There are times when an American business is the supplier of products in other countries. When working with a foreign company there can be some difficulty with achieving the final outcome. A few of the issues that can arise are the misunderstanding of what is needed, instructing for installation, and  the difficulty of repairing products once they have left the U.S.

Communication Issues in Doing Business

Sometimes when working with other countries there is a large communication gap. Whether the communication is happening through emails or even over the phone there can be a lack in the understanding. These communication barriers can prevent the American company from fully understanding the needs of the foreign company.

They can also cost the foreign company more money on materials. This can happen if they don’t know how to ask for what they need. Sometimes in these cases the American company may make assumptions based off of older models of the product. However, if those assumptions are incorrect the entire product could be wasted. It can be difficult to bridge the gap of communication and can cause a lot of extra time and money.

Installation Issues

Another issue that can go along with that of communication is the problem of giving installation instructions. If there is a gap in communication there is also a large chance that there will be difficulties instructing the foreign country how to install the product. If the instructions get lost or translated incorrectly the foreign business will have a difficult time using the product.

When there is an issue with instructions there is often a need for a representative from the American company to go to the foreign location. Depending on the distance away from the American business this travel can have a high cost. Traveling will also take up valuable time that could be used to work on other projects. Instructional issues can all be traced back to the main issue of communication.  Both companies would be able to achieve all the stages of the production if there were no communication gaps.  

Repair Issues

Another issue that can come from communication issues is damage. Some damage may occur during installation. If the foreign company is not accustomed to working with a product and they attempt repairs the situation could be made worse. It is difficult to troubleshoot a problem when you are not in physical proximity to it.

Repairs for goods damaged in shipping will be something that can’t be planned for. If there are damaged pieces that no longer work in the product they need replaced. There is no guarantee that the receiving company would be able to preform these tasks or have the product line in house to change out broken pieces. This can be a difficult situation to fix with the manufacturer being in a different country.

Communication, Installation, and Repair issues are problems that can happen when doing business outside of America. Communication is the basis for the other two issues. When there is a language difference it is difficult for everyone to understand solutions to problems.

Falconer Electronics Inc. is seeing a strong upward trend in onshoring custom manufacturing. As a United States based contract manufacturer for over 30 years the company knows what works and what doesn’t. However, there are numerous challenges and threats to outsourcing manufacturing operations. Therefore, these threats increase when you outsource to foreign countries. Also, there are many hidden costs associated with outsourcing. These determining factors include the heavy cost of monitoring operations as well as quality control. There is also a lack of intellectual property protection. Along with an extended supply chain. Consequently, these are all reasons a company would be better off onshoring custom manufacturing of their products instead of offshoring them.

Benefits of Onshoring Custom Manufacturing

These positive trends with manufacturing operations returning to the US hold great promise. Especially for US manufacturers. The outsourcing of production abroad to foreign countries have negative trends. Therefore, terms such as onshoring, reshoring, and redesign manufacturing are generating a new buzz. Onshoring drastically improves lead times. It also cuts inventory levels. For us, at Falconer Electronics Inc. it is crucial to be located close to our vendors as supply chains shrink.

Like Falconer Electronics other companies in the US are finally realizing the many benefits to manufacturing products stateside. However, this is after decades of losing US manufacturing jobs. The majority of which went to lower cost countries such as China. Wage gaps are also shrinking between China and the United States. Right now the US offers a superior infrastructure. Also, the US is superior in terms of automation, education, information technology, and transportation.

Perks of Onshoring

Cutting Back on Concerns

The products and services an onshoring custom manufacturing business offer effect every aspect of the company. Everything from their strategy, supply chain, staffing, and operations are affected. Control over the protection of intellectual property is another one of the many concerns. Also, there is a huge vulnerability by relying on foreign suppliers. Meanwhile, there is also the threat of stolen proprietary information and processes. Therefore, causing devastation to a company. However, a company has more control to all of these aspects when they choose onshoring compared to offshoring.

No Heavy Cost of Monitoring Operations and Intellectual Property

You still want to be sure that the work is getting done correctly and on time. Especially when you are not in the same area as your operations. Also, you want to ensure your intellectual property is safe. How do you do this when offshoring? You will have to ensure you know what is being done there. This can mean hiring someone that you trust to run the offshored facility. It may also mean you will have to run the facility yourself.

Therefore, you would have to spend the extra amount to get a manager into that facility. Or at even greater cost moving your entire life to the new area. Whereas if you had your operations in the same place you are located you could save either of those costs.

Quality Control in Manufacturing

Quality control is another serious issue. Separating manufacturing and product development can be extremely detrimental. Managerial focus when operations are halfway around the world is a significant disadvantage. At Falconer Electronics, we pride ourselves on producing top quality printed circuit boards (PCB). We also take pride in our wire harness assembly.

Reliable Skills and Knowledge

We have had many clients experience unacceptable products from foreign suppliers. Therefore, failing to meet our customer’s standards. Falconer Electronics has a history and in-depth knowledge of Circuit Boards. We also have a long history with electronic assemblies from subsystems to complete systems assemblies. Our customers have been able to rely on us. Furthermore, we have a history of repairing products that have been imported. By repairing these products, we are able to show our superior knowledge and skills. Even when working on pre-existing products. We have found that our customers greatly cherish the reliability and high quality work our team provides.

Onshoring Custom Manufacturing: Circuit Boards