Benefits of Sourcing Offshore Manufacturing
Cheap labor is virtually synonymous to offshore manufacturing. To be competitive on the global stage, corporations need globally competitive prices. For some, saving costs on their supply chain might be the saving grace of their business. There are risks to sourcing from offshore manufacturers, but if you educate yourself and do your due diligence you can reap the benefits. Read on to learn how to mitigate your outsourcing risks and choose the perfect offshore supplier for your supply chain.
How to Choose an Offshore Rubber Supplier
The first step to finding a partner supplier is to define the standards you would expect from your ideal supplier. As you get to know your potential suppliers, you should also begin to weigh the costs and risk analysis of each supplier. Ask yourself if you’re looking for a long-term supply relationship or short-term savings. Can the supplier be responsive and flexible when you need them to be? Consider the following on your supplier shopping list: location, logistics, production capacity, quality standards, price range, technology, communication, and peace of mind.
Supplier Checklist #1: Location
Where the supplier is located may imply different levels of communication and logistics ability. Is the supplier in a drastically different timezone, but you know you would prefer to reach them by phone to resolve issues or make urgent changes?
How far away is the supplier from major ports? If the offshore supplier is located in an exceptionally rural or inland part of the country, you may have to accept the possibility that the logistics operations available to them simply may not be reliable.
Supplier Checklist #2: Logistics
Does the supplier provide any logistics or distribution services? Can they handle large volume or small volume deliveries? What about urgent deliveries? How experienced are they at providing products to your country? Who will be coordinating the import logistics i.e. navigating local and importer regulations, providing the appropriate documents, troubleshooting customs issues and more? If your organization has limited import experience, it would be preferable to seek out a supplier who can provide import logistics to avoid any unforeseen costs and headaches. Conversely, if you find that your organization spends exorbitant resources on import logistics, a value-added import supplier can save your corporation a significant portion of its resources.
Supplier Checklist #3: Production Capacity
Does the supplier’s production capacity match your projected volume for the project? If you project an increase in volume, will the supplier be able to support your future orders?
Is the supplier’s production capacity large or small? If the supplier is too large compared to your supply requirements, your needs may not be responded to as quickly as you’d like.
Supplier Checklist #4: Quality
What is the supplier’s quality management system? Do they give you confidence in their quality control process? Can they back it up with certifications and process documentations? ISO 9001 is an example of an internationally recognized quality management system. ISO/TS 16949 is an expansion of ISO 9001, soon to be replaced by IATF 16949, internationally recognized for insuring the high quality requirements demanded by the automotive industry.
Supplier Checklist #5: Price Range
Send RFQs, or Requests for Quotes to several potential suppliers to compare pricing for similar products. Talk earnestly with the suppliers. See which suppliers are willing to work with you to achieve mutually beneficial results.
Which suppliers quote consistently within the competitive price range? Watch out for inconsistent pricing and prices that are “too good to be true.” Inconsistent pricing may mean the manufacturer is absorbing the costs for temporary business or have misquoted the production item. If the supplier is losing money, they may not honor their prices once you’ve already invested your products with them.
Supplier Checklist #6: Technology
How old is manufacturer’s equipment and facility? Are they using outdated equipment and outdated manufacturing techniques? Newer technology, updated facilities, and investment in continuing education can mean greater production efficiency, less waste, lower labor costs, and environmental protection.
Supplier Checklist #7: Communication
Do you have someone on your team who can speak the supply country’s language with complete fluency? How well can you communicate complex ideas and solve problems with them? In custom contract manufacturing, unique issues in engineering changes and special requirements may demand a complex level of communication. Take care to choose a supplier who can understand you and communicate complex ideas in a language you’re most comfortable with.
Supplier Checklist #8: Peace of Mind
Peace of mind is too often underrated in supply chain management. When sourcing offshore manufacturing, stresses about quality deterioration, unreliable delivery, world economy and fluctuating exchange rates, and untrustworthy suppliers can make it hard to sleep at night. That’s why Coi Rubber Products guarantees every order to meet or exceed client specifications, takes on complete import responsibilities, and provides US-based customer service and distribution, so that supply managers get offshore prices in US currency without the hassle of wrangling in offshore supply entities.
About Coi Rubber
Coi Rubber Products, Inc. is a custom manufacturer of molded rubber and plastic components with locations in US, China, and Mexico. Coi Rubber has over 28 years of experience in Engineering, Design, Compounding, Prototyping, and Production of molded rubber and plastics. We provide large scale production and engineering support to the Automotive, Industrial, Agriculture, Appliance, HVAC industries, and many more.
Coi Rubber Products is ISO/TS 16949:2009 (2018: IATF 16949:2016) certified. Quality and documentation is guaranteed with every order at Coi Rubber. Value-added services at Coi Rubber include FOB shipping to our Los Angeles headquarters and distribution center, US-based customer service and engineering support, and factory-direct prices from our American-owned and managed manufacturing facilities in China.