to-end manufacturing process gives creators the control they need to get their product to the masses on time and within budget. It’s flexible and much more convenient to manage than a sizeable segmented process. Production methods like these have allowed challenger brands to become a significant presence even in the face of staggering competition. New creators who wish to amplify their chance of success would do well to consider an end-to-end arrangement.
PRL is a full-service product development company that specializes in all aspects of production, from design to product fabrication and prototyping. Our experts are here to guide you through the full product development process, including the ideation, design, creation, and management of your product idea.