It is vitally important to give your fledgling product a head start before it gets to market—this means establishing its uniqueness and functionality as quickly as possible. Typically, this involves hours of market and customer research to ensure that the product is reaching an appropriate audience and that this audience knows that it is coming. But in order to achieve this, you must utilize the proven recipe of mixing the right amounts of innovative features with design and production costs.
Having your project take the market by storm requires you to start building a contract manufacturing strategy in the early stages of a project. Understanding what needs to be in the contract manufacturing strategy for your product can be difficult. However, road maps exist that can help in building a strong and concise strategy that maximizes the marketing reach of your product while giving you all of the benefits of using a contract manufacturer.
Wade Through the Different Types of Contract Manufacturing
You cannot build a contract manufacturing strategy without first knowing what forms of the process are available to your product. Each of these types will present its own pros and cons, and it is through the understanding of these that will enable you to make the most sufficient choice for your project. Determining the type of contract manufacturing you need also helps to narrow your search criteria, allowing for faster decision-making.
Contract Directly with a Manufacturing Facility
This can often be seen as an attractive option initially, but it comes with many logistical complications. While you gain access to a manufacturing facility, you will likely be limited in the choice of production machinery at your disposal. Also, you must provide your own workforce, make your own machine calibrations, and perform quality control using your engineers. In short, you will lose the input of an experienced manufacturing partner, and be left to fend for yourself.
Adding a labor pool to complement your existing staffing can provide some great benefits to your project. You can obtain workers who possess skill sets that your current workforce does not have, and can do so with no long-term impact on your payroll. The catch here is this involves you having your own manufacturing facility available, either one directly operated by the business or through having access to a contracted manufacturing facility.
Production of Parts by Multiple Companies for Assembly by One Manufacturing Partner
Contract manufacturers are typically considered experts in specific fields of expertise. This is why sometimes it makes sense to get parts for your product—for example, intricate electronic components, built by a specialist for later assembly by the manufacturer. Oftentimes, the parts can be made by subsidiaries of your manufacturing partner. The primary drawback to this form of contract manufacturing is the additional areas of coordination that must be seamlessly orchestrated.
Production of Goods by One Contract Manufacturer
Also called private label manufacturing, this form of contract manufacturing is the most inclusive of all. Through the development of this type of partnership, you should receive input on your project throughout every phase. This ensures that the product you are creating is in the scope of the capabilities of your contract manufacturer. It also clears the path for in-depth collaboration every step of the way, from design and prototype testing and on through to the final product phase.
Improve Allocation of Project Resources
Devising a contract manufacturing strategy will be based on producing a market-ready product as rapidly as possible. Using the right manufacturing partner for your project breathes new life into it, in the form of increased agility and improved project collaboration. The most effective contract manufacturers will include some of their own design and testing resources, which work with your engineering team to make improvements as issues are identified.
Your manufacturing partner should also provide access to top-notch prototyping capabilities that can help you be certain of your product’s readiness, even up to providing their own input into test results so any performance adjustments are made with a high degree of accuracy. This high level of integrated collaboration will address all of the underlying nuances, such as weighing material cost, strength, and quality options against the likely real-world impact of your product’s usage.
Find the Balance Between Cost Versus Quality
A sense of losing control over the production of your flagship creation is one of the main reasons businesses refrain from seeking a partnership with a contract manufacturer. Holding onto this assumption would be unwise and unfair to your project team, especially when you consider some of the track records that manufacturing partners have built, proving themselves to be great partners in the building of high quality, cost-controlled, product builds.
Contract manufacturers understand quality and cost controls are vital pieces of the success puzzle. The most attractive of these partners will start an engagement by reviewing your product strategy and working with you to make fine-tuned changes to adapt your product to what has been seen in the market, as well as to help save you on production costs. They will work with you to streamline your business relationships, making collaboration and teamwork the foundation for your partnership.
A Solid Contract Manufacturing Strategy Starts with a Powerful Ally
Developing a strategy to bring a product to life has a very linear set of rules that have been long established as being successful. But when the time comes for converting a CAD drawing into a sellable item, things get a little cloudy. Choosing to use a contract manufacturer can give you a powerful ally to serve as a springboard for launching your product into the world.
PRL is an end-to-end manufacturer—we pride ourselves on handling every aspect of the process for our partners. Our experts are here to guide you through each step of design, prototyping, customer analysis, development, manufacturing, and delivery.