Would Contract Manufacturing Work for My Small Business?
How to Make the Best Decision For Your Business When it Comes to Outsourcing.
Choosing to work with a contract manufacturer can seem like a big decision for smaller-sized businesses. While the efficiencies of scale, increased production capacity and ability to free up time to focus on other aspects of their business are all appealing, business owners sometimes have reservations about making the leap.
As a leading contract manufacturer of wood laminated components, Kambium understands all of the considerations that factor into the decision of working with a contract manufacturer. That’s precisely why we see ourselves as more than just a component supplier, but a true partner in helping you meet your business goals. We understand what’s at stake when you look for a contract manufacturer that can help grow your business and we can help address some of the questions that may be keeping you from making this strategic move.
Small Fish in a Big Pond?
Some small business owners question if their job will generate enough revenue for a contract manufacturer to warrant the attention to detail, quality and customer service they would expect. Will they quite simply be too small of a fish in a big pond?
Fit is equally important for the business and the contract manufacturer, so you will want to look for a partner that is willing to have an open, frank and upfront dialogue about the business opportunity and the relationship. Will you be their biggest client, smallest client, somewhere in between? Does senior management stay engaged in your business after the contract gets signed? How much is the contract manufacturer investing in getting to know your business versus winning the contract?
The initial discussions you have with a contract manufacturer can be a bellwether for a future relationship. If they’re not asking the right questions, bringing the right people to the table and being candid about how your business fits into theirs, this speaks volumes.
The good news is that contract manufacturers like Kambium want to make sure the business relationship is a win for both parties. With the right manufacturer, your fish can find a home in the perfect-size pond.
Can Quality Control be Maintained?
Your reputation is everything to a small business. You’ve no doubt spent years making sure every aspect of your product is of the utmost quality – right down to the smallest detail. Can you trust a third party to maintain that level of excellence?
The good news is that you can, but it’s important to ask the tough questions about how a perspective contract manufacturer will retain quality control. Are they looking for the details in your product specs (in this case, getting into the weeds is a good thing!)? What type of quality inspections are in place and how often are they done? How will they fix a problem if it arises?
As sticklers for quality ourselves, Kambium gets it. Your reputation is in our hands and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We welcome the tough questions because we understand what’s at stake. The right partner for you is willing to have forthright discussions about how they can maintain your quality standards. In some cases, you may actually find that contract manufacturers can meet and exceed your standards – sometimes even with greater efficiency and cost savings.
What if My Business Conditions Change?
Change is a constant for small businesses. Fluctuations in demand, challenges in the supply chain and managing inventory levels are always a work in process for small businesses trying to navigate future growth. Can a contract manufacturer adapt to my changing needs?
While those uncertainties may cause some small businesses to feel that there is too much risk to outsourcing, contract manufacturing may be ideal for helping businesses scale up – or down – to help adapt to changes in the marketplace. The key is talking through your forecast, market conditions, supply chain constraints and competitive landscape with your manufacturing partner upfront so they can be part of the solution.
Kambium looks for long-term partnerships with clients. We don’t operate with a “one-and-done” mentality. While protecting your intellectual property and proprietary information, we get “under the hood” with our clients’ businesses to understand their challenges, risks and opportunities and build a manufacturing model that addresses them.
The Right Contract Manufacturing Solution for Your Business - Kambium
Working with a contract manufacturing can open the door to a wide range of opportunities for small businesses. When you find the right fit, commitment to excellence and willingness to adapt to your business needs, contract manufacturing can be just the solution you need.
Do you want more information about whether a contract manufacturer is the right fit for your business? Contact Kambium to start a dialogue today.