Using SWOT To Choose A Contract Manufacturer

Using SWOT To Choose a Contract ManufacturerIn today's global manufacturing supply chain, there are many vendors to choose from. 

By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of potential vendors, you can select the best manufacturing solution for your project. And the best way to do that is through a SWOT analysis.

SWOT asks us to examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in any given situation.

  • Strengths – The things that give you an edge over competitors.
  • Weaknesses – The things that put you at a disadvantage compared to similar companies in your field.
  • Opportunities – External possibilities that can be used to help you grow.
  • Threats – External factors which could pose a danger.

It’s a concept that originated at Stanford University in the 1960's by business and management consultant Albert Humphrey who was studying the reasons corporate planning failed.

He came up with something called SOFT analysis: What is good in the present is Satisfactory, good in the future is an Opportunity, bad in the present is a Fault, bad in the future is a Threat.”

Over time, SOFT evolved into SWOT, but the concept remains the same, a way to gauge current and future positives and negatives.

By conducting a SWOT analysis, a company can determine the pluses and minuses of a contract manufacturer and see how that manufacturer can help reduce inventory costs.

The right vendor can improve your quality by shrinking the number of product failures, help lower holding costs and purchase prices. The choice of supplier is a key part of supply chain management, and as such, deserves careful consideration.

Let’s take a look at some of the questions you should ask for each section of the analysis.

Strengths

When you look at the potential contractor manufacturer, what strengths do you see?

  • Do they have extensive design and engineering experience?
  • Do they have access to the right vendors and materials to allow them to turn around orders quicker than other companies in their field?
  • Have they earned a good reputation for service and support?
  • Do they have the type of purchasing power that gives them better prices on materials?

Weaknesses

And no matter their strengths, any company might have weaknesses. For example:

  • Does the company have manufacturing experience relevant to your specific product needs?
  • How long does it take for them to transform new designs into products?
  • How attentive are they to quality control?

Opportunities

In addition to strengths, a good contract manufacturer might bring with them extra opportunities to help your company. For example:

  • Can they lower the cost of inventory ownership and help you lessen freight costs?
  • Do they have expertise in certain technologies that help you enhance your product?

Threats

When scrutinizing threats in a SWOT for your supply chain, look for things like:

  • Supply chain disruption
  • Excessive lead times
  • Inventory float, and the difficulty of tracking it.

Mars may not be the best fit for every project. But we can tell you our strengths. When you hire Mars International, you are selecting a contract manufacturer that has manufacturing expertise backed by extensive design and engineering experience.

We provide the supply chain infrastructure that allows you to bring products to market with speed and efficiency, with a sharp focus on time-to-market, lowered cost and quality control. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help strengthen your next project.

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