Behind China and the European Union, the United States is the globe’s third-largest manufacturer, single-handedly accounting for some $2.36 trillion in GDP in Q1 2018, or $2 trillion in real output, the highest in American history. Despite the fertile grounds of the American manufacturing industry, finding reliable materials as a manufacturer is still challenging — these tips should help with just that.
Get Aggregate with it—Track Prices By the Index
Inevitably, any price of any raw material or commodity will undergo periods of volatility. Some manufacturers, varying wildly by industry, are plagued with inconsistent pricing to the extent that losing their foothold of reliably-sourced products just once could result in business failure. Even if you only use one or two raw materials or pre-fabricated, work-in-process goods in manufacturing, you should track price changes in real-time for a few dozen raw materials and other inputs. The longer your history — and accompanying analysis — gets, the more value raw material index price tracking brings to the table. Using these price indexes can help you make better decisions in real-time even if your company hasn’t tracked those prices; in other words, you can get some limited-yet-immediate benefits from this strategy to make material-sourcing decisions.
Use a Buyer’s Club to Demand Better Buying Conditions From Suppliers
Buyer’s clubs are networks of people or businesses that buy goods as a single entity, forcing their group buying power and funds against suppliers to get cheaper, higher-quality, and more valuable goods — in this case, it’s raw materials to use in manufacturing.
Tips for Getting the Most From Plastics
Plastics are one of the most versatile manufacturing materials in the world. Although plastic doesn’t biodegrade quickly, perspex plastics are strong, easy to recycle, inexpensive, and readily available. Recycling is the name of the game with plastic. Plastics for manufacturing from that you can recycle should come from all across the board, including:
- Plastic that would otherwise be thrown into a landfill
- Leftover scraps of raw materials from manufacturing processes
- Teaching workers how to generate less waste
- Establish Working Ties with Different Levels of Suppliers
Forge connections with a diverse group of suppliers to improve your supply chain even further. Although getting on board with domestic wholesalers, craftsmen, and manufacturers, for example. The more diversity, the better. Even though most manufacturers think they’re above using the Internet to find new suppliers, it’s a worthwhile venture for cultivating gems of suppliers.
Although it’ll take time for your manufacturing outfit to cultivate a flourishing network of reliable material suppliers, you can improve your supply chain immediately, believe it or not, by starting with these ideas.
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.