Regardless of the size of your business, manufacturing is a major part of it. Whether or not you assemble one of your designs or someone else’s, the processes you use help to determine the quality of the final item. Hence, you need to follow certain steps to make it happen. Here’s a step-by-step guide to product manufacturing.
What do you Want to Produce?
Product manufacturing isn’t random. There’s a reason you decide to create something. In most situations, it’s to relieve a pain point that you regularly see. Overall, this is the basis of what you want to produce.
The next step is to decide on the item. Ask yourself what is the best product to cover the main pain point as well as secondary ones? From that data, you come up with a desirable piece of material.
How do you Want to Produce it?
Once the product decision is made the next step is to find a method to produce it. How it’s manufactured depends on a few things. For example, custom furniture requires more manual labor than automated processes. On the other hand, mass production needs large-capacity machines to complete.
Packing your garage with manufacturing machines doesn’t work if you’re a small business. Thus, you need to outsource your product’s construction. This requires some calculations on the number of items you want to release. This determines the amount of time needed to assemble and check the items before they’re sold.
Another option is to utilize 3D printers to manufacture products for your business. Although the technology is still fairly new, the technology behind this mode of creation has made considerable leaps. Thus, production time has decreased significantly. Furthermore, 3D printing also helps to create demonstration projects for review.
Calculate the Necessary Costs
The third step in product manufacturing is to calculate the necessary costs for your project. This goes beyond the creation of your solution. It factors in your return on investment (ROI) for machinery, labor, packaging, and shipment.
To put it another way, you don’t want to pay for top-line equipment and in-house staff if you won’t make a profit on your products. Your ROI must be equal to or higher than the initial pay-out. Not only does this certify your decisions. It also gives you an idea of what’s needed during your next round of investments.
If you’re bootstrapping a small business, then it’s best to outsource the product manufacturing and the labor behind it. This lowers your costs while simultaneously opening your schedule to create new products and increase sales.
Quality Assurance and Control
Throughout product manufacturing, you must ensure quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC).
The primary focus of QA is on processes and procedures that improve the product’s quality. This includes education, monitoring, and regular audits. Conversely, QC is designed to find defects that remain after the manufacturing process.
These quality operations must be part of your product manufacturing business. Without them, you’ll spend more time fixing problems than solving those of your customers. This includes problems with shipping and delivery.
For instance, if your staff doesn’t add the strongest double-sided tape to the packing machines, then damage will certainly occur in the shipping process. This means that QA and QC representatives must be available at all stages.
Education and Training
Workers can’t get on a product manufacturing machine without extensive education and training. Allowing a novice to work a piece of equipment greatly increases the risk of harm to them and the machine. On top of this, it stops the line for an indefinite period.
No matter if they’re in-house or outsourced, anyone that operates a product manufacturing machine needs hours of education. Then, they need to shadow the existing operators for a strong grasp of use and troubleshooting. They can move into sole use of the product manufacturing machine once their apprenticeship is done.
It’s also a good idea to cross-train your staff on multiple machines. This helps cover holes when someone is sick, on vacation, or leaves the company. Although they aren’t subject matter experts, they have enough knowledge to handle the machine’s basics. As a result, production isn’t slowed.
Needless to say, there are many things to know about product manufacturing. If you need assistance, especially with packaging, reach out to local resources.