"We will figure out a way to do that for you" is the response Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are looking for when searching for new work. The contract manufacturers most worthy of an OEM's business are those capable of demonstrating flexibility.
When a contract manufacturer embodies flexibility, they indicate an unwavering commitment to the OEM: an obligation to do whatever means necessary to ensure the OEM's requirements for the job are met, whether that's leveraging deep sector knowledge or investing in cutting-edge equipment.
Let's discuss the benefits of partnering with a flexible contract manufacturer and how these partnerships enable operational agility for high-level efficiency and productivity.
3 Ways Flexible Contract Manufacturing Benefits OEMs
Flexible manufacturing is a highly sought-after value-add. Unfortunately, many contract manufacturers do not have the capabilities to deliver on this expectation; however, the ones who do provide OEMs significant benefits.
Here are three ways flexible contract manufacturing benefits OEMs.
Service and Space Expansion
When OEMs partner with a flexible contract manufacturer, they instantly increase their production footprint, avoiding the need to purchase or lease additional facility space. Better yet, the contract manufacturer will supply the skilled workforce needed to support facility expansion and growth. A flexible contract manufacturer eliminates the need to attract, hire and train new employees while providing OEMs the additional space to scale with their production demand.
Flexible contract manufacturers are continuously expanding and refining their services to meet the evolving needs of their customers. Valuable partners will equip themselves with new machinery and stay up to date with the latest manufacturing trends to handle client requests involving innovative technology.
Contract manufacturers accumulate new capabilities over time and reconfigure their offerings as required for specific projects. Expansion of service offerings and knowing how best to apply them is the differentiating factor that sets the best manufacturers apart.
In addition to assembly and sub-assembly, a flexible contract manufacturer will offer the following services to add value throughout the product life-cycle:
- Precision cutting
- Metal finishing
- Metal forming and bending
- Inventory and storage
- Warehousing and distribution
- Supply chain management
- Warehouse receiving
- Picking, kitting, and packing
- Worldwide shipping
Dynamic Demand Flexibility and Flexible Planning
An experienced and capable contract manufacturing provider is set up to assist OEMs with all tasks, including rapid-response production at the required volumes. OEMs need a contract partner capable of adapting production to meet immediate needs regardless of the project scope, whether high-mix or low-to-medium volume. A flexible contract manufacturer delivers the luxury of accommodating demand flow quickly to minimize the expense of idle resources. A genuinely responsive and agile contract manufacturer will have the capacity to make any adjustments to designs without sacrificing a project's timeline.
The most valuable contract manufacturers have the capacity and agility to scale production up or down to meet unexpected customer demands. Quick adjustments in production and workforce mean hard-to-hit delivery targets are encountered more frequently, and challenging conversations with customers never happen.
Quality Standards That Match Your Specifications
A contract manufacturer with a reputation for flexibility and meeting quality standards will not only be able to reconfigure its workforce and equipment to satisfy unexpected customer demands and specifications, but they will also have the right technology, integrations, and processes for seamless communication between teams, departments, and customers.
Nothing is stagnant in the manufacturing industry. Material shortages and hiring challenges occur. Customer plans shift, and their priorities constantly evolve. Regardless of the variables, an experienced contract manufacturer keeps its customers informed as changes occur, ensuring the information needed to make crucial decisions is readily available.
When OEMs partner with a local contract manufacturer, they have the flexibility to meet in person or quickly schedule a phone conversation in their time zone, significantly reducing time to market.
Support Growth and Foster Innovation With a Flexible Contract Manufacturer as Your Partner
A qualified partner with proven flexible manufacturing capabilities will deploy organizational agility guided by deep industry knowledge, investments in new machinery, and a firm commitment to continuous improvement to maximize flexibility.
When looking for the right contract manufacturer to partner with, it's essential to find the right fit. Successful manufacturing partnerships are no longer based on the lowest price but rather the agility, innovation, and technical prowess that a partner can offer.