Supply Chain Manufacturing in the International Marketplace

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By: Liz Lipply | December 19, 2014

International Supply Chain ManagementOne may wonder how it is possible for a plastics company located in Akron, Ohio to work with multi-national companies, serving their international market needs. For international companies that sell their product all over the globe, it does not make sense to invest in several production regions around the world. Instead, companies will partner with supply chain manufacturers in their own country to assist with subassemblies of their final product.

Supply chain manufacturing companies typically develop the part we’ve been contracted for and then we work to ship that part to the next facility for final assembly. This allows the company developing the product and the companies that work to build that product to act as more of a cohesive team. Since we are typically just a piece of the puzzle, attention to detail is crucial. Ordering, scheduling, tracking arrival times, and part inspection all play a role in the supply chain manufacturing process. 

Why Geography Matters

As new part qualification has become more sophisticated with First Article Inspections, Capability Studies, PFMEAs, etc., it is fastest and most efficient for the interaction with the New Product Development Team and Supplier to be in the same country.  And Time-to-Market is forever being compressed.

Typically, it makes the most sense for a company to begin production where they plan to focus their new product development. If you’re a U.S.-based company, even if you sell your product elsewhere, it makes sense to work with a U.S.-based supply chain manufacturer. This allows the product development team and engineers to have easy access to the product and makes it easier to communicate with the supply chain management team.

An Example

Ferriot worked with a company that originally had both its innovation center and manufacturing facility based in California. The company moved the manufacturing to Costa Rica, however, with the innovation team still based in California, it made sense to keep the part-creation process in the U.S. as well. Ferriot ships that part to Costa Rica instead of California. This allows Ferriot to act as the specialist for the product, no matter where it has to go.

Are you a company working on product development in the US? If so, how do you handle your production? 

Click Here to Download our worksheet on Plastics in an Industrial Setting

To learn more about part creation, check out another blog post:
7 Key Aspects to Identify When Designing Injection Molded Parts

Image credit: Distribution centre by Nick Saltmarsh via Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0

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