Manufacturing is a massive task, and many small and medium-sized business write off the idea of doing so and choose to outsource instead. Outsourcing is great in many ways, it one less thing for you personally to worry about as you can put the task in the hands of a reliable and experienced business who you know will provide you with excellent products.
However this service does come at a cost, and every month where you’re using another company there’s a cut taken from your profits. It is completely possible as a smaller business to manufacture products yourself and therefore cut out the middle man, but there are some things to bear in mind too. Here are a few of them.
First things first, you will need to consider the practicalities. You will need to find a suitable business premises that’s in the right location and is the right size. It should have good transport links and ideally be situated close to your other business premises for better productivity and less transport costs. You will then need to source all of the vehicles, machines, tools and equipment needed for your business.
Often businesses close down and sell of their items for cheap, you could also check auctions and other places for second-hand bargains. Companies like Altium provide electronics design software, these are the kinds of things you might need depending on the kind of business you run. Otherwise, look at good suppliers in the area and make sure you have everything you need to get started.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to manufacturing your own products is the upfront cost. While it will save you money in the long run compared with outsourcing, those initial costs are high and so this is something you will need to be aware of. Set a budget, and don’t forget things like premises cost, maintenance cost as well as recruiting and training staff members. If you’re able to afford to do all of this, you will save money overall and turn a better profit each month. You could go into business with a partner, or even look for investors for your SMB if the costs are currently too high.
Health and Safety
Finally, every business has health and safety concerns. Even in an office, a very safe environment, you could slip or trip or fall down stairs. However it’s even more of a problem in a manufacturing plant. Heavy machinery and power tools, chemicals, hot liquids and falling from heights are all risks. Make sure your health and safety is up to scratch and everything is being followed to the letter. Staff should have the correct training and experience for their role, and you should have the right insurances in place in case anything does go wrong.
Would you consider manufacturing your own products in your SMB? Do you find outsourcing more convenient, or are you fed up of how much it cuts into your profits each month?