Why Manufacturers Should Work With a Secondary Manufacturing Partner

Manufacturers Should Work With Secondary Sourcing Partners

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?


You should always look for an alternative sourcing partner for your manufacturing because a diversified supply chain is the safe and smart business decision. Diversifying your manufacturing sources (partners and suppliers) will also open up business opportunities for your manufacturing operation that a single source cannot.


Risk Mitigation With A Secondary Manufacturing Partner


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.


Having a secondary manufacturing partner or supplier helps to mitigate these risks by having a fallback position. When offloading the extra volume or turning over part of the operation that was interrupted by the unexpected event to a secondary source, you always have a “fall back” plan in case things go wrong.


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.”

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?  


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.


Choose Wisely


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.  


Do you need a nearshore manufacturing partner or solution for your business?  Contact NovaLink today: 956-621-7362 or visit our website: www.novalink2stg.wpengine.com

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