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Why Your Contract Manufacturer Should Operate With An Open Book

As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), when you choose to outsource to a contract manufacturer you must be certain that the contract manufacturer is producing your product at a reasonable overall cost and with the same quality your customers have come to expect.

When you have zero insight into your contract manufacturer’s costs, pricing and profits, you are clueless as to whether they’re giving you a fair quote or not.

Transparency is what creates true partnerships.

That’s why your contract manufacturer should be offering your OEM company total transparency by opening their books to you willingly. Acting as an extension or satellite unit of your business, the right contract manufacturer gives you ample opportunity to review their direct material costs, direct labor costs, factory overhead costs and profit related to your outsource manufacturing program.

The following are the top three ways a contract manufacturer with an open-book policy is beneficial for your business:

1. Identifying Discrepancies In Material Costs Is Encouraged

When your contract manufacturer offers total transparency, you are able to spot any inconsistency in material costs right away. This safety net helps in the event you know how to direct the contract manufacturer to a more cost-effective source or one with able to deliver quicker.

If you noticed this discrepancy without an open-book policy, you’d likely assume the contract manufacturer is padding their margins and, in turn, you’d become skeptical of their business practices.

2. Ensuring Over-Skilled Talent Isn’t Used For Simple Tasks

As an OEM, when outsourcing to a contract manufacturer, your goal is to reduce a legacy product’s drain on your own key assets. One of these assets is labor force. A benefit of partnering with a contract manufacturer is that, ideally, you’d be outsourcing to the correct skill level than what you use in-house.

When your contract manufacturer operates with an open book, you are able to easily see if over-qualified talent is being used to do standard assembly tasks. A transparent contract manufacturer is never utilizing their more experienced senior technicians to do simple tasks.

3. Monitoring What’s Contributing To Factory Overhead And Net Profit

When your contract manufacturer volunteers to tell you their gross margin and how much applies to factory overhead and profit, you plainly see where all costs are stemming from.

Visibility into your contract manufacturer’s gross margins helps you to promptly address any issues or concerns. The result is an increased ability to eliminate setbacks and achieve greater speed to market.

It’s also valuable to see if the net profits are reinvested for future training, equipment and infrastructure, or if your contract manufacturer owner is taking all profits out of the business and not reinvesting in the future.

When your contract manufacturer offers open insight into their costs and margins, you are able to make smarter decisions for your business.

Look to partner with contract manufacturer that utilizes transparency, not only when delivering you a quote, but as a long-term strategy. As the product lifecycle evolves, periodic production metric check-ins strengthen your ability to protect your bottom line any time market value shifts.

For more information on Fusion’s Cobot Systems Integration Services and Products, please contact us at or at 866-952-9020.