Most of the things that people buy are made through the process of manufacturing. Except for services, a lot of the things you find in supermarkets, grocery stores, hardware stores, appliance stores, and furniture shops are the products of manufacturing.
If you have a product which you’re planning to introduce to the market, take the time to thoroughly study and research before you go full on with mass production. You also need to list down what kinds of equipment you need such as industrial cutting machines, metal fabrication equipment, threading machines, drills and lathe machines, a high precision scale, power tools, hand tools, and other equipment typically used in manufacturing.
Venturing Into Manufacturing
If you’re thinking of producing your own product or venturing into manufacturing of a licensed product, here are some tips to guide you in what you’re planning to do:
1. Test The Market
Test the market. This is the first and one of the most important things you need to take note of before you invest your money into manufacturing. It’s easy to fall in love with your own product, and it’s not difficult to find all the justifications to go full steam ahead with production even though sometimes, or oftentimes, the evidence of market demand says the contrary.
You have to find out first whether there’s a strong and long-term demand for your product. Yes, it’s not easy to establish that. Friends tend to be over-supportive and would say all the nice things to encourage your start-up manufacturing. On the other hand, conducting a full-blown market feasibility study would be too expensive and would sap the limited funds of most start-up companies without the prospect of any return on the expenses of doing the market study.
2. Look For Reliable Suppliers
One of the key things to remember in manufacturing is that the supply chain plays a very pivotal role in the success of the enterprise. Getting the right supplies is equally important in a trading or distribution business, but it’s even more important in a manufacturing business. Every single part is essential to producing the final product. Identify reliable suppliers who can deliver the parts and components you’d need at the time you need them.
If one of the components or parts is missing due to failure of the supply chain, then the whole manufacturing process bogs down and no production can be done. Even though all the other raw materials are ready, the lack of just one missing bolt or nut, keypad cover or touchscreen panel, can delay the completion of the product.
3. Invest In Production Equipment
Once you’ve established that there’s a market for your product and after you’ve ensured that there’s enough supply of raw materials, then the next step would be to invest in quality production equipment which would help you manufacture high-quality products at the cheapest cost possible. If you think you’d be better off with robotics and automation manufacturing then go for it especially if your company has the budget for such high-end production machinery.
Don’t scrimp on your manufacturing or production equipment. Don’t settle for the cheapest industrial machinery or equipment just for the sake of lowering your expenses on capital expenditures. Plan what machinery or equipment you’re going to buy around what you actually need in the production process. Even if it’s going to cost a bit more, buy it. Quality production requires quality equipment.
4. Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency
Focus your company’s core competence on producing your core products with greater efficiency. One of the most delicate balancing acts that manufacturing companies have to do is that of the production of high-quality products while doing so in an efficient and short period of time. Your ability to compete with similar products depends to a large extent on how efficient you can manufacture your products and bring them to the market.
Efficiency is not just about making and finishing the product in the shortest period of time. It’s also about using the best and most suitable raw materials, reducing the number of steps or phases in the production process, making the most of machines and human intervention as needed, keeping the wasted raw materials and damaged or spoiled final product to the lowest minimum possible, and bringing down other production costs and distribution expenses.
Paying attention to the design of your manufacturing process even at the earliest stages of your enterprise is crucial when the time comes for you to do large batch manufacturing or mass production.
5. Be Ready To Scale Up
It’s true that many start-ups didn’t even think they’d be manufacturing their own products during the early stages of their venture. A lot of them just saw the need when orders for their products started pouring in to the point of overwhelming them. But factoring in the possibility of scaling up your production at some point should be part of your things to consider when you’re designing your manufacturing processes during the early stages.
If you’re thinking of producing or manufacturing your own product, then you might was well be prepared to sell a lot of them once the market demand begins to pick up. To do this, you’ll have to break up the entire process into smaller parts and plan ahead how you can scale up each part once you receive that phone call or email for that high-volume or watershed order.
6. Don’t Stop Experimenting
Never stop experimenting. Some of the most commonly-used products today went through, and some still continue to go through, a constant process of experimenting to make them better.
Just take a look at some of the appliances and devices for your daily use. Companies invest a lot of money into research and development to keep on improving them and add more features and conveniences.
7. Hire A Professional For Your Designs
If you’re not a professional on manufacturing processes or industrial designs, then you should hire a professional to help you with design and development. This becomes all the more important if you’re not going to do the manufacturing of your product yourself, but would instead be passing it on to a contractor or manufacturer.
It’s important that your designs are done in a professional way. The manufacturer should be able to understand the designs and plans so they’d know and would be able to visualize the exact product you have in mind. It’ll be worth it to have your designs done with proper specifications, including the minutest detail such as measurements and dimensions, scales and proportions, color details, cost and durability of materials to use, finishes, expected weight, and packaging of the final output.
Making Your Own Product
If you’re thinking of making your own product, then you might as well do it right. Find out if there’s really a strong and long-term market for your product. Look for reliable suppliers for your raw materials with fair prices. Invest in high-quality production equipment with the latest technology that’s within your company’s budget for capital outlay. Keep on looking for ways to improve and increase the efficiency of your entire manufacturing process. Be ready to scale up your production when that watershed order comes through. Don’t stop experimenting. And, lastly, hire a professional for your designs.