Taking a product from the developmental stage to actual production is a long arduous trip. Your organization has spent years completing the design work, the development, and the testing, so naturally, you’d like to handle the manufacturing. It can be difficult to give up control of something to which so many people have devoted a significant amount of time and energy to. But given all that’s on the line you need to perform an honest evaluation of whether or not you have the expertise and skill set to manufacture the product without defect while remaining competitive over the course of the product’s lifecycle.
This leads to a couple of key questions.
- Does your organization have the capability to manufacture the product in-house?
- Would your company be better off outsourcing the production to a contract manufacturer that has a better understanding of the technology used in the device?
At this juncture, the proper decision could lead to the success or failure of the new technology, so it’s critical to have a solid formula for making this evaluation. Assessing the core competencies of your manufacturing organization is the initial step in the process. A webinar conducted by Sparton: A Model for Performing a Make or Buy Decision addressed the key considerations for making this determination.
One of the key points the webinar discusses is how to conduct a sincere appraisal of an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses.
This can be accomplished by asking the following questions:
- Is the manufacturing talent in place?
- What are the strengths of that talent?
- Are there any skills gaps that need to be filled?
- What are the costs associated with acquiring those skills?
- Is there any training that needs to be conducted?
- Does the organization have the supply chain capabilities?
- Is the company able to handle the logistical requirements?
- Is the infrastructure in place to handle any repairs?
- Are the manufacturing processes lean enough to keep the costs reasonable?
- Can the organization manufacture the product competitively through the course of the product lifecycle?
- Is there enough internal regulatory knowledge to execute the project?
Doing some soul-searching and making a truthful assessment in answering the above questions is the first step in determining if your organization is the best option for manufacturing the product.
Do you use the same set of questions in making your own evaluations? Do you have any others you think should be added? What roadblocks do you face in making sure your answers are unbiased? Please share them in the comments section below.