One of the most important steps to take when opening a business is to make sure you have reliable suppliers for your production needs. After all, no one wants to run out of components and then discover the parts are unavailable, more expensive or both. This can lead to your production process slowing down or having it come to complete stop.
On top of that, if you need a custom-made part, you have additional things to keep in mind when working with a manufacturer. When you choose a supplier, it’s important that you work with them on the design of your custom part and look for ways to cut costs in the supply chain and reduce the reaction time, without ever impacting product quality.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when ordering custom parts in bulk.
Always Take Shelf Life Into Account
You may be tempted to order a large quantity to get a better price per unit, but if you order more than you can use before the product is no longer functional, you are most certainly at a loss.
According to Apple Rubber, common nitrile rubber o-rings and neoprene o-rings for the refrigerating industry last for 15 years at room temperature, while ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) for the automotive industry, silicone o-rings for medical devices and the food industry, and Teflon (PTFE) o-rings for the aerospace industry can be stored indefinitely.
Choose Local for Extra Quality
Choose a local manufacturer that puts quality control above all, with zero tolerance for defective materials, as this is critical in supply chain management.
Why buy local when it might be cheaper overseas? Because when you work in close contact with your material vendor, you can be sure that they follow quality control procedures throughout the production process and that domestic suppliers handle hazardous materials properly.
Order Ahead of Time
After you place your first bulk order of custom parts, your manufacturer will now have the proper molds and tooling to shorten lead times on subsequent orders.
Even so, you should prepare ahead of time and have them confirm availability in their manufacturing units. It is much better to stock up on a few things instead of having to face a sudden disruption for one of your components.
Ready to Fully Optimize Your Supply Chain?
Whether your business is in the medical, aerospace or automotive industry, your production needs must be met intelligently and efficiently. Keep your supply chain processes stable and profitable by ordering small custom parts in bulk from a trustworthy domestic manufacturer with sufficient expertise and quality certifications.
Take your time researching manufacturers, make estimates and factor in additional time for the initial order. You will need to perform a supplier audit and a first article inspection, while they need to manufacture new molds and tooling to fit your requirements.
Avoid common pitfalls like the mirage of cheaper overseas manufacturing, and take into account additional costs for long-distance transports, frequent inspections and considerably higher lead times that may be hidden at first glance.