Last Updated on June 26, 2023
Putting your trust in a single source with your company's manufacturing needs is a testament to partner loyalty. If you can find a partner that will do what you need for your manufacturing and you are happy with the result, why look for a secondary manufacturing partner?
An alternative sourcing partner should always be sought for your manufacturing because a diversified supply chain is a wise and safe decision. Having multiple manufacturing sources (partners and suppliers) will also provide your manufacturing operation with new business opportunities.
The Use of a Secondary Manufacturing Partner to Mitigate Risk
No one can predict all the possible scenarios that may occur when a manufacturing partnership begins. Unavoidable events such as adverse weather and a natural disaster may be the difference between a manufacturing operation or supplier making their commitments or not. If there is an event that interrupts your production, what will you do then?
Change in production is another common problem. If you are running at capacity and suddenly have a large and expected order to fill, your current manufacturing partner or supplier may not be able to handle the volume.
By having a secondary manufacturing partner or supplier, these risks can be mitigated. The fallback plan should always be in place when offloading the excess volume or turning over part of the operation that was interrupted by the unexpected event to a secondary source.
According to The Strategic Sourceror:
“The most common reason to seek and develop a secondary source relationship with a supplier is simply to alleviate the risks associated with production interruptions due to complete dependence on one supplier for a portion of the component materials or assembly services.”
Is There a Best Time to Implement a Secondary Manufacturing Partner Strategy?
Implementation of dual- or secondary-manufacturing strategies earlier in the product's life cycle is beneficial in the long run. Ideally, you should evaluate a dual-manufacturing strategy during the second or third phase of the product development process.
Many factors contribute to the success of second sourcing, including capacity and scale-up at the primary source, cost measures, and the mitigation of supply chain risk. There are many reasons to consider dual-sourcing. The advantages of this approach are sufficiently compelling to make it worthwhile to at least consider the tradeoffs involved in cost, capacity, and risk mitigation.
Flexibility With A Secondary Manufacturing Partner
You may currently have a manufacturing partner that can produce products using one type of operation but what if your company has an opportunity for a new line of products that utilizes a specific manufacturing process that your current partner cannot provide?
You may be able to provide a secondary manufacturing process for your finished product with the assistance of a secondary manufacturing partner. Finished products are manufactured by secondary manufacturing processes.
- Casting and Molding
The Cost of Finding a Secondary Manufacturing Partner Is Less Than the Cost of Starting a Whole New Production Line
Finding a secondary manufacturing partner resource would certainly be less expensive than starting a whole new production line: new equipment, hiring & training new workers as well as starting a new supply chain to keep the new operation supplied and shipped - rather than finding a secondary manufacturing resource that has the entire operation in place.
It should be mentioned that implementation of a second source is also dependent on many factors and risks: capacity, scale-up at the new source, cost measures, and the mitigation of the supply chain. However, if the advantages of a secondary manufacturing source are compelling enough to make it worth your time to at least consider the tradeoffs in cost, capacity, and risk mitigation, then you should absolutely move forward.
Having a secondary manufacturing partner or supplier does have benefits, but you should proceed with caution and choose your new source wisely: Not all secondary sourcing manufacturing partners are up to the task. Be prepared to thoroughly vet their capabilities to determine if they are a good fit for your operations with respect to quality (very important), consistency and timeliness.
According to Matt Bishop, 3 Reasons Why Manufacturers Should Work with Secondary Sourcing Partners:
“When it comes to finding a secondary supplier, often their best ability is availability. Do they have a reputation for doing whatever it takes to get the job done? Are they flexible enough to be responsive to your needs, especially after an unforeseen impediment jeopardizes your on-time production schedule? Will they work with you to ensure seamless quality, consistency and fulfillment? Seeking out honest answers to these questions will help you determine the fit and future of a secondary sourcing partnership.”
Supported by over 30 years of experience, NovaLink has provided shelter or contract manufacturing services to a variety of industries. The management team has developed the skill and talent required to avoid the 7 mistakes commonly made in new manufacturing projects. Whether it is a product that requires precision and high tolerance, or a product that has been commoditized, NovaLink operates at an advantage. NovaLink would make the perfect secondary manufacturing partner source for many company operations.
FAQs about Secondary Manufacturing Partners
Q1: What is a secondary manufacturing partner?
A1: A secondary manufacturing partner refers to a company or supplier that specializes in providing secondary manufacturing services to complement the primary manufacturing process. These services may include assembly, packaging, labeling, finishing, testing, or any other processes necessary to complete the final product.
Q2: Why is choosing the right secondary manufacturing partner important?
A2: Choosing the right secondary manufacturing partner is important as they play a critical role in the overall manufacturing process. They contribute to the final product's quality, efficiency, and timely delivery. A reliable and competent partner ensures seamless coordination between primary and secondary manufacturing, leading to a smooth production flow and customer satisfaction.
Q3: What factors should be considered when selecting a secondary manufacturing partner?
A3: When selecting a secondary manufacturing partner, key factors to consider include their expertise and capabilities in the required manufacturing processes, quality control measures, capacity to handle production volumes, reliability in meeting deadlines, proximity to the primary manufacturing facility, and their track record in the industry. Effective communication and a good cultural fit are also important considerations.
Q4: How can a secondary manufacturing partner contribute to cost savings?
A4: A secondary manufacturing partner can contribute to cost savings by offering specialized expertise and equipment, reducing the need for capital investment in secondary manufacturing processes. They can optimize production efficiency, minimize waste, and improve resource allocation. Additionally, partnering with a secondary manufacturer in a lower-cost region can offer cost advantages compared to performing secondary manufacturing in-house.
Q5: What role does collaboration play in successful partnership with a secondary manufacturer?
A5: Collaboration is crucial for a successful partnership with a secondary manufacturer. It involves clear communication, sharing of technical specifications, and aligning goals and expectations. Regular collaboration facilitates smooth production handoffs, ensures quality standards are met, enables problem-solving, and promotes a mutually beneficial and long-lasting partnership.
As a manufacturer in Mexico, NovaLink employs a unique approach that transcends the traditional model of shelter production. More than just the location of your manufacturing, we would like to become a partner in your manufacturing in Mexico. You will be able to relocate or initiate manufacturing for your company in Mexico in a low-cost labor environment with very little delay or up-front costs. Find out how we can help you by handling the manufacturing process.