Choosing an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) supplier can be a challenge if you’re unsure of where to start the search. However, one thing is for certain: You require high-quality products. Regardless of price, if the component you hire an OEM supplier to manufacture is faulty, your business will not only suffer in revenue, but also in reputation.
Ultimately, you are looking for the perfect supplier that can help you manufacture high-quality components for a project as quickly and efficiently as possible. To make the decision easier, we have outlined and detailed five key qualities to look for in an OEM supplier.
Your search comes down to whether or not your OEM supplier provides a high-quality component, so understanding their production capabilities should be at the top of your qualifications. Note the following key signals of a high-functioning manufacturer as you research.
Complex Custom Products
Your OEM supplier can prove their capabilities by providing evidence of producing complex products. Not only does this show a range of production capabilities, it also tells you that the technology and skill set of the team is capable of taking on challenging production projects.
Number of Products Produced per Year
This information can tell you a few things. It shows their capacity of production, as well as the organization of their workflow.
Partner with an OEM supplier that has nuanced capacity and a number of facilities dedicated to specific production processes.
Finally, but most importantly, understand the OEM supplier’s manufacturing capabilities. Their list should be extensive, and it should at least include the following:
- Laser cutting
- And more
An Experienced Team
Although the manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly automated, highly skilled, intelligent professionals are still at the heart of planning and executing each and every project. An experienced team of managers and laborers keeps a project moving smoothly and efficiently. They can also reduce new product development barriers by solving potential problems and minimizing risk, thereby maximizing profits.
Critical aspects of an experienced team include the following:
Consider your OEM supplier team’s ability to collaborate and provide direction. Using their years of experience, your OEM can help define the project if you are unsure where to start. They can also rework a project framework, if necessary.
Ability To Work With Diverse Materials
Another sign of experience in a team is their ability to work with different types of raw materials, including exotic raw materials, which are created using highly specialized processes and require unique compliance labs. Because this is such a specialized practice, it requires experts in the field.
An OEM supplier can show its versatility by providing a portfolio of clients in a number of different industries. Different industries need different components, which means a variety of tools and skill sets are required of the company.
Finally, be sure to find out if the management of your OEM supplier stays up-to-date on the latest trends in their industry. For example, major changes are occurring in the automotive industry that is quickly abandoning gas and diesel for electricity, and manufacturers need to adjust accordingly if they haven’t already.
Quality Management System
A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes, and procedures for a manufacturer’s planning and production. A manufacturer develops a QMS based on solid business sense and practices; in essence, it is the core business focus of an organization.
A trustworthy QMS follows external quality control requirements outlined in the license to trade and customer guidelines. It also accomplishes the following:
- Documents requirements in the management system
- Documents proper employee training
- Outlines performance processes
- Measures, monitors and reports compliance of the processes
- Includes plans for audits and analysis of system processes to determine corrections, when necessary
One of the best ways to determine whether you should be working with an OEM supplier is to understand its competency and brand perception according to current and former clients. Although this might be something that can be further understood through a request for proposal (RFP) process, you can perform your own research to learn more about the companies they have worked with, their number of clients, and the number of years they have been in partnership with a client. If they have decades of experience with a handful of clients, that can be a good sign that they can be trusted to produce high-quality products.
Ease of Communication
The importance of effective communication cannot be emphasized enough, yet ease of communication with a supplier requires planning and development, much like the formation of a project plan.
To reap the benefits of transparent communication, including trust between your companies and improvement of risk management, be sure to start by asking the right questions, including:
- How often do you hold meetings with your clients?
- What channels of communication will you use? Which technologies or platforms?
- Do you have a team dedicated to client services and satisfaction?
Partner With a Capable, Communicative OEM Supplier
Your ultimate goal in choosing an OEM supplier is to find a company that will manufacture and deliver high-quality components, which means a lot goes into deciding on the right OEM supplier. By identifying and evaluating their production capabilities, experience of the manufacturing team, their QMS and client relations, you should be able to find the right OEM supplier for your company.
To partner with a capable, communicative OEM supplier, get in touch with VPIC today.