row of red and blue toy darts representing the concept of using multiple suppliers for plastic parts.

Build Relationships With Multiple Suppliers To Protect Your Supply Chain

It’s not a bad idea to use multiple suppliers in order to protect your supply chain. Let Proto Plastics be either your primary or your backup supplier.

Build Relationships With Multiple Suppliers

Do you rely on one supplier for your injection molded plastic products?  What happens when that one supplier can’t fulfill your orders because of an equipment failure, natural disaster, or they just close shop?

To prevent business operations from being interrupted or having to do last minute, costly adjustments, the logical step is to build relationships with multiple suppliers to produce your injection-molded plastic product in a pinch.

Diversify Your Products

If you make and sell a variety of products, spread those products amongst the different suppliers so that if any disruptions do happen, you’ll still be able to receive some goods to sell to the consumer.

Identify Injection-Molded Plastic Product Technology

Again, if your business produces and sells multiple products, identify which suppliers can handle the technical aspects of each product.

  • What kind of plastic does your product require?
  • What kind of production capabilities are needed for your product?
  • Does the supplier offer expanded services, such as screen-printing, assembly, or specialty-packaging, that your product might need?
  • Does your product need domestic quality standards, international quality standards, or both?

When each of these questions is answered for each product, cultivate a business relationship with the suppliers according to their abilities to produce the types of products.

Obtain Multiple Suppliers In Different Locations

A constant flow of injection-molded plastic products to present to the consumer is the best-case scenario.  And, so far, the supplier of your products has been on-time, all the time, with minimal defects.

But, let’s say the supplier’s base of operations is in California. One day, a wild-fire erupts and burns the supplier’s business to the ground stopping production flow.  What if the one supplier is located in China and a political upheaval stops the production of your product?

You can’t wait for the supplier to rebuild if they even decide to.  And, maybe, you can’t wait for the Chinese supplier to be able to start production again, whenever that may be.  But now, because you didn’t have a backup supplier or suppliers, you are scrambling to find one while hemorrhaging money.

If you had two suppliers, one in California and one in China, chances are they won’t have problems that prevent the production of your product at the same time.  It could happen, but not likely.  Just in case, three suppliers might be better, but remember, make sure the third supplier is in a different location other than California or China.

Identify Common Risks

It would be up to you to weigh the risks when considering your suppliers, risks like regulatory changes, natural disasters, labor unrest, and political eruptions that could stop production flow.

Identify Unique Risks

There are other risks to look out for such as risks unique to that company.  Who are their partners?  Where is their operation located?  Who are their customers?

For example, if the supplier only has one customer that they hinge their entire operation on, this should raise red flags when considering them as a supplier.  Why?  Because if that one customer decides to move on, the supplier closes shop leaving you in a bind.

Continuously Monitor Suppliers

Building relationships with multiple suppliers can take time and persistence to get your products manufactured at a level you expect or higher with no disruptions.  Investing time in continually monitoring the suppliers for possible disruptions, quality, and on-time deliveries will, in the long-run, keep products flowing to the consumer.

Contact us for more information about inserting us into your injection-molded plastic products supply chain.

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