The coronavirus has disrupted global and national supply chains and markets in ways we could not have imagined; some industries are thriving while others are seriously struggling. To stay afloat as a manufacturer, companies must plan carefully as the economy changes. A contract manufacturing partner can help companies navigate uncharted waters so they can focus on staying ahead of customer needs.
Looking at sales trends for your business over time, or forecasting, can give you an idea of the market cycles your company experiences. While the coronavirus pandemic has likely disrupted those cycles, understanding how outside factors affect your market cycles is extremely valuable. You may have to look for new trends that help predict cycle changes – whether good or bad – and help your company plan to increase chances of success. In general, there are three things your market could be doing at any given time: growing, maintaining, or receding. Partnering with a contract manufacturer can help you navigate any of those market types.
Growth periods can be an exciting time for companies – there’s demand for your product and customers trust you to deliver. Profits can soar and business is good. During periods of growth, manufacturers may find it necessary to add skilled workers to the team or find additional space to increase throughput. If the growth opportunities are large enough, company leaders might also consider investing in new technologies to increase efficiencies and sustain that growth.
While it’s possible for companies to grow without help from a third party, a contract manufacturer can help you mitigate the cost of adding labor, space, and/or technology. Partnering with a contract manufacturer to build subassemblies gives growing companies the ability to redeploy labor to their main production lines to increase throughput of their finished products, ultimately getting more beer out the door (as we like to say). Outsourcing subassemblies can also help alleviate any need to add facility space, whether through rental or purchase, and some outsourcing partners may also have technology that helps them build subassemblies faster than you could in house.
These benefits of working with a contract manufacturing partner are especially true if you find yourself needing to navigate rapid, unforeseen growth and don’t have a lot of time to ramp up.
Steady periods of business can feel relaxing – you’re making a steady profit without needing to worry too much about keeping up with demand. This is a great time to tune up your processes using Lean Manufacturing principles to eliminate waste and add value. This will ensure everything is aligned in case you enter a growth period and need to scale.
During a steady business period, partnering with a contract manufacturer can still offer you the benefits of freeing up your skilled workers to look for those improvement opportunities. Your partner might even be able to help you find more ways to improve not only your operations, but your product designs through engineering help.
If your business experiences a slowdown in sales, you can bring that subassembly work back in house as needed to keep your workforce busy. The beauty of outsourcing is that you can always bring it back in house if your supplier is a true partner. A contract manufacturing partner should be accustomed to scaling up or down to meet whatever business needs you have.
Just as your business rides the waves of market cycles – pandemic or no pandemic – so too can a contract manufacturing partner. That’s why it’s advantageous to have a great partner by your side that can step in when you need help leveraging the hand you’ve been dealt. The right contract manufacturing partner will always be ready to fulfill your needs and should also be on the lookout for needs you don’t see yet. To learn more about just how impactful outsourcing can be during a time of growth, read Ticket Redemption Game Developer Increases Sales with Help from a Contract Manufacturer. Click the button below to read our case study today.