Businesses have limited resources to accomplish all of their goals, even during the best of times.
Can using a single vendor for multiple stages of your printed product’s manufacture provide significant cost savings? Many companies naturally seek out the lowest quote for each separate stage of a product they need to have manufactured. The decision to use several of the least expensive vendors initially appears as the smartest use of funds budgeted for the product’s development and production. In reality, companies that choose to rely on several low-cost vendors may be missing out on the significant savings possible when a single vendor adds value to their bottom line.
Businesses have limited resources to accomplish all of their goals, even during the best of times. During harsh economic conditions, such as the current recession, the mandate to allocate these resources intelligently becomes more acute. The standard measure of awarding a quote, which focuses on lowest per-piece price, obscures the value gained by using an integrated manufacturer able to replace multiple low-cost vendors in the supply chain. This value includes reductions in the administrative costs needed for qualifying, monitoring, and managing a smaller number of vendors; and a reduction in risk gained by shifting the responsibility and costs for integration and assembly of multiple components to a single manufacturer responsible for quality assurance.
Examining the major production steps involved with bringing a manufactured part from concept to conclusion—organized in this article as customer interaction, artwork, pre-press, production, and finishing—reveals where these hidden savings accrue. We can demonstrate this by choosing a vendor with multiple complementary capabilities and reviewing their processes to learn how the interaction of these areas positively affects product creation during different stages of the manufacturing process.
Typically, a business approaches a potential vendor with a quote request that specifies certain requirements: materials, sizes, tolerances, and quantities. The quote is reviewed by a process-engineering department that calls out the required materials, determines the equipment needed for production, and calculates the time and scheduling necessary to complete the job.
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