The relationship an OEM maintains with its injection molder is integral to successful production of complex plastic parts. Often the partnership remains a value-add across projects and time.
But, there are instances when alignment between OEM expectations and molder capabilities erodes either suddenly or incrementally. Regardless, the outcome is the same: it’s time for the OEM to shuffle suppliers and find a new injection molder.
Central to a new product development program (NPD) is the budget, and exploring economic efficiencies often leads to a debate between offshoring and reshoring.
In most instances, overseas costs are particularly attractive compared to domestic production of custom injection-molded components for consumer applications.
However, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the world is functioning within a new normal. Bottom line decisions are no longer black-and-white as the pandemic complicates — and often upends — supply chains, adding project time and cost. Quickly, the offshore injection molding "bargain" becomes a candidate for reshoring.
On-time delivery (OTD). Suppliers are defined by it. Industrial buyers demand it. A recent study about supplier sourcing confirms it, reporting that "delivery performance" is the most important of six factors buyers consider when compiling supplier shortlists.
The focus on supplier OTD takes on added significance in light of the massive supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. How well or how poorly a supplier is navigating the crisis and meeting OTD expectations provides a glimpse into their grasp on materials handling and production processes.
Outsourcing has long been a practical solution for manufacturers looking to keep budgets in check. Low-cost countries generally provide attractive price points for labor and products, especially when compared against those charged in North America. The lower the cost, the higher the competitive advantage.
The past several weeks have seen a whirlwind of collective emotion. The impact of COVID-19 is challenging all of us to reassess our priorities, appreciate things we tend to otherwise take for granted, and do our parts to protect each other by staying safer at home.
The global pandemic has North American manufacturing reeling. Nearly half of suppliers report shipping and logistics disruptions, with 35% also registering incidents of offshore factory suspension and/or production restrictions.1
OEMs regularly face an important decision: use a supplier from overseas or partner with a US-based supplier.
Why is this so important? Because if your supplier is somehow incapacitated and deliverables are delayed, your orders go partially or wholly unfulfilled. That has a negative ripple effect on your customers and your reputation. This is evident from Thomas' March Industrial Survey, which saw a reduced desire from US manufacturers to source internationally (43% in February to 34% in March), and increase in those looking to source from North American manufacturers (47% from 43%).
MD&M West in Anaheim recently wrapped up, and I’ve had some time to reflect on one of the key panel discussions: Exploring the Connection Between Your Manufacturing Process & Patient Safety.
Manufacturers are always looking for practical ways to streamline product design, engineering and production, which leads many to supplier consolidation.
This is particularly true in the case of custom injection molding, where working with a single injection molding supplier that possesses the expertise and capabilities to meet your needs reduces development time and associated costs, improves logistics, and optimizes processes.