Selecting a domestic manufacturing partner has become increasingly challenging in the wake of pandemic-driven economic and regulatory changes. While the choice to offshore manufacturing used to be all but a foregone conclusion, businesses are increasingly confronted with complex cost equations that call this choice into serious question. And for companies at the beginning of new product development, the choice can be even more complex.
At Pivot International, we’re a U.S.-based one-source product design, development, manufacturing, and supply chain management partner. What we often refer to as our top “superpower” — DFM (design for manufacturing) — has driven award-winning innovations across fourteen industries. And although we began nearly fifty years ago in the American midwest, we have become a global leader with product solutions across three continents. (Including multiple American manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri.)
When researching domestic partners to solve your manufacturing cost-equation, you’ll need to answer questions related to four critical considerations:
- Quality Control
- Track Record
- Convenience, Communication, and Access
Let’s take a look at each to understand why they’re important, how they fit together, and how selecting a domestic manufacturing partner can be an advantageous choice.
Cost-Effectiveness Of Domestic Manufacturing
Let’s talk about why cost considerations can be one of the trickier parts of solving your manufacturing equation. Even though there’s no question that you can get offshore supply chain advantages here at home, all domestic manufacturing partners are not created equal. (Depending on where they’re located, there can be substantial cost differentials between domestic partners.)
For instance, compared to the costs of coastal manufacturing, midwest manufacturing is the clear winner for two reasons. First, the midwest, particularly Kansas City (where Pivot is based), is a logistics and e-commerce hub. This means that “In” and “Out” costs are the most cost-competitive in the country.
Second, compared to cities in the midwest, coastal cities are notorious for their high cost of living. This impacts manufacturing customers’ bottom lines since workers in coastal cities command much higher wages than their midwest counterparts. (This forces coast manufacturers to charge a premium to be profitable, externalizing their employment costs to customers.) At Pivot, many of our customers have expressed their surprise (and relief) at finding we could offer far more cost-effective solutions than the coastal partners they’d consulted.
Cost-effectiveness goes hand in hand with quality control. Questions of cost-effectiveness are less about the question, “can we do it for less?” and more about, “can we keep costs down while keeping quality up?” Achieving consistently high quality is never a matter of chance but of ensuring the proper controls are in place. At Pivot, our Quality Management Systems and Policies meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, ISO 80079-34, and IEC 60601-1. We are also FDA Registered, UL Listed, and CSA Approved. We are compliant with WEEE, Conflict Minerals, Prop 65, REACH, and RoHS regulations.
The right certifications are essential, but experience counts every bit as much when it comes to delivering a product destined for market success. When selecting a domestic partner, you’ll want one that’s not only helped customers successfully weather crisis and chaos but has helped them succeed in the midst of it. (After all, if your manufacturing partner has a track record of delivering solutions and fueling customer success even in adverse times, you can trust your company is in good hands.) At Pivot, our near half-century worth of experience has seen our customers through many storms — economic, geopolitical, and pandemic. In the last year alone, our alternative sourcing solutions have buffered our customers from the worst of pandemic-driven disruption.
Convenience, Communication, and Access
When companies are researching a domestic manufacturing partner, they can easily overlook elements without a clear price tag attached. These elements can not only impact costs and concrete outcomes. They can also be the difference between peace of mind and an extended headache. When researching a domestic partner, ask yourself how closely they’ll collaborate with you and your team? Do they offer visibility into their operations and keep you reliably appraised of where things stand? Do they speak your language, or will you need to navigate a language barrier? How about their work ethic? (Do they have a solid reputation and “walk their talk”?) Lastly, is your partner near your time zone? Can you be on site within a matter of hours from nearly anywhere in the U.S.? Pivot’s midwest-based product development and manufacturing enable our partners to answer a resounding yes to each of these questions.
There are many reasons why a domestic partner can help you successfully solve your manufacturing cost equation. If you’re ready to enter the production phase of your product development or are simply seeking a one-source partner for your end-to-end product needs, we deliver the solutions for you! Contact us today for a no-cost consultation!