For contract manufacturing projects that aim to produce a product, project cost includes the overall works in design, engineering, manufacturing, quality, project management, and supply chain management. Within each of these categories, work can be divided into many sub-sectors with even more specialty tasks that intertwine with each other. Management teams try to put a budget on the project based on their best estimate. However, there are still many gray areas in the details of each task where decisions need to be made based on skills and best known methods (BKM). Without doing so, this is where the Snowflake Effect can be seen.
Global sourcing involves all factors related to helping make a product happen on time, meeting quality standards, and satisfying budget expectations. There are many resources required in order to build a product such as engineering design capability, tier 2 sourcing, project management, material management, and quality control. The challenge is determining how to coordinate these on a global spectrum. Beyond that, a sourcing team is focused on finding the best goods at the least expensive prices. In other words, they look for value. They help manage and alleviate supply chain risk through risk-management and keeping tabs on supplier stability.
Sourcing goes much deeper than just a simple purchasing decision. A good strategic sourcing strategy generally has a few basic components such as category planning, sourcing projects, and supplier performance measurement. The team looks to align these activities with the goals of the company and leverage expenditures with quality suppliers to maximize value.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost of making your product. This is why in early conversations with your manufacturer it usually isn’t possible to give you an impromptu, off the top of the head estimate to how much it will cost you to make your product. Of course it’s a valuable and necessary piece of information to know before going forth with manufacturing, but an accurate quote needs to be based off of something—mostly the details relating directly to your product and design.
Taking an idea and realizing it is exciting. It’s through ideas from entrepreneurs like you that we see manufactured products that help the world evolve. With that being said, it takes a lot of hard work, expertise, and testing before products like these can even start to become a commercial success. As you dive into manufacturing for the first time, keep these things in mind to create an outcome like a champ.
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If you’re already manufacturing a product, you understand how important tooling is. But what happens if your factory isn’t quite working out and you want to head to greener pastures? Or you’re ready to move production overseas? Do you have to start from scratch or can you take your tooling and molds with you? To answer that, we’ll start from the beginning.
So what exactly is tooling? Tooling is an essential part of the manufacturing process. Simply put, it is the designing, engineering, and creation of the tools that are needed to manufacture your product. This can include any needed molds as well. The quality, precision, and characteristics of tooling all determine how the finished piece will turn out as well as the speed, accuracy, and repeatability of manufacture.
Plastic is a widely used material in manufacturing, both in products and packaging. It is energy efficient and relatively easy to manufacture in comparison to alternatives. However, there are countless different types of plastics that are used in different types of application. In general, plastics can be grouped into two main families: thermoplastics and thermosets. The main difference between these two types of polymers is that thermoplastics soften and become pliable above specific temperatures (upon heating) and solidify again upon cooling, whereas thermosets always remain in a permanent solid state once they have been molded. Today we will look at the thermoplastic group.