Overseas vs US Manufacturing: A Case Study on Switching from Taiwan to the USA

In today’s global economy, businesses often face the challenging decision of choosing between overseas and US manufacturing. This decision can significantly impact product quality, lead times, costs, and customer satisfaction.

To illustrate the complexity of this choice, let's explore the case of a client who initially chose an overseas manufacturer in Taiwan and later switched to our US-based company. Their journey highlights the pros and cons of each option and provides valuable insights for businesses considering similar choices.

Initial Decision to Work with an Overseas Manufacturer

Our client initially chose to work with a manufacturer in Taiwan due to three main factors: cost, speed, and availability. The overseas manufacturer offered competitive pricing, quick turnaround times, and the capacity to meet their needs, which were crucial as they were hoping to scale production of their small silicone baby product.

Problems with Overseas Manufacturing

Logistical and Quality Issues

Despite the initial benefits, several challenges arose during the manufacturing process in Taiwan. Shipping products across the Pacific took weeks, and dealing with border inspections further delayed delivery times. Additionally, there was a significant issue with the gluing of blister packages to their backings, which required the company to airfreight new backings and handle the gluing themselves.

Communication Barriers

While the overseas partner made efforts to communicate effectively, language barriers led to misunderstandings. This was a persistent issue that affected the overall efficiency and clarity of the production process.

Cost Fluctuations

Although the initial manufacturing costs were as promised, shipping costs increased significantly over time, adding unexpected expenses to the overall budget.

Why They Chose to Move to a US Manufacturer

The client’s decision to seek a US manufacturer was driven by a desire for better communication, faster lead times, and more control over the production process. Additionally, the client was committed to supporting the US economy and felt that domestic manufacturing, if financially feasible, was the right choice.

Additionally, their product was a small silicone part designed for babies, which needed to be safe and durable enough to withstand use by little teeth and hands. Ensuring the product met safety standards was a top priority, as the company anticipated selling millions of units. So finding a US-based manufacturer that specializes in infant care was key.

Choosing Extreme Molding

After interviewing four different US injection mold companies, the client selected Extreme Molding for several reasons. We’re cost-effective, showed genuine interest in their business, and provided an opportunity to support a woman-owned company. The client even noted:

“The owners of Extreme Molding went above and beyond to help modify costs and create the best possible product while maintaining affordability.”

We’re happy to report that we’ve created upwards of 8 million parts for our client.

Benefits of Working with a US Manufacturer

There are numerous benefits for working with a US manufacturer, including:

Quality and Communication

The quality of products from our team surpassed those made overseas. The client experienced consistent product quality, accurate supply dates, and transparent communication. Unlike their experience with the overseas manufacturer, there were no language barriers, making interactions smoother and more efficient. Additionally, we were able to have conference calls at reasonable times with not much of a time difference, same day communication, as well as same day site visits.

Delivery and Lead Times

Switching to our company significantly improved lead times. Products no longer needed to cross the Pacific, and the client could quickly address any issues with a simple phone call. This local access provided a level of reassurance and control that was unattainable with an overseas partner.

Customer Experience

Site visits to our plant revealed a transparent and professional operation where employees were engaged and happy. The detailed explanations of production assured the client that their products would meet high standards and customer expectations.

Advice for Businesses Considering Overseas vs US Manufacturing

While overseas options might offer initial cost savings and speed, the potential for logistical, quality, and communication challenges can offset these benefits. These should all be kept in mind to help businesses make an informed decision.

If you’re looking for a US manufacturer, please contact us today for a free consultation. We’re happy to see where we can help.

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July 2, 2024 |