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How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Partners

9th May 2024 Print

It's practically impossible to build an entirely self-contained manufacturing operation. In most cases, it's imperative to have a variety of different partners to support such an operation, including suppliers, service providers, and distribution companies.

Each of these partners serves a unique role in your business ecosystem, fueling your capabilities, expanding your strengths, and potentially introducing certain new weaknesses. If you want your manufacturing business to succeed, you'll need to exercise due diligence and choose the right manufacturing partners.

So what's the best way to approach this?

The Value of Good Manufacturing Partners

Choosing better manufacturing partners can help you in many ways:

- New capabilities. First, the right partners should be able to expand or enhance your existing capabilities. For example, you can find a partner for superior pump solutions, which could help you introduce totally new processes into your manufacturing line – or solve a problem you’re already facing in your industrial environment. Choose the wrong partner, and they may not be able to provide what you need or may introduce so many new weaknesses that the new strengths can't justify your investment.

- Reliability. Better manufacturing partners lead to higher reliability. They make your operation much more consistent and predictable, enabling you to make better judgment calls and optimize your processes for greater efficiency. They can also help you improve both the quality and consistency of your finished products.

- Security and privacy. Good manufacturing partners also value your security and privacy. They have tight security and privacy standards on their end, and do whatever is necessary to protect your most sensitive information throughout your partnership.

- Lower costs. Cost is always a consideration when choosing new manufacturing partners. You want new products, new services, and extra support, but you also need to keep your return on investment (ROI) in mind. Selecting the right partners can give you the services you need at a better price – and if you maintain this relationship into the future, you might eventually qualify for discounts, loyalty rewards, and special offers.

- Fewer headaches (and less stress). Overall, choosing better manufacturing partners means fewer headaches and less stress. There will be fewer complications and far more streamlined operations, allowing your business to reach its full potential.

How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Partners

So how exactly do you find the right manufacturing partners?

- Properly analyze your needs. Everything starts with a robust needs assessment. After all, it's hard to find the “right” partner for your needs if you don't even know what your needs are. Properly identifying and documenting your criteria for selection will make it much easier to determine which partners are worth considering and eventually allow you to make a final decision faster.

- Broaden your search. When looking for new manufacturing partners, broaden your search as much as possible. Use a variety of channels to search for prospective partners, tapping into your referral networks, and bring as many viable candidates as possible to the table. This can increase the likelihood that you'll find a perfect fit.

- Do your due diligence. Always take the time to do your due diligence when looking for new partners. At minimum, look at past performance, customer reviews, capabilities, and certifications. It's also important to investigate privacy and security standards so you aren't caught off guard when you begin cementing the relationship.

- Ask lots of questions. In the exploratory processes, ask lots of questions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the prospective partners you might bring into your manufacturing operation – and an even better opportunity to get a feel for their communication standards.

- Evaluate communications. Communication is arguably the most important prerequisite for good business partnerships. If you aren't able to communicate well with your manufacturing partner, they probably aren't worth working with, at least in the long term. Pay very close attention to how easy it is to get in touch with representatives at this establishment and how smoothly you're able to converse.

- Establish criteria for comparisons. When you've narrowed down the list to a handful of candidates, establish some criteria for clear comparisons. In other words, how are you going to make your final decision and how can you apply those objective criteria equally to all your viable candidates?

- Brainstorm and set up a system. Once you're nearly ready to make a final decision, start brainstorming collaborative processes directly with your chosen partner and consider setting up a system for mutual work.

Shopping around for manufacturing partners can be stressful and challenging, especially if there's currently an unserved need at your manufacturing business. However, with the right due diligence and careful consideration, you should be able to fill your open slots with manufacturing partners capable of improving your business overall.