Price, manufacturing location, shipping cost, and level of customer support are just a few of the factors a company should consider when choosing a new supplier. Offshoring can be great for a well-established company with a lot of experience working in Asia or South America. But it may be an unfamiliar and risky supply chain process for a smaller company or start-up.
Many large companies have their own quality control and engineering teams in the producing country to oversee the process. But for a small company or start-up, this can be a major cost driver. Instead, you may prefer the convenience of working with a local manufacturer, even if prices are potentially higher, to have confidence you will receive the product you need delivered to you on time.
As a Milwaukee-based manufacturing partner with global resources, RSP Inc. offers the best of both worlds with company-controlled facilities in the Milwaukee area and China.
While there are many reasons to choose a local manufacturer, we have narrowed down the list to four key considerations:
1. Local Support with a Global Support Team
If you decide to deal with a foreign company on your own, it is important to know that you may not have the same level of support and that they probably will not be working the same hours as you. But when you choose a Midwest-based manufacturer like RSP, you will work directly with a representative who is close by and who can walk you though any questions you may have about your quote, first article sample or production run. Our project managers can also help address and quickly resolve any design or engineering hurdles as they arise.
Local manufacturing, warehousing, and support are also valuable for coordinating on-site visits. While email and the internet can connect you to suppliers across the globe, there is no substitute for getting together to talk about your product one-on-one. This access is something that RSP offers to all customers, large or small. When you work with RSP, our entire team is available to assist you. Every project is assigned to a project manager in our Brookfield, Wisconsin, office. You also have direct access to our offshore engineering team if you have design questions or issues you need help resolving. Our team of 12 engineers has over 100 years of experience combined in product development, plastic design, tooling design, membrane switches, electrical design, and much more. RSP believes this team approach helps our customers design their products better and more efficiently, getting your product to market faster for a successful launch!
2. Warehousing and Logistics
When your product is ready to go to market, warehousing and logistics are key to managing your inventory and getting your product in the hands of your customers. When you work with a foreign company, they might not be willing or able to store your product if you are not ready to receive it. They also may not be willing to assist you in shipping the goods from their country to you. This leaves you navigating both shipping and warehousing for your product. Manufacturing locally makes this process much easier. RSP Inc. has a 40,000+ square feet warehouse in our Brookfield location, and our logistics team can assist with freight and storage. We offer order fulfillment in addition to warehousing, providing a turnkey solution to make your life easier so you can focus on marketing your product. Our teams in both our China and US offices have experience shipping all over the world, so you can be confident that your product will arrive when and where you need it.
3. Freight Costs
One major cost working with a foreign supplier that is hard to avoid is freight. Fortunately, RSP offers several cost-saving advantages over other suppliers when it comes to shipping product produced at our facilities in China. First, our domestic manufacturing capabilities mean if your product can be made in our local factory in Brookfield, Wisconsin, you’ll pay no duty costs and your product will not have far to travel. Our central location means that for our midwest customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, and Iowa, will have low shipping costs. Even if you are located on the East or West Coasts, shipping rates are relatively inexpensive from our central location. Second, if RSP imports product from our facilities off-shore, it typically has a lower value for tariff calculation since we use our internal costs. This savings can be substantial. Third, RSP also ships enough products worldwide that we have negotiated rates with companies like FedEx and UPS. We also work with freight companies who bid competitively in order to win the business, which helps lower rates. Other overseas manufacturers may not offer these cost-saving methods. Finally, when possible, we bulk ship items together to reduce the cost of shipping everything individually, this can result in 10-30% savings.
4. Intangible / Overall Cost Savings
The old saying that “time is money”is as true today as it was when it was coined. Designing and manufacturing your product with efficiency in mind is our goal at RSP. We understand that time wasted on troubleshooting a design issue costs more than money. A delay can negatively affect your product launch, ruin relationships with potential customers, and change the trajectory of your business. Our substantial experience working with companies launching new products enables us to efficiently and effectively help our customers make design- and material-related decisions that affect their bottom line. With this wealth of experience, we can help you get your product to market on time and with the quality you need. There is a certain comfort working with a local supplier that goes above and beyond the hard costs. Ease of communication is also a huge advantage. Not to mention, working locally means helping out the community and economy that benefits the region.
Please feel free to reach out to RSP Inc. about your product. We look forward to assisting you in getting to market.