Five Factors to Consider When Choosing a Contract Manufacturer

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Contract manufacturers across New York State want your business. Whether you’re an inventor, a maker, or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), you’ve got options. So how can you determine which contract manufacturing company is the right choice for you?

5 Areas to Consider When Choosing a Manufacturing Partner

Recently, a Minnesota company published a white paper with five factors to consider: capability, quality, design for manufacturability (DFM), customer communication, and on-time delivery. The precision machined parts manufacturer doesn’t claim that its list is comprehensive, but it’s a strong start.

1. Capability

A contract manufacturer’s capabilities are about more than just its equipment list. Sometimes, inventors and makers need help with material selection. OEMs may have different requirements, such as quick-turn prototypes for modifications to manufactured products. Contract manufacturing capabilities vary, so remember to compare your needs to a potential partner’s specific capabilities.

2. Quality

Quality is about more than just certifications and standards. When you select a contract manufacturer, you need to know that the company can perform at the level your work requires. For example, if you need machined parts with tight tolerances, ask about work-in-process checks and final inspections. Contract manufacturers who are ISO certified have a defined quality management system (QMS) in-place.

3. Design for Manufacturability

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is about designing your product in a way so that it’s easy to manufacture. When you submit your initial drawings, a contract manufacturer who’s skilled in DFM can find ways to optimize part dimensions, materials, manufacturing techniques, and even delivery schedules. If you need DFM services, find out what they entail. Some companies are stronger than others in this important area.

4. Communication

Contract manufacturers also vary in the way that they communicate with clients. If you require frequent updates, you’ll probably want to choose a company that contacts you regularly instead of only when issues arise. If you’re working with a dedicated project manager, will you be able to get answers if that person is unavailable?

5. On-Time Delivery

Finally, you’ll need to determine whether a potential manufacturing partner can meet or beat your scheduled delivery dates. Ask for examples, review the reports, and decide whether the data builds confidence or raises any concerns. If you plan to ship your products to global markets, find out if the potential partner can process all of the required international documentation.

Need Help Finding a Manufacturing Partner in NYS?

Are you looking for a contract manufacturer in New York State? The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) system can help. As part of our Manufacturing Solutions, Fuzehub can help you find the right production parter for you. To get started,  set up a consult with one of our manufacturing experts.


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