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Outsourcing your manufacturing pros and cons

If you are in the manufacturing business, then the word "outsourcing" is extremely familiar to you, as it becomes part of the industry.For others it may be a somewhat foreign term so let's begin by explain what it means to "outsource" in manufacturing.

Outsourcing is contracting with another company or person to do a particular job or function for you.It is not unusual for companies to outsource regularly.Generally speaking, the outsource "service" that is provided to the company is usually done by a third party provider; A person, or a group that is not associated with the business in any way.

Outsourcing can help companies be more efficient and cost effective.

Outsourcing usually encompasses four stages:

  1. Strategic thinking

  2. evaluation and selection

  3. contract development

  4. outsourcing management

Outsourcing also depends on three main factors to be successful.Executive Level support in client organization, Communication efforts from management to employees, and the client's ability to manage its providers.It becomes even trickier when the companies take their outsourcing to other foreign countries because of language barriers, and cultural and time zone differences.With all that in mind and a little more knowledge in outsourcing, let's take a look at the pros and cons to outsourcing your manufacturing plant.

Pros to outsourcing in manufacturing

  • Specializing in what they do best is a great benefit of outsourcing.Any smart business will hire independent consultants or outsource critical functions within their business.

  • - Business owners cannot do everything all at once and becomes very ineffective, which is why outsourcing can be a huge advantage to them.Outsourcing can allow business owners the freedom to focus on what they need to in order to keep their business running smoothly.This is extremely important in large manufacturing plants who want to increase the quality of their products.

  • - Outsourcing allows you to hire the right person for the right job and may give you some new ideas into your business as it presents an unbiased perspective.

  • - Every manufacturing business is looking to decrease their costs which is exactly what outsourcing can do for you.When you hire only what you need, you pay for only what you need.

  • - Outsourcing can also give you a small advantage when trying to win customers, and other project bids.If you have "specialist" within your company that can increase quality and cost who wouldn't want to have you on their team?

Cons to outsourcing in manufacturing

  • Upsetting employees may be one of the major disadvantages to outsourcing.Sometimes employees feel less important and the quality of work can suffer.

  • - You could lose money on your outsourcing investment.Every business investment has some risk and there is no guarantee that outsourcing is going to produce the quality you want, and could end up costing more money because of labor.

  • - Business employees to some degree or another are fairly loyal to a company, but when you outsource you run the risk of having less control over what happens and less loyalty from those you have hired.The desire to "get the job done" may be lower than what you wish it to be, and the job might take a lot longer than planned, costing you more money.

  • - Although some may argue that outsourcing can give you an edge over other companies, others might argue that it takes away your competitive edge.

  • - Often times with outsourcing there are conflicts of interest and issues with confidentiality.It is always a good idea to have confidentiality agreements to steer clear of this problem.

The decision is ultimately yours when it comes to outsourcing your manufacturing plant.Knowing all the information is the best way to begin the process.

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