Supply Chain

How to find the right contract manufacturer for your business

By April 27, 2022
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A contract manufacturer is a company that produces a certain number of products over a certain period for another company. By outsourcing work to an off-site factory, you can cut back on or eliminate the hassle of in-house manufacturing. You might contract a manufacturer to prototype new pieces, produce parts of a larger whole, or execute full-scale production runs of your parts.

Manufacturing facility

Outsourcing manufacturing to a contract manufacturer offers plenty of benefits. However, you’ll need to do lots of research and vetting to determine whether pursuing a manufacturing partnership is the right choice for you and to find a partner that meets your needs. In this article, we’ll go over some key factors to consider.

When to use contract manufacturing services

Businesses outsource production to contract manufacturers for a variety of reasons. It makes sense to use a contract manufacturer if you:

What to look for in a contract manufacturer

Once you’ve found a list of potential providers, you’ll need to narrow them down. Consider these factors:

1. Capabilities, equipment, technology, and capacity

Looking into a contract manufacturer’s capabilities, equipment, technology, and capacity will quickly eliminate companies that don’t match your needs and highlight those that might be a better fit. You can visit the manufacturers’ websites, send emails, make calls, or schedule an in-person visit and ask:

2. Quality standards

Next, it’s time to see if your prospective contract manufacturer can meet your quality standards. You want to find contract manufacturers that can meet regulatory compliance requirements in the countries you sell to and consistently produce high-quality parts. Here are some questions you should ask:

3. Personnel

Beyond seeing the machines and the products they produce in person, visiting a potential partner’s factory can give you invaluable insight into the company’s personnel. You’ll be able to meet the team, understand their working conditions, and gauge how familiar employees are with various technologies and manufacturing processes. You’ll want to get answers to the following questions:

4. Experience and compliance

If a contract manufacturer has built similar products in your industry, they will likely be familiar with compliance requirements and can speak to years of expertise, but it’s never a bad idea to double-check. To learn more about a contract manufacturer’s experience, ask:

Make new things possible with Fast Radius

Contract manufacturing has plenty of benefits, but you need to research and vet potential partners to make sure you select the right contract manufacturer for your needs. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions to gain a better understanding of each company’s capabilities, equipment, and experience. The more legwork you do on the front end, the most productive your future partnership will be.

At Fast Radius, we’re committed to helping you bring your ideas to life. When you partner with us, you partner with a contract manufacturer that will see you through the entire production process — from design to fulfillment. Fast Radius’ team of world-class engineers and designers will optimize your part for manufacturing to ensure you receive a high-quality part in a fraction of the time and for the best possible price. Our factories in Chicago and Louisville are outfitted with the latest additive manufacturing and CNC machining technologies, and we have partnerships with high-quality manufacturers across the globe. Whether you need prototypes or end-use parts, local or international delivery, we’re your one-stop-shop. Contact us today to learn more or create an account to get a quote for your next project.

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