What does it take to volume manufacture a tech product successfully?
Manufacturing a product successfully at volume involves a series of steps and considerations to ensure efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness.
Some of the world’s leading businesses like leading automation company powering life science labs Automata, aerospace giant Rolls-Royce, premium car maker BMW, and EV charging and Energy Storage System specialist FreeWire Technologies, have chosen to outsource their manufacturing to Tharsus.
With a long track record in manufacturing, Gordon Ramsey, Head of Manufacturing here at Tharsus shares with us some key insights on what it takes to scale when manufacturing complex, first-of-kind products successfully:
Is manufacturing your core business?
In other words, are you a tech business or a manufacturer? If the former, then manufacturing is probably not your core business. So, the question is, why would you want to do it? It is a fact that businesses that focus their resources on their core competencies are more profitable than those that become distracted by non-core activities.
Is your product design and development optimized for manufacturing?
Starting your manufacturing journey with a well-defined and thoroughly tested product design is critical to making sure your product design is optimized for manufacturing and assembly. However, if your product is less mature – we have a history of collaborating with our customers to take an idea all the way to volume manufacturing – increasing speed to market and creating a strong foundation for commercial success.
Your supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
One of the biggest, often unforeseen challenges, is supply chain. The combination of goods, services, processes and not to mention, people needed to support a product’s manufacturing, is convoluted – even more so in the new tech world with many supply chain challenges.
Some companies believe that by managing their supply chain, they retain control. However, managing a supply chain on a relatively small scale brings complexity and cost to the forefront. Control becomes an illusion as you then need to manage a complicated and fragile supply chain.
At Tharsus, we identify and source the required materials, components, and raw materials from reliable suppliers and take the time to negotiate contracts, establish quality control measures, and secure a consistent supply chain.
We have a wide supply chain that enables us to shift quickly from small-scale to large-scale supply. Due to our broad sector expertise, we provide cost effective supply chain management that drives costs down for our customers. A proactive team, agile approach and strong relationships with a wide range of partners mean that we are ready if a customer needs to ramp up demand quickly.
We use several techniques to do this, including web scraper tools developed by our own in-house digital team to source large numbers of in-demand electronic components quickly. We have also invested in technologies, such as ERP and supplier performance monitoring, to improve the efficiency and reliability of our supply chains.
How do you manage the logistics balancing act?
It is a delicate balance between optimising inventory to minimise carrying costs and at the same time ensuring a continuous supply of materials. It involves managing the delicate trade-off between keeping inventory levels low to reduce costs and having enough inventory to meet demand and mitigate supply chain disruptions. Here at Tharsus, we do this through careful monitoring, data management through our ERP system, strong customer communications and a proactive approach to adapting to changing market conditions.
Is your manufacturing process fit for purpose?
Working with a typical contract manufacturer, you are locked into their standard manufacturing process and current machinery. Here at Tharsus, we believe it is critical to choose the appropriate manufacturing process that is based on your product’s complexity, volume, and material requirements. This sometimes entails investing in the most appropriate machinery and equipment that is fit for purpose.
Is your manufacturing in compliance with international quality standards?
Quality management is at the core of our commitment to do the right thing for our customers, by delivering products and services in compliance with ISO 9001:2015. Quality management is how we bring products to life through our Solve + Scale + Supply service offering.
We believe it’s important to implement robust processes as an inherent part of quality control to prevent, detect and rectify faults early. This involves establishing appropriate agreed upon customer quality standards and establishing testing and inspections at the various stages of the manufacturing process.
Is your workforce trained to do a great job?
Another key part of the manufacturing process is our people. We believe in ongoing training and education for all colleagues, but particularly on safety procedures, quality standards and production techniques. It is important to embed flexibility and agility as prerequisites to support manufacturing volume fluctuation that is in sync with end-user demand.
It is costly and time-consuming to hire, train and retain the necessary workforce. We engage our advanced manufacturing team across a variety of projects, which keeps their skills levels and interest high.
Successful volume manufacturing requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a commitment to quality and efficiency throughout production. Additionally, staying agile is crucial.
Wherever you are on your product journey, let’s explore what we can do to help you.
Whether your product is ready to manufacture and you’re weighing up the pros and cons of making this investment yourself, or you have started manufacturing but are questioning how well it’s working out, we’ll be happy to chat with you about how we can help. Contact us today.