A simple definition of a contract manufacturer is a company that is hired or contracted to perform a specific task or tasks in the manufacturing process. Most OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) use contract manufacturers to complete some or all of the steps in producing the products they brand and market.
Choosing the right company to work with for contract manufacturing is essential for your business. The ideal contract manufacturer will see their role as an extension of your business, providing the services required in a way that adds to your ability t meet your production needs.
Know What is Required
Before contacting any contract manufacturers, take the time to assess the services you require from the given specialist. For example, if you require welding services, will you also need precision cutting, CNC machining, sawing, finishing, assembly or other similar services?
Knowing specifically what is required allows for the same request for service from each of the companies under consideration.
Check the Company’s History
Ideally, look for well-established contract manufacturers with a history of working with other businesses in your industry. A proven track record is a good indicator of a contractor that runs as an organized, professional shop and has the ability to deliver small or large volume orders on time and to the specs required by the customers.
Obtain a Written Bid/Estimate/Quote
As with anything in business, a written bid, quote or estimate the provides a line-by-line breakdown of the cost of the different services provided will be necessary to compare different contractors. Experienced companies will also be able to provide full transparency on production capacities, the ability to scale up production when necessary and their on-time production percentage.
With the information provided, compare the different options on the table for choosing a contractor for manufacturing services. Avoid the temptation to focus too much on the bottom line price but rather look carefully at services, experience and value-added components that are part of the bid.