Keep Manufacturing During Supply Chain Disruptions
(June 19, 2020)
With Covid-19 continuing to impact many businesses, lead time as well as sourcing new suppliers is increasingly difficult. If you currently outsource manufacturing overseas, it is likely you have encountered some turbulence to your supply chain.
Rapid prototypes and large-quantity production of special precision parts and components are key to many business’s operations. Along with this, an agile business strategy that enables the sourcing of verified suppliers, as well as maintaining production-line efficiency, are critical. With travel to Asia currently stalled, and many factories presently closed or operating at low capacity, this strategy is not easily executed for many companies worldwide. Although engineers have a wide array of companies to choose from to get their machining parts manufactured, the turnaround time can be weeks from order to delivery.
Early this year we witnessed government policies in China forcing the closure of a majority of factories throughout the country, which essentially halted economic production except for hospital supplies and pharmaceuticals. The disruption caused to China’s manufacturing supply chains was tremendous. Clients that typically came to visit a factory to approve a prototype prior to full production were unable to, which caused further problems. They were unable to carry out quality checks or visit suppliers to see their capabilities and capacity to complete the project.
Now is the time to investigate digital manufacturing, a means of working remotely with your Asian manufacturing partners. Sometimes called Manufacturing 4.0 or Industry 4.0, digital manufacturing alleviates the need to travel, while maintaining control over your supply chain. For engineers and product developers, there is no better time to use a well-established digital manufacturing platform. Online manufacturing platforms, such as Haizol’s, can leverage their extensive database of partners—which means they can find a match for your project within hours.
The time-consuming, slow, and expensive process of typical manufacturing is eliminated and replaced with a streamlined, precise, and inexpensive solution. Haizol has intelligent systems inbuilt whereby 3D drawings can be uploaded and priced independently based on thousands of previous drawings. An automated system calculates the purchasing cost based on the raw materials, processing, manufacturing method, and purchasing quantity, all within minutes. This removes factory-quotations wait time and allows a purchasing price to be retrieved instantly.
The cost of materials are updated in real time based on the current market, so the buyer can get an accurate quote at the time of requesting. Once the customer has accepted the quote, he can immediately confirm the project to be sent for production. This is semiautomated and can begin as soon as the next day. If using Haizol’s marketplace, the customer is matched to the best-suited factories based on such criteria as required precision, material, tolerance, and lead time.
Automation lowers the cost of traditional manufacturing jobs. The process is simple and effective, with little human involvement unless confirmation of a design specification is required. Lead time is often guaranteed through maintaining more supply than demand.
Companies that are unable to carry out quality checks with their manufacturers can also solve this issue remotely if they choose the right partner. Using its One Stop Sourcing Solution, Haizol implements its own strict quality checks and inspections, from acceptance of the drawing, through to prototype, then full production. A product is checked against strict criteria each step of the way before being sent out.
Now, with a few clicks, buyers can have an accurate manufacturing price from a well-established company. They can get a quote and have production started within hours. This time-efficient system makes outsourcing the easiest it has ever been and saves valuable time and money for businesses. On-demand manufacturing is the future, and now is the perfect time to test it out.
Author: Jennifer Grant, working in the e-commerce industry in China.
Credit: This article has been written for and published in Quality Digest, 25 March'20