Outsourcing is an effective solution for many companies. It avails to them a functionality that was not easily within their reach at an affordable cost. However, as with any business project, careful thought and planning needs to be put behind your outsourcing strategy. The following are the key areas that ought to be evaluated before the decision to outsource is arrived at.
Understand the reason
You will need to know the reason why you are outsourcing so that, if nothing else, you can evaluate whether your goals are being attained.
Many companies decide to outsource because they realise they have gotten themselves in way over their heads in a particular project and are looking to the contract manufacturer to save the day. This happens especially where the company realises that they will overshoot their budget or they are way behind schedule on a project.
While cost savings and shorter production times are indeed advantages of outsourcing, if your ship was already sinking when you called in the contract manufacturer, do not expect miracles. They will do their best but if your deadlines are not met or your budget followed to the letter, you should not be surprised. Make sure you have a good, logical reason for outsourcing.
The timing for your outsourcing ought to be carefully planned. It is better to involve the outsourcing company while still at the design stage as this gives the two companies the ability to work together to come up with the best alternative.
Going to the outsourcing company when the design and plans are already fully completed does not give the company the opportunity to make its own valuable inputs. Considering the outsourcing company is an active participant in the production field, it is important to get their advice on what the current trends in the market are so that your plans can be adjusted accordingly.
Oftentimes, you may be stuck in the past; thinking that the strategies that worked for you when you last undertook a particular type of project will still work. The outsourcing company will be better placed to let you know whether that is the case or not.
You need to ask yourself what you are expecting to benefit out of the outsourcing arrangement. There is nothing more with expecting the very best. There is a catch however-your input will largely determine this.
You cannot and should not expect the finished product to be just the way you imagined it to be when you did not dictate to the manufacturing company your desires step by step. From the materials that are used in production to the processes applied, largely the entire process of production will determine your outcome.
If you have a very specific outcome that you are expecting, then you will need to give very specific instructions to your manufacturer. You cannot expect to dictate the outcome when you were not there in the process.
The company you choose
The type of company you opt to outsource to will determine how well the outsourcing experience will go. Do not choose a company merely based on price. While you do need to find a company that you can comfortably fit into your budget without running your company bankrupt, you do not want a cheap, illegitimate company.
If the rates being charged by the company you are considering are much lower than those of other companies are, then you need to ask yourself why. It might be that the company is using cheap, poor quality materials in production and thus do not need to charge you more.
How well can you blend in?
Outsourcing creates a form of partnership bond between the manufacturer and the company that is looking to outsource. Having this in mind, you need to make sure that the policies, values and ethics of the two organizations are compatible and you can work together.
The reaction of the workers of both companies to each other is usually a good indication of how well the blending process is getting along. Make sure that your core values; especially concerning compliance with FDA, regulations are the same.