Original Equipment Manufacturers will most often need bespoke components for their applications. For many companies choosing between building up their own in house resource and outsourcing this to a contract manufacturer like ourselves is a big decision. So what are the benefits and pitfalls?

Building up an in house resource has one major benefit, which is of course control. Being able to have oversight on your operation is a major asset to any business and bringing machines/staff in house will undoubtedly save you more money for the future and makes your products more competitive.The disadvantage is that building an in house resource takes time, dedication and a lot of investment and although having your own machines and capacity is more cost effective long term, it is certainly less flexible. If you are manufacturing a new product, then it can be tricky to anticipate order levels, and so it may be better to find a trusted third party. Not only does this give you an outlet should you order book be full, but protects your company in the slow times.

Where Should You Look?

These days many companies starting their outsourcing journey are actually more likely to look offshore when it comes to their manufacturing. The low prices associated with countries such as China and India, don’t come without their own significant risks. Although outsourcing standard and simple parts may prove cost effective (if enough time and research is put in) for anything high precision, the UK should be the first point of call. UK manufacturers are known internationally for their commitment to quality standards and high precision work. Sourcing your suppliers locally also makes it much easier to chase them should orders be late.

What are the pitfalls?

Outsourcing your manufacturing is certainly not a magic bullet for your production. It takes time, communication and trust to build up a relationship and ultimately as it is out of your control, there is a risk that parts may be late. It’s important to take a long term approach when sourcing any manufacturer.

How Should You Start?

The contract manufacturing sector is highly competitive, and undoubtedly a quick google search will bring up a number of companies. It’s important to try and find companies that 1.Deal with your size and speciality 2. Update their shop floor regularly 3. Are easily available to contact. From there it’s as simple as sending through an NDA (Non-disclosure form) some drawings and getting a range of prices and turnaround times. Try and have 2 or 3 suppliers set up for different parts so you can easily switch work between them if they are busy, thus lowering your risk.

Striking a Balance

Ultimately if you’re deciding between in house production or outsourcing, the answer must surely be both. Building up your own resource gives you a distinct business advantage but for new products or new parts it may be quicker and easier to outsource. Many manufacturers make a number of standard parts in house but may use a contractor for small volume, odd parts that they only require every now and again.

B&B are contract machinists based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and work closely with a number of OEMs to provide a range of bespoke parts. If you are looking for a new supplier or would like a quotation, get in touch by emailing us at mail@bandbprecision.co.uk or call 01484866386

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