There are some disadvantages to offshoring that it has taken hard-won experience for many customers to realize. Shouldn’t you be aware of where the sweet spot for offshoring is and make sure your custom machining services are attractive to customers who have manufacturing needs that fall outside the sweet spot? Here are a few different ways to strengthen your business so it will be much more competitive against offshore manufacturing.
Find a Product
The number one reason customers seek offshore manufacturing to reduce their Cost of Goods Sold–COGS in other words. They’re willing to make a lot of sacrifices if they can get their parts made more cheaply. It’s very hard to compete for head to head against offshore manufacturing to make the same part more cheaply because their labor is so much cheaper. The answer is to look at products where the COGS is less important to the overall equation.
Explore the Options
There are a lot of possibilities for custom machining services that fit the bill. For applications such as medical and aerospace, they don’t want to waste money on the cost of a part, but other factors such precision are often far more important.
Focus on Quality
Do quality a huge part of your offering and to seek customers that particularly value that emphasis. ISO and Six Sigma certifications may be important signals to potential customers that you value quality. Having a clean, well-lit, and well laid out a shop that you’re happy to show them is another. Investing in high-quality inspection gear such as CMM or investing in climate control to hold better tolerances are other approaches.
Target Low Quantity Products
Experts recommend looking for domestic manufacturers for quantities of less than 10,000 per year. Their view is you won’t be able to get the best Chinese manufacturers to look at your product if they don’t see enough volume make it worth your while. It’s no wonder that so many domestic manufacturers specialize in Low Volume/High Mix manufacturing.
Target Fast Supply Chains
A fast supply chain is one that responds quickly to change. Perhaps there are frequent change orders in the design of a particular part. Perhaps quantities ordered change quickly. Changes in materials or sub-components would be other examples. For a typical offshore manufacturer, it will be at least 6 weeks before a change can be introduced and inventory returns to our shores with the change in place.