Successfully Done with Manufacturing Outsourcing
You’ve already spent time and research on your product, and now you are up against the clock in a time to market race. You realize your best option is manufacturing outsourcing, and you may be surprised to learn the many ways outsourcing to a contract manufacturer can increase your capabilities.
Not all contract manufacturers can help you with all of your time to market goals. Here are some important capacities you’ll want a manufacturing partner to provide and commit to:
- Respond to volatility with agility
- A dependable manufacturing partner is able to manage parallel development (not limited to serial channels), helping you finalize the configuration and providing support to complete the documentation package while simultaneously ramping up the production.
- Commit to and deliver man hours
- Not every time to market project involves prototypes or small quantities to validate a configuration. When your product being developed represents a significant piece of business that requires substantial resources, you need a manufacturing partner that can handle that. Even better when you can find a contract manufacturer, like Fourstar, that can handle a challenging combination of a highly volatile configuration and massive man hours in a very quick production turn time.
- Define the scope of the project
- Number of configurations
- Manufacturing schedule
- Adhere to consistent development and quality processes between companies
- Work with established liaison for open communication
- Collaborate on documentation and design with engineering resources
- Provide timely response to questions that may arise during the process engineering and the manufacturing build
- Manage the supply chain
- Procure with flexibility
- Access available stock through VAR suppliers with local distribution
- If your company is vertically integrated, you may be shocked at the competitive pricing you are missing out on through the resource channels companies with strong VAR relationships have
Because we operate from the tenets described above, we know intimately well how this model works. Fourstar recently had a successful partnering arrangement that allowed us to get our customer to market with a timely turnaround, providing top-quality builds. Their readiness research concluded that they needed to outsource their manufacturing to meet their production targets. We were selected to supply a mix of complex wire harnesses and control boxes for a tier-one industrial military supplier. Our customer’s motion control solutions meet stringent naval qualification requirements such as shock, vibration, low-acoustic signature, and seawater corrosion resistance. The project was in the last leg of development and there was a defined timeline requirement of four to six weeks to deliver from engagement. Fourstar successfully engineered processes for 17 individual assembly configurations, delivering a total of 148 assemblies to support the production schedule. We committed over 3,000 man hours to this effort and completed it within the timeline requirements.
We worked in close collaboration with this customer and once they completed all their initial research requirements, we met all the manufacturing requisites, which enabled us both to enjoy our product launch success.
Time Is on Your Side
Okay, so we’ve put the horse before the cart a bit. Prior to contacting a contact manufacturer, you have to do your homework regarding your product and job needs. You need to be sure you have covered the preliminary elements of your production goal before you even consider contacting a company like Fourstar to help you get to the finish line in good time and with quality products—all resulting in a successful time to market initiative.
We all want success when getting products to market, and the one variable in this process that reigns above them all is time. Successful timing can capture many advantages for you:
- Anticipated launch boosts sales
- Acquiring larger market share
- Viewed as innovator, industry leader
- Dedicated time for second generation—quicker delivery of newest technologies
- Lower development costs
A resourceful way to control your development costs is to outsource your manufacturing. Often OEMs seek out collaborative relationships when they have production requirements that may fall outside their specific expertise, physical manufacturing capabilities, general scope of work, or might otherwise exhaust their existing resources and commitments. Your initial research phase will confirm your need to seek manufacturing outsourcing as a viable option that will enable you to meet your timeline.
Are You Ready?
That begs the question: what are the key elements that contribute to a successful fast-turn production build?
- Proper selection of a manufacturing partner
Fourstar excels at helping high-tech companies finish the last leg of the dash to new product introduction and production delivery. We have the program management and manufacturing capability to support a fast-turn production build (large or small) or preproduction prototype run.
Fourstar partners with leading companies to “find a better way” for new product introduction (NPI), design for manufacturing (DFM), and time to market initiatives. How can we find a better way for you? We also helped Columbia Tech get to market with a massive project and discuss it in this case study. We think you’ll find it an interesting read.