If you have a product that you want to bring to market, you have a lot of ways to make that happen. You could follow the legacy approach and try to do business with an overseas manufacturer. That’s probably a good way to go if you are General Electric, but if you are a small business owner or Kickstarter creator, you might want to save yourself the hassle and opt instead for an on-demand manufacturing service located right in the US.
Here are the top 10 reasons why.
1- Instant quotes: With old fashioned manufacturing services, it could take days and many emails just to get a quote for your prototype or production run. Choose an on-demand manufacturing partner and simply upload your design documents and BOM, then find out how much your project will cost instantly.
2 – No-Hassle Prototyping: On-demand manufacturing companies welcome your PCB prototyping order and will turn it around quickly. Iterate as much as you need to achieve perfection.
3 -No minimum order: Whether you need thousands of a PCB or electronic device, or only a few, you can find a partner who will be happy to take your order.
4- Reasonable prices: Your quantity may not be very high, but that doesn’t mean your costs should be. On-demand manufacturing allows vendors to leverage technology and efficiently combine small orders into larger ones. This helps keep prices down for everyone.
5- Onshore manufacturing: There are certainly labor cost savings to be had by offshoring large production runs of electronic parts and products. However, for smaller scale operations, any cost savings are offset by the additional level of complexity, delay and risk. New technologies are making it possible for companies in the United States to offer competitive prices on PCB assembly and device manufacturing.
6- Document management: Securely upload your design documents, BOM and any other files that are necessary for the completion of your project.
7- Status tracking and reporting: You likely wouldn’t do business with a bank or an airline that didn’t have an online portal to manage your project. Heck, Domino’s even gives you real-time insight into the progress of your pizza. There’s no reason to settle for anything less when it comes to your manufacturing partner. Choose one with a portal for easy project and inventory management.
8- Easy sourcing: Your on-demand manufacturing partner already has relationships in place with parts vendors. They can leverage these relationships and their buying levels across many customers to keep costs down. You avoid the extra costs and hassle of negotiating on your own.
9 – Inventory management: Don’t want to fill a warehouse (or your garage) with your products as you wait for the orders to roll in? No problem. You can find a service provider that will keep your products in inventory until they are ready to fly the nest.
10 – Order fulfillment: Why not take it the last mile and let your partner package and ship the products directly to the customer? You’ll reduce shipping costs and get your products into the hands of your customers right away. Better yet if your on-demand manufacturing provider has an API to integrate their software with your order system for seamless fulfillment.
On-demand manufacturing has a lot going for it. It’s the perfect choice if you want to spend your time thinking about what your product can do and how you can sell it, and let someone else worry about the production and fulfillment details.