Quality Concerns with Your Offshore Supplier? You are Not Alone

As third quarter starts to wind down in 2020, there continues to be interest and discussions happening on the subject of reshoring manufacturing, or at the very least, finding a US-based supplier for manufactured goods.

According to Quality Magazine and the Reshoring Inititative's Data Report, quality is the most cited reason for reshoring manufacturing back to the United States. Manufacturers cited a number of negative offshore factors, including:

  • Transportation costs

  • Communications

  • Quality and rework

quality inspection review during production process

In light of this, I had conversation with McLoone's Quality Manager, Kimberley Shapiro, to discuss what she has seen in recent months regarding requests to move production from overseas to America.

"One of the first things that need to be established when there is prospect of moving a production job from one supplier to another is clear expectations. Communication and collaboration between both parties is vital to a successful transition," Shapiro states. "Details for everything from blueprints, samples, and inspection criteria need to be clearly understood. When everyone is on the same page, there should be no reason for quality mishaps during the transition."

quality checks on manufacturing floor for nameplates and labelsQuality can be difficult to set a cost to because there are many factors that come into play that are outside of piece price. However, since it is one of the major reasons that companies change suppliers, it is important to keep it as part of the discussion. 

Regarding the cost benefits of moving production to a US-based manufacturer, Shapiro suggests that companies review the big picture. "A US-based manufacturer like McLoone is able to provide in-person collaboration to drill down to root cause of any quality concern. Additionally, having a domestic supplier means quicker transit time with lower freight costs."

Quality systems and certifications can have differences as well. "Something that passes criteria overseas may be under higher scrutiny here in the States," says Shapiro. "McLoone maintains a strict Quality Management System and ISO certification. Communication with the customer is high priority and steps are taken to be sure that production standards are set to meet the same level or better of quality parts that they are used to receiving."

According to a Bloomberg poll in May 2020, 78% of Americans would be willing to pay more for products if the company that made them moved manufacturing out of China. This seems to support the thought that companies should at least consider reshoring their supplier base. 

How Can We Help?

Are you finding that quality concerns are driving you to look for an alternative supplier for product identification? As an essential business, McLoone has been and continues to be a trusted supplier.  Contact us and let's take a look at how we can alleviate your supply chain stress.

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Tags: Quality, Labels and Overlays, Nameplates, ID Plates