The path a product takes from design to shipment can have many steps. It can involve those inside your company and those outside the corporation. This process is called the supply chain. Here is how it works.
What Is a Supply Chain
Each piece of the manufacturing process of an item is a supply chain. These are kept organized by supply chain analytics. This begins with the supplier of the raw material the product is made of. It then goes to the manufacturer of the individual parts that the end object is constructed with. The product is then assembled either in-house or by an outside vendor. It finishes with the companies that package and distribute it then the retailer who sells it. Each department involved in this from finance to Human Resources is considered part of the chain. This also involves keeping track of the costs of each piece utilized so it can be factored into the final price later.
Overseeing every facet of this process is critical. If one department in this fails to do their work, it can bring the whole thing to a halt and end up with the final product being late to the consumer. Communication with each member of the chain is important to ensure that whatever piece they are working on will be ready on time. Also, a well supervised supply chain can lower the expense of making the end product which can mean a lower cost for the consumer. If you are involved with supply chain management, you might consider purchasing software to make your task easier.
Choosing the Right Partners
When you are considering companies to work with to manufacture your product, from the prototype to the PCB assembly, you will want to research to find out if they are reliable. Ask for references and follow up on the ones given. Request a tour of the facility to see if it runs efficiently and if they are able to handle the items you need made. Look them up online to see what others might have reported about them. You might also take into account other information like date they began operation, the size of their workforce, and the rate of turnover if that data is available. Having the route a product takes from its concept to its place on the shelf is important. Being on top of the supply chain can cut your expenses while making your end user happy with the final item.