Manageable Manufacturing: 5 Tips For The Overwhelmed Small Business Owner


Running a small business can be exceedingly difficult. This difficulty can increase significantly with the addition of the complexity that is involved in manufacturing products, packaging and other materials for your business. If you aren’t careful, the costs required for those manufacturing processes can quickly overwhelm your scant amount of revenues. You need to do everything you can to save money and create competitive advantages. Below are five tips that can help.

Consider Outsourcing Locally

Many, if not most, companies outsource parts of their manufacturing processes in an effort to slash costs. However, the proverbial process of “shipping jobs overseas” does indeed have severe negative consequences for the United States. You may be surprised to know that hiring local manufacturers may actually be a better deal. Doing so can greatly decrease shipping costs and increase quality and efficiency over dealing with foreign manufacturers.

Implement Automation When Cost Effective

Automation seems like an end all solution to manufacturing problems. However, it really isn’t. For one, manufacturing robots are still extremely expensive. Only the largest companies in the world can afford to deploy them on a large scale. However, there may be certain parts of the manufacturing process you can automate in a cost effective manner.

Seek Out Niche Manufacturers

Every business sells a different product. Chances are that your product category may be rather niche. If that is the case, you should seek out manufacturers that can specifically cater to your needs. For example, if you want to sell a programmable electronic device, you should seek out a printed circuit board manufacturer. A PCB manufacturer will produce better results than relying on a manufacturer that has no experience with circuit boards.

Use the Internet as a Tool

One of the easiest ways to find a third party to do your manufacturing for you is to use the internet. There are a plethora of contract manufacturers that will come up in a simple Google search. If you want a little bit more word of mouth you can usually find reddit threads and forums for all sorts of lines of work. Find a network of professionals in  your line of work and ask them. Online communities can be a great way to connect professionals and learn from each other. Use the net to seek out manufacturers that can cater to your specific needs.

Use AI to Detect Bottlenecks

One of the greatest challenges manufacturers have to overcome to increase efficiency is the creation of bottlenecks in the production process. Thankfully, technology is beginning to solve this problem. Big data in conjunction with artificial intelligence has been deployed by many manufacturers to detect factors that could lead to the creation of bottlenecks in workflows and production processes before they even form.

Manufacturing is one of the most complex, expensive and risky processes for many small businesses. Managing the manufacturing process can be a challenge. However, if you deploy the correct strategies, you can manufacture your products, packaging, materials and more in a cheap and efficient manner.