Today, just as always, companies are constantly looking for better ways to get things done.
Doing more with less and figuring out ways to drive out costs from the manufacturing and supply chain process is the constant “drum-beat” all managers hear about every day.
Many manufacturers are discovering the benefits of using a trusted manufacturing support services provider as a fast and cost-effective way to help reach those goals.
So what are manufacturing support services?
Manufacturing support services (Also commonly referred to as manufacturing support logistics or inbound to manufacturing logistics), is a relationship a manufacturer creates with a third-party logistics provider with specialized experience to support specific parts of a company’s manufacturing process.
The right provider can support processes such as:
- In-plant line side replenishment – Delivering the required parts and materials to a manufacturing location, often times sequenced to the required specifications. This frees up the cost of storing product within the company’s facility and much of the associated labor.
- Sub-assembly and parts configuration – Assembling parts into the components used in a manufacturer’s products. Again space and labor savings are key benefits to the manufacturer.
- Kitting and packing – Combining finished product with additional accessories and other parts and final packaging. Done “post-production”, these value-add-services remove the burden of work that is often not a core competency of the manufacturer.
- Sourcing and purchase order management – Can include procurement of consumable, packaging, or any material that is part of the manufacturing process. Quality partners will have processes and technology that minimize sourcing costs and lead times of products at each stage of your manufacturing supply chain.
As with any outsourced relationship, having a trustworthy and experienced partner with manufacturing support service is critical to success. Look for a logistics provider that understands your company's objectives, strategies, and issues with your current supply chain. Understand how they deliver manufacturing support services to other clients and how your supply chain would benefit from a partnership.