The goal of every business is continual growth. However, there are times when achieving that objective puts a strain on existing resources. That can definitely be the case with the injection molding vendor that produces the small plastic parts for your products.
Signs that You Should Expand Your Bullpen
As we blogged about previously, there are times when it makes sense to move all of your projects to a new small plastic parts injection molder. In other cases, however, what you really need is an experienced shop that can step in quickly to augment your production capability so that you can continue to meet your obligations.
How will you know that your current vendor needs an assist? The signs may include:
- They are slow to respond to calls or emails, as they are scrambling to make progress on jobs before talking with you.
- They are missing deadlines or asking for extensions.
- The quality of the parts they produce is starting to slip.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should cut ties with them. If you’ve got another trusted vendor on your list, it may be that tag-teaming the project is the perfect solution.
Benefits of Distributing Your Workload
Keep in mind that calling on one or more of the small plastic part providers on your list doesn’t have to just be a stopgap measure to get a particular project across the finish line. In fact, there are a number of benefits of working with multiple vendors on a regular basis, including:
- A larger pool of best practices. The experience and expertise of every plastic injection molding shop is unique. Tips you learn from one provider on a particular project may be of value with another vendor on a different project.
- Access to a specialist for your needs. A one-stop shop can be appealing, as it can reduce the number of vendors to manage. However, each component requires equipment with specific capabilities (tonnage and shot size). And not every vendor has the ideal equipment available? Is your vendor used to sweating the small details if half their business is large parts?
- More connections within the “ecosystem.” In manufacturing, as in any business, success is not just about what you know but who you know. Each shop on your preferred vendor list will have connections within the industry that may come in handy to you.
- A ready source of second opinions. In some cases, you may want to hear how another vendor would approach a project if you’re not quite sold on the initial suggestion. Having relationships with multiple plastic injection molding shops gives you an easy way to get second opinions.
- Seasonal “flexing.” If your production requirements tend to increase and decrease seasonally, you can call on one of your trusted secondary vendors as needed. The beauty of this approach is that the provider has already been vetted and is familiar with your operations.
We’ve Got Your Back
At AIM, we have many customers who rely on us exclusively for their small plastic parts. However, we also have the capacity to serve as a reliable resource when a temporary surge or sustained growth is threatening to overwhelm your primary provider. If adding another skilled and experienced shop to your list of preferred vendors sounds like a good idea, we should talk. Contact us or stop by our facility in Longmont, Colorado, just north of Denver to learn more about our company and our services.