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Small business manufacturing 101

When it comes to opening up a small business many people do not think of manufacturing as a small business opportunity. The reason for this is that when you think of manufacturing you tend to think of large companies that can mass produce a large quantity of items and large companies that ship their items overseas, also known as exporting items. People tend to think that when running a small business you can't run a manufacturing plant because of the costs that are actually involved in exporting items and manufacturing products But the truth of the matter is that a manufacturing plant can be a small business, and they can even export products, as long as things are done right.

When it comes to exporting products to other countries what many people fail to realize is that if you hire professionals to do all of the paperwork exporting products is actually as easy as marketing your products in the United States. All you are going to need to do is to make the sale, get paid and then ship your product to the costumer. But something else that people don't realize when it comes to exporting products as a small business manufacturer is that exporting products will actually help your company to grow because you will experience larger orders, limited competition, and easier financing.

But not only is exporting your products an important part to small business manufacturing but so is selling your product here in the United States. So in order to be a successful small business manufacturing plant you are going to need to know a little bit about manufacturing. One of the most important things that you will need t know is what types of manufacturing systems there are and what the differences between them are. Once you have learned about the different types of manufacturing systems you are going to have to choose the one that is best for your small business manufacturing plant.

Here is a look at the different manufacturing systems.

Custom manufacturing:
This is probably one of the oldest manufacturing systems in the world because it goes back to when products where first made. Basically custom manufacturing is where one person has the skill that is needed to make a certain product. A great example of this type of manufacturing is a shoe maker or a candle maker; it used to be that only one person was required to make these customized products. Custom manufacturing is still used today but rather than just one person making the product that is required we have machines that will do the jobs for us. And if people are doing the manufacturing you are going to need more than one person to make the specialized product so you can keep up with the higher demands.

Intermittent manufacturing:
This is also an older style of a manufacturing system. This system was used when custom manufacturing could not meet the demands of the customers. Basically what intermittent manufacturing is would be where more than one of the same product is being made. This type of manufacturing is actually used world wide and it is a great way to make more than one product in a short amount of time, as long as the product is the same product. This type of manufacturing won't work on multiple products. A great example of this type of manufacturing is making five pairs of the same shoe rather than one custom pair of shoes.

Continuous manufacturing:
This is a newer system of manufacturing and it was created when product demands got to be too much for intermittent manufacturing. Basically this manufacturing system is an actual assembly line. This system is usually used when more then one product is being made and it takes more than two people working together to actually make the product. In this type of manufacturing system the product moves from one station to the next and each person at each station has a specific job that they need to do in the manufacturing process. This type of manufacturing system is great if you are producing a product that requires you to complete a lot of steps before it can be considered a finished product, but the drawback to this type of manufacturing system is that it can be expensive to run.

Flexible manufacturing:
This is actually the newest type of manufacturing system that is being used currently. This type of manufacturing system uses machines that are controlled by computers. This type of manufacturing produces a product just like intermitted manufacturing and is continuous like continuous manufacturing, but the thing about this type of manufacturing system is that it cuts out having to hire people for an assembly line. Not to mention that it is also a great way to always make the product faster which is a great way to keep up with the customers demands.

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