Lizzie Weakley 2m 407 #outsource
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Outsourcing part of your company’s production is efficient, but it can also put the quality of your products at risk. Look for these four signs that your outsourced products are up to company standards.
Seams, Seals, and Fasteners
No matter what kind of item you are producing, you can almost always tell the quality by inspecting the seams. Tight seams and waterproof seals are a sign of good workmanship. Screws and bolts should be attached correctly. If a threaded fastener has been added to the object, it should not budge when force is applied.
You can apply this philosophy to the way that the rest of the product is constructed. Look for smooth lines, clean edges, and other signs that care was put into the creation process.
Internal Testing Procedures
A great manufacturer has internal procedures that they use to test the quality of their work. This might be as simple as checking one out of every 500 products for defects, or it could involve running every prototype through a rigorous testing process.
When you consider outsourcing to a company, ask them how they ensure the quality of their products. Decide if their testing process represents the level of care that you want going into the items that you sell to your own customers.
Specific Features on Request
Outsourcing a product shouldn’t mean giving up control over the design. Look for a manufacturer who is willing to adapt their product line to the needs of your specific project. As an example, a pressure gauge distributor might be able to add your company logo during the manufacturing process.
Always discuss the possibility of personalizing the design during the project briefing. Be aware that some features are easier to add than others; engravings and screen prints don’t impact the functionality of the final piece.
The most important thing to look for in an external manufacturer is a willingness to communicate. If something is wrong with your design, you need to know that you’ll be contacted before the project goes to print. Manufacturing orders are usually both large and expensive. You simply can’t afford the mistakes that a failure to communicate can cause.
In most cases, you’ll be able to recognize a great manufacturer by the quality of their products. Find an outsourcing company that is easy to work with and creates products that you’re proud to sell as your own.