Surviving as a business owner today is certainly tough. There is so much competition, and the tastes of consumers seemingly change overnight. To survive, you have to find ways to save money and increase efficiency. One way to achieve this is through outsourcing. However, how do you ensure the quality of products when you outsource their manufacturing? It can be tricky, but there are strategies you can deploy.
Use Detailed Blueprints and Schematics
One way to ensure a standardized level of quality in outsourced products is to include that quality within the plans you hand over to that outsourcer. Make sure all outsourced products are manufactured in accordance with a highly detailed blueprint or schematic. If the plan leaves out no minor detail, there will be less room for that outsourcer to paint outside the lines when creating your product. This is especially the case with EDM manufacturing services in which products are shaped by programmed electrical sparks.
Include Quality Control in Third Party Contracts
Another way to ensure a high level of quality with outsourcers is to demand it when creating the contracts for that work. Make sure to specify in the contract that products manufactured by that company must achieve a certain quality benchmark to be acceptable. If they don’t achieve that desired level of quality, you may include stipulations that demand you either won’t have to pay for them or that those products will be remade to the correct level of quality.
Demand Test Runs
Using a third party to outsource manufacturing for a product often requires a huge investment of time, money and resources. Having to change manufacturers can be disastrous for your bottom line. With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to demand a test run of your product to be produced before you agree to any long term contracts. That way, if that outsourcer’s quality is not up to snuff, you won’t lose as much when you move to another company. That would likely not be the case if you already had a contractual agreement.
You should also include the right to audit that outsourcer within the contract. This way, you’ll be able to inspect the manufacturing processes at that company to ensure that they are living up to your quality standards. Make sure these audits can be performed unannounced so you get the most accurate picture possible.
Outsourcing requires giving up some control. Due to that fact, there are some risks. For one, quality could suffer. However, if you implement safeguards like the ones listed above, you can help ensure that any product you do outsource for manufacturing lives up to your company’s high expectations for quality.
Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. @LizzieWeakley