At What Point in the Product Life-Cycle Should I Consider Contract Manufacturing?
Contract manufacturing can be considered at any point in the product’s life-cycle, depending on your specific needs and goals. However, there are certain stages of the product life-cycle where contract manufacturing may be more beneficial.
Here are a few examples:
Introduction Stage: During the introduction stage of a product, demand may be low, and it may not make sense to invest in expensive manufacturing equipment or hire additional staff. Contract manufacturing can help you quickly ramp up production without incurring significant capital expenses.
Growth Stage: As demand for your product grows, you may need to increase production capacity quickly. Contract manufacturing can help you meet this increased demand without the need for a significant investment in new equipment or facilities. This can be especially beneficial when entering new geographic markets as it can enable a local-for-local manufacturing strategy without a significant or premature investment in facilities and resources.
Maturity Stage: During the maturity stage of a product, production may be stable, but you may still need to manage costs and improve efficiency. Contract manufacturing can help you reduce costs and improve efficiency by leveraging the expertise of your contract manufacturer.
Decline Stage: As demand for your product declines, it may become more difficult to justify the cost of maintaining a manufacturing facility. Contract manufacturing can help you continue to produce the product while you wind down production. Aligning with a contract manufacturer in the early stages of decline can help you avoid having to issue abrupt or premature last time buy notices to customers. It can also help your end-customers extend the life of their investments, and equipment, which creates more brand loyalty.
In general, contract manufacturing can be a useful strategy for managing manufacturing capacity, reducing costs, and improving efficiency at any stage of the product life-cycle. It is important to carefully evaluate your specific needs and goals when considering contract manufacturing to determine if it is the right strategy for your business.