Best Practices to Look For in a Contract Manufacturer

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Apr 22, 2016 6:21:32 PM

Read Time: 3 MinutesFUSIONOEMCOLOR_296.jpg

At its core, the best contract manufacturers are all about preserving production with less waste
and less work to improve service value for the customer. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), when considering outsourcing to a contract manufacturer, it’s essential to confirm the contract manufacturer is using the latest manufacturing best practices.

Contract manufacturers are focused on getting the right things to the right place at the right time, and in the right quantity. When your contract manufacturer is well organized, they are creating a sustainable organizational structure that’s simple to understand and manage. The following manufacturing best practices are essential ways in which your contract manufacturer works to improve the value of their services for you:

Does your contract manufacturer hold daily morning huddles?

A brief daily huddle, conducted first thing in the morning, is a great way for a contract manufacturer to concentrate their efforts on optimized activities and accountability. During huddles, your contract manufacturer should clearly communicate with employees about what happened yesterday and what improvements may be made today. Your contract manufacturer should also use this time to assign and re-assign responsibilities until successful completion of a task. This helps ensure everything is on track for each program.

Daily huddles should take less than 10 minutes – they are not time to share information of lower importance or to have long discussions. These types of topics should be taken offline immediately for further examination.

Is your contract manufacturer’s facility clean and well-organized?

When it comes to manufacturing best practices, your contract manufacturer should be implementing the “5 S’s” to achieve a clean, productive workspace that allows for optimal workflow.

Here’s how the 5 S’s checklist breaks down:


  • Remove unnecessary items
  • Make work easy by eliminating obstacles
  • Provide no chance of being disturbed with unnecessary items
  • Prevent accumulation of unnecessary items
  • Evaluate the unnecessary items


  • Arrange necessary items in order, so they are easily picked for use
  • Prevent loss and waste of time
  • Make it easy to find and pick up necessary items
  • Ensure a first-come-first-serve basis
  • Make workflow smooth and easy


  • Clean your workplace completely
  • Use cleaning as inspection
  • Prevent machinery and equipment deterioration
  • Keep workplace safe for employees


  • Maintain high standards of cleanliness and housekeeping at all times
  • Maintain organization and orderliness
  • Maintain everything in order and according to its standard


  • To maintain working order

Once the 5 S’s are achieved, your contract manufacturer is better able to improve inventory and motion, two aspects of any facility that contribute to mistakes and downtime.

Does your contract manufacturer make the customer everyone’s business?

Your OEM is the very reason for a contract manufacturer to exist. You essentially pay the wages of your contract manufacturer’s workers, so the contract manufacturer’s workers should understand how their work contributes to a successful outcome for you OEM. This way, employees care to work efficiently and effectively.

A contract manufacturing partner recognizes that there is always room for improvement by eliminating non-value-added activities. When your contract manufacturer is incorporating manufacturing best practices in their facility, they are constantly striving to reduce waste, improve quality, reduce time and reduce total costs.


Topics: contract manufacturing

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