Finding the right manufacturer for your product is a time- and research-intensive process. So, once you’ve found the right manufacturer, there’s a temptation to simply step back and take a hands-off approach to the production process. Unfortunately, that’s a poor course of action: it’s important for companies to work closely with their manufacturers during the production process to ensure that quality remains top-notch. Here are a few things that companies should work to remember during production.
Location and Time
Unless you happen to pick a manufacturer that’s conveniently located near your place of business, you’ll most likely end up working with a manufacturer that’s located a good distance away. In some cases—especially if the prices are competitive—many companies choose manufacturers that are located outside of the country. Meridian Cable, for instance, has manufacturing facilities both in St. Augustine, Florida and the Tanggu District of China. In short, if a company is going to have a product manufactured in another part of the country—or in a different country all together—it’s critical for that company to keep distance and timing in mind during the production process.
For instance, there will be a shipping delay if a company chooses to work with an overseas manufacturer, as it will take time for the manufacturer to ship the product internationally. Additionally, it’s important for companies to be mindful of different times zones, as well. For example, because Meridian has a manufacturing center in China, the company is fully aware that there’s often a time delay in communication due to the difference in time zones between the U.S. and Asia. Being aware of distance and time during the production process will help to guarantee that there aren’t any unforeseen—and costly—delays.
The best manufacturers always work to introduce quality control to the production process. When manufacturers double-check their work, it helps to prevent any errors from popping up during the production process, and it also ensures that the final product will be truly high quality. Many manufacturing companies use quality assurance steps during each part of the manufacturing process—in other words, during each step in the production cycle, the manufacturer checks their work for any flaws or faults. By checking their work consistently, this helps to effectively isolate any errors in the process, making it much simpler to rectify any issues quickly and efficiently. Also, many manufacturers choose to test their product at the end of product assembly—this helps to catch any errors that may have slipped past or gone unnoticed during the quality assurance steps.
Meridian Cable, for example, uses quality assurance to check their work during each step of the production process for their cable products. Once the cables are fully assembled, however, they always double-check their work: they use Cirris Systems cable and harness test systems to make sure that everything was assembled correctly, and that the final product works properly under a variety of different conditions. After conducting quality assurance tests, a manufacturer can rest easy with the knowledge that they’ve delivered high quality goods.
Defect Prevention—Not Correction
As any manufacturer can tell you, defects are just another part of the manufacturing process. Sometimes, even despite the manufacturer’s best intentions, defects simply occur—a worn-out component might give out, or a piece of equipment used in the production process might finally break down after years of constant use. However, the best manufacturers rely on defect prevention—not correction—to ensure that defects never slow down their production process. When it comes to defects, it’s best to be proactive, instead of reactive: defect prevention involves identifying and analyzing the root causes of defects. Ideally, by implementing defect prevention protocols, a company can understand how to prevent certain defects from reoccurring in the future—simply put, they’re eliminating the issue finally, and they no longer have to be concerned about addressing that challenge or issue ever again, and production can remain on schedule.
By keeping defect prevention, time and location and quality expectations in mind during the production process, a company can efficiently safeguard their production schedule—in the end, the product will be high quality, and it will be delivered on time. With a little extra work, a company can guarantee that their product will be truly first-rate.