You’ve heard the terms ‘bundling’ and ‘one-stop-shop’. They indicate that everything can be done in one place together without having to look for a complimentary service for other aspects of your business. In manufacturing that’s considered ‘turn-key’ with the ability to handle all facets of production and business from beginning to end. Some companies can offer some or most of the pieces for development, production, and logistics. They can offer a lower price to match the service, but that leaves your business left to find the missing pieces. When you have a new project for your business, you should be searching for a complete turnkey manufacturer that has proven results in design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly, and delivery. These are the key benefits and abilities you should be searching for:
Design Ability & Capability
Every design starts somewhere. It may be a random thought, a doodle on paper, or you may have the capability to immediately design in 3D. In order to move forward, your design must get to the 3D stage. If you can’t do it yourself, your partner needs to have the ability and capability to create 3D models. In-house design staff with manufacturing experience will reduce your investment costs and decrease the time needed to go from a concept to a completely designed process.
Over the last decade, prototyping has evolved significantly. In the past it involved making quick temporary molds and tools that could produce a limited number of parts. These molds and tools still required large investment that risked the project having setbacks. Recently prototyping machines have become smaller and smaller with the cost per machine significantly declining. There are now desktop units able to 3D print various resin filaments for prototypes, design reviews, and tradeshows. Many low-cost options are available to produce metal, plastic, and hybrids for prototypes. Your new partner should offer multiple options to accommodate your needs.
Once you have a design completed and prototypes made for verification, it’s on to tool creation. You have options to create temporary tools that can be used for low volume, or you can move to the permanent tools that can produce millions of parts. Whatever the case, and whatever the material, your new partner should be able to create the dies in-house or send the work to a competent secondary supplier. You don’t need to worry about who has full control over the tool creation.
Having confirmed designs with tools ready to produce parts leads to manufacturing support to build your creation. You need the assembly and manufacturing to get your new project completed. That may include developed processes with fixtures to hold the components during assembly and tooling for personnel to use. Your turnkey partner should also be able to provide written instruction of the process and any documentation additionally needed.
If your product needs secondary processes like ultrasonic welding or drilling and tapping, your turnkey manufacturing partner should be able include them in the process. If you don’t know if a particular or any secondary processes are required, your partner should be able to explain the best course of action to ensure your product is durable and reliable.
Labeling can add a unique touch to your product and make it stand out from the competition. That could be pad printing or heat stamping custom logos, adding part numbers for identification, or distinguishing private labeling. Your turnkey partner should be able to coordinate the design work for the labeling process and add it into the manufacturing process.
Packaging and Logistics
Customized packaging and global logistics can be troublesome to coordinate. Your new product may require simple or specialized packaging before shipping to a holding distribution warehouse or directly to a selling location somewhere around the globe. You need experienced staff to professionally package and ship your new product to your specifications. If you’re unsure what the best option is to meet a certain cost level, you’re going to need help. A world-class turnkey partner should be able to define the options available and offer a full-service shipping department that can work with a number of top carriers for shipping and distribution.
The global supply chain crisis has made inventory management hard to keep up with. Some days there are no problems with raw materials, and a week later you may be trying to find a replacement to keep operations running. A turnkey partnership will coordinate all incoming materials for manufacturing, identify component storage, and where the finished goods are located. You just need to focus on your final product being at the right place at the right time.
Time is money, and the last thing you want to do is chase people over email sand phone trying to get status updates. If it’s tough to stay connected to one manufacturing partner, try doing it with multiple partners. You can spend your whole day on the phone or reading emails. You need concise communication that is easy to understand. It should be timely and dictate where in the process you are between design, prototyping, manufacturing, and shipping. Your turnkey partner should do the extra legwork, which keeps you focused on extra projects and not the details of daily operations.
Invoice collection and payment management can be a full-time job for a small manufacturer. Multiple suppliers means multiple invoices, plus the system to keep updated on who has been paid and who has not. A turnkey partner should manage all incoming invoicing and payments.
Producing a product with world-class quality, consistent on-time delivery, and at the best cost is a delicate balance of resources. Some companies can offer the lowest cost, others can offer great handling and logistics, but few can offer all the benefits mentioned above. When it comes time to select your manufacturing partner, your best option should be an innovative turnkey production manufacturer that is capable and proven in design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly and delivery. SEA-LECT Plastics has faced the challenges surrounding the global economy. We can offer guidance on how to make your next project operate at world-class levels and incorporate changes to positively affect your daily operations. We have an elite staff that can design, manufacture, and deliver your new product to a global marketplace. If you have a new idea or need help to navigate the global supply chain, call us at (425) 339-0288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can offer you advice on the best technology to use, the best materials to meet your product demands, and how to navigate through each development stage with ease.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.