OMG – our Product is taking off! Two Considerations and Two Options

Situation: Demand for our product has increased, and we need to scale up production. We’re small, so how can we do this without killing the product?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • This represents a major change of mentality and culture. Essentially, you’re moving from a “handmade” process to a commodity volume process. You may also be moving from low volume/high margin production to high volume/low margin production – this will change you.
  • If you are sure that you will get the contract for long-term production consider establishing high volume production at a new site.
    • Rent/lease another facility. Also hire a different set of experienced people, and consider giving this facility a new name to suit the new team. This will help you to establish a new culture suitable to the new opportunity.
    • Ask for an option for additional space on the lease.
    • If things don’t pan out, look at this new space as the eventual location for your existing team.
  • Other options to consider:
    • Outsourcing to a 3rd party manufacturer. This is an option, unless you are an OEM outsourced producer yourself. Essentially you could be telling your OEM customer that they could go direct to another source at a lower price.
    • Establishing an overseas production capability – one where you own the facility and manage the QC. This will be a challenge if the customer wants to specify “Made in US”, or where quality concerns are essential.

Key Words: Production, Scale-up, Ramp-up, Outsourcing 

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