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Metal Stamping and Manufacturing Quality Control Concerns with Domestic vs. Foreign Overseas Sources

Is the cheapest source really your best option?

Centuries that hold as much technological advancement as our last 100 years have are bound to experience multiple growing pains. The manufacturing industry is one aspect of development that has radically evolved over time. On this day a hundred years ago, assembly line mass production was in its infancy. Deals were made verbally and sealed with a handshake. Everything was innovative and mistakes were usually learned from through experience. Sometimes that experience was failure. But the industry learned along the way to get us where we are today.

In order to meet quality standards and compete in today's global market, there is more to it than just handshakes and promises. Quality control practices and certification processes help manufacturers adjust and adapt to challenges along the way so that the end result is a safe, successful product that matches the client's specs.

The drive for low wages and low regulation resulted in a surge of manufacturing being done in the East, in poorly developed countries that could churn out mass product cheaply. Quality standards for metal manufacturing are different between countries, at every stage in the innovation and assembly process. However, just as surely as the previous century saw technological revolution, the next will bear witness to the rapid spread of workers' rights and increased wages. More frequently the news is reporting strikes in China and other regions with large foreign manufacturing markets. The change is timely.

What domestic metal manufacturers are rediscovering is that it doesn't always pay to head overseas to cut costs. Not only are the unlivable wages and conditions the workers are receiving becoming unconscionable, but safety concerns and the high hidden costs of offshoring are making the entire process less attractive. In an interest to ensure high quality and reduce costs, companies are bringing their manufacturing accounts back home to domestic suppliers.

Disturbing facts about offshoring you need to know:
  • Exchange rate fluctuation: China recently decided to stop tethering their currency to the U.S. dollar, allowing it to appreciate. This increases costs and has a dramatic effect on profit margins.
  • Long and expensive shipping times: Today's market has a high interest in improving fast response time. Cargo shipping is long and cumbersome; air freight can be prohibitively expensive. Quick turn around and delivery is improved greatly with domestic sourcing.
  • Volatile work environment: ponder for a moment how quickly your product will be completed and delivered if a labor force facing revolution goes on strike? These strikes are increasing in frequency, stalling production lines and resulting in high turnover.
  • Initial quotes that don't reflect the true costs: When working with an overseas supplier, the quote you initially receive will most likely still be the lowest. However, that is only a small glimpse of the true cost of doing business that way. Additional fees abound: processing charges, port fees, international tariffs, lift and storage fees...the costs continually rise and that's before you need to make returns or order additional quantities!
Domestic sourcing offers remarkable quality, secure standards, and fast shipments.

Unique Tool and Manufacturing is domestic manufacturing option for metal stamping and part engineering with a full range of services for the electrical, communications, satellite, appliance, automotive, and refrigeration industries within North America. Their products are ISO 9901/2008 compliant; a standard that is not required per se but in the automotive industry, demanded, and a mark of reliable quality for a company that uses it. If you need custom metal fabrication, don't assume that turning to a source overseas will be the best solution. Companies save thousands of dollars by using domestic sources close to home, with increased communication ability and consistent quality you can trust. Avoid the hidden fees, volatile global conditions, long shipping times, and costly delays that occur overseas. Unique Tool and Manufacturing offers technical expertise, technology, and product development that will help you incorporate more efficient procedures that are cost effective to today's demand and standards. For more information on the services Unique Tool and Manufacturing offers call 1-734-850-1050.
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