In the low- to mid-volume, high-mix electronics manufacturing space, volumes are not often substantial enough to warrant a total off-shore manufacturing model. But for the majority of our customers we do take advantage of lower cost labour and components where possible.
These are some of the key considerations we make when developing an optimal model for each customer:
- Technology. For products that require substantial manual assembly – either on board or in box – costs can be reduced through automation or, when that is not possible, by having assembly performed overseas.
- Product maturity. We build early lifecycle product here in North America and work out the bugs locally where communication is efficient and feedback loops are short. Once a product design, documentation, and the support model are stable, we can provide seamless transition to China if there are cost savings to be had in doing so.
- Intellectual property. If a new product has crucial IP on board, customers may choose to keep manufacturing on shore – or may manufacture a portion of the product and complete assembly here to protect the IP.
- Volume projections. For products whose sales scale to high-volume after successful initial introductions, we have seamlessly transitioned clients to China.
As part of our cost-benefit evaluation for clients considering the off-shore option, we cost both on-shore and off-shore options to weigh differences in costs versus service. Other considerations will include lead times and the level of complexity in the communication required for a given product.
Please talk to us about your new or existing product. We are experts in tailoring manufacturing business models to suit a broad range of manufacturing and fulfillment needs.