Contract manufacturing services are a huge commitment. If you have multiple steps in your manufacturing supply chain, you'll have to decide how many vendors to bring into the project.
You may look at one for engineering optimization, one for production, one for fabrication, one for finishing, etc. ... And by the time you're done, you have a veritable army of manufacturers at your beck and call.
But there may be a better way to do it.
Juggling communications and responsibilities from multiple sources can create conflict between vendors, supply chain issues, and unexpected costs. If you're worried about having too much on your plate, full service contract manufacturing services might be your best bet.
Pros and Cons of Full-Service Contract Manufacturing Services
1. Project Understanding
A full service manufacturer will be handling your project from start to finish. This could include everything from design to packaging.
When you work on one project for that long, you become intimately familiar with every aspect of it. This makes it easier to:
- Spot potential risks throughout the supply chain
- Identify when something isn't working correctly
- Optimize the product or processes at any time, for any stage of manufacturing
2. Project Investment
Along with familiarity, working on one project from start to finish means your manufacturer gets attached. It feels like their project and their success. They become invested in the outcome and performance beyond the manufacturing stage.
This means they're more invested in producing a high-quality product, and making sure everything goes smoothly.
3. Budget Control
What's the biggest pain in the ass for your budget? Shipping and transportation costs.
Keeping all manufacturing processes (design, production, fabrication, finishing, and others) in one facility will slash your total costs. It also decreases lead times and the risk of damage in transport.
Further, working with an all in one manufacturer can keep your overall costs down - your manufacturer may offer discounts for using multiple services with their company.
All Your Eggs Are in One Basket
This is the biggest issue with full service contract manufacturing. If your vendor runs into operational problems, every step of your supply chain is on hold. This could be caused by:
- Natural disasters
- Financial problems
- Legal trouble
- A rogue employee
- A simple mistake
And you're suddenly facing issues with supply, demand, and revenues. However, manufacturers are aware of this and mitigate these issues with:
- Backup plans
- Emergency procedures
- Stock and inventory planning
- Accurate forecasting
Is Full-Service Manufacturing Right for Me?
Plenty of companies use full service manufacturing and experience no problems whatsoever. They receive all of the benefits and aren't worried about what could happen - because they've researched their vendor well.
While we're obviously biased, we believe in the cost effectiveness and fast lead times we can provide with full service manufacturing. If you have any questions about this, we're happy to answer.