What are the differences between in-house vs outsourced injection molding services?
- Equipment and Expertise
- Economies of Scale
- Quality Assurance
Regardless of your industry and your plastic product’s intended application, there are only two ways to go about manufacturing your product — in-house and outsourced production. There are many differences between in-house vs outsourced injection molding services that can make both seem like an attractive proposition, but choosing which is the “best” between the two boils down to several key factors.
Before deciding on whether to work internally or externally, here are a few things to consider.
Equipment and Expertise
As someone with an established company in your industry of choice, you are likely an expert on your product manufacturing. Likewise, your employees are specifically trained to manufacture your products. But, when it comes to injection molding, is this something you and your team are experienced, up-to-date, and educated on?
Consider if the input of other experts in this situation could bring unexpected insights and value to your process. Yes, your teams are trained, knowledgeable and capable, but you may miss opportunities to utilize the expertise of others if you keep your production in-house.
Injection molding companies that have had decades of service have trained a team of professionals who know the manufacturing process inside and out. They often have hands-on and extensive experience with using the latest techniques and tools in injection molding technologies.
The biggest advantage to outsourcing to an injection molding company is that they have been solely dedicated to injection mold manufacturing. Injection molding is a complex manufacturing process that can’t be mastered or established overnight. Plastic molding companies will often have advantages over others due to their extensive investments in equipment, training, and research.
Economies of Scale
Is your capacity (or lack thereof) affecting your production and market capabilities? Can your in-house production handle a sudden influx of orders? Do you have the supplies and physical space to add new manufacturing steps, secondary services, and other capabilities to your production?
When it comes to in-house production, a sudden increase in orders can cause you to hit your production limits, and you may have to consider investing considerable sums in new equipment, employees, and supply lines to keep up with market demand. Companies may find it extremely difficult to achieve efficient production this way.
Alternatively, a trusted injection molding company can meet your production demands, while bringing additional value to your manufacturing and product needs. For instance, they could have dedicated teams for each service (overmolding, insert molding, and more) that can run near-constant cycles to produce injection molded parts at scale.
With the resources that a dedicated injection molding service has, the costs of upping production are negligible — they can spread product runs out over a larger swath of time, and a greater breadth of customer work. They are better equipped to deliver large orders, allowing customer demands to be met with quicker delivery times and shorter times to market.
When you have your products made in-house, you can monitor them at every step. You are also able to directly resolve any quality issues, and implement design changes when you see fit. This allows you to better control how the product is made, and its resulting quality. Your production teams also follow stricter standards of quality control, since they are focusing only on your products.
Quality can be a major problem with outsourcing. This happens when the injection molding service you choose is handling multiple clients with varying product types and is unable to adequately manage production and customer service.
However, this can be avoided if you can use the best quality outsourced injection molding services — which is indicated by their portfolio, customer reviews, and quality assurance certificates. If you’re able to partner with such a service, you can rest assured that they spend hours on quality assurance, allowing you to reap the benefits of outsourcing.
Regardless of how your product gets made, there are ways to avoid quality issues. Your internal production team or your partnered injection molding company should have agreed-upon processes to check product quality. You can also discuss your injection molder’s inspection methods and quality assurance tools to see if they are agreeable to you.
Producing your plastic products in-house can result in heavy investment on your part — you may need new equipment or employees to fulfill your product’s design and production runs. However, you can also avoid many of the management costs you can get with outsourcing.
This is a big concern when it comes to outsourcing to foreign companies. Management costs, in this case, include managers who need to be stationed in that foreign country, speak the native language, and be on-ground to solve problems. If you go with in-house production, you can avoid these costs as you have direct control of production.
Outsourcing also comes with a lot of cost savings. The labor and fixed costs of outsourcing your production are considerably lower, as you don’t need to stress about paying the salaries of the workforce, buying new equipment, machinery, and other ongoing expenses of setting up and running a factory.
With outsourcing, you are also employing the expertise of a company dedicated to injection molding services. When you work with an established manufacturer, you have the confidence that they can efficiently produce quality products, using cost-saving techniques and value-adding services.
Should I Outsource My Product Manufacturing?
If you’re interested in making plastic products, you may be thinking about whether you should outsource your product to an injection molding company. There are numerous reasons why other companies have decided to outsource their production, such as the amazing benefits it offers.
If an injection molding service has competitive advantages in place and is consistently delivering great performance and high-quality products, it makes its services a very attractive option for many potential customers. From product design to packaging, many steps of the manufacturing process can be outsourced to a quality injection molding company — like Richfields.
If you don’t have the resources or space to handle production, why not save yourself the time, money, and stress, and have these projects outsourced?
When it comes to weighing in-house vs outsourced injection molding services, consider which option is more viable for your current company capabilities and resources, and which choice would have the biggest benefits for your product. Doing so will help you meet the necessary requirements for your product and your company.
If you’re leaning towards outsourcing your injection molding project, contact Richfields today. We are an injection molding service provider dedicated to manufacturing only the highest quality plastic parts and products. We offer several primary and secondary services and have extensive experience serving numerous industries. Click here to learn more about us.