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The Modus Team on 11/01/2021

Choosing the Wrong Manufacturing Partner: Recovering from Quality Control Issues

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Table Of Contents


    Key Points

    • Choosing the right quality manufacturing corporation up-front, with all relevant quality certifications, helps to stave off issues in the long run.
    • Quality issues can cause huge disruptions to production timelines and ultimately cost your business much more than just the cost of the part in question.
    • Recovering from quality control issues with a component manufacturer typically means finding a partner who is willing to work with you to get over the initial hurdles to get your part back in line, and then can be a good long-term partner for you. Here’s an example of this in action.

    Quality vs. Price

     Here’s a big mistake original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) make all the time: You’re looking for a manufacturing partner and narrow the search down to two options. One company is known for quality manufacturing. The other is offering a much lower price. You choose the latter. 

    Big mistake — one that could cost you millions of dollars and years spent recovering from the damage to your reputation. 

    This isn’t some ill-informed hot take on why you should choose a high-quality manufacturing corporation instead of trying to save a few bucks. This is a real piece of advice based on years of evidence: if you choose the wrong manufacturing partner, you may struggle to recover from quality control issues for years — if you ever manage to fully recover. 

    In manufacturing, there’s no substitute for quality. Read on to learn what you risk if you sacrifice quality for a lower price tag.

    The team at Modus Advanced puts quality first every single time. It’s how we’ve become known for being the best in the industry as a manufacturing partner to OEMs. If you want quality above all else, work with us.

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    Learn how a medical device team solved assembly issues with Modus.

    Quality Manufacturing is Worth the Cost

    By saying quality manufacturing is worth the added cost, we’re not ignoring your bottom line. On the contrary, we’re protecting it. The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” certainly applies here, but it overlooks some of the financial risks OEMs take when they opt for lower-quality, cheaper manufacturing partners. 

    That is, the cost of fixing problems caused by faulty manufacturing is, to say the least, steep. If you ask 10 different experts how much it costs to fix manufacturing problems, you will probably get 10 different answers. But the average company tends to hover around 100 times the initial cost of the part.

    Think about that for a minute. If you chose a less-than-reputable manufacturer because they could produce your form-in-place (FIP) gasket at $5 each, you’ll spend $500 to fix the problem. Now, if you made that initial choice because a trusted manufacturer was offering to produce the FIP gasket for $7 each, you thought you were going to save $2, but you’re losing hundreds.

    Just take the example in this case study, where issues with a dispensed FIP gasket caused upwards of 6 months of production delays for SignalHound.

    “We were tortured trying to figure out how to get the FIP to adhere to the housing. We had invested years of R&D and a significant amount of money in the product, only to have parts sitting on the shelf until we could solve the FIP problem.”

    – Bruce Devine, CEO, Signal Hound

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    Learn how Signal Hound Overcame 6 Months of Production Delays with a Vertically Integrated Partner

    How Low-Quality Manufacturing Affects Future Business Services

    The above description of the cost of a quality manufacturing control issue is describing the prototyping phase. Now, imagine that no one caught the faulty gasket and the part escaped your manufacturing ecosystem and reached the market. 

    Sure, you didn’t have to pay the cost of fixing the mistake, but what are you losing now that the product is out of your hands? You’re losing the trust of anyone who relies on your company to produce high-quality devices. Ultimately, the low-quality device will fail, and your business reputation will dive.

    It’s impossible to calculate the actual cost of the damage to your reputation among your customers, but it’s safe to say it’s going to be steep. Even future potential customers who have never heard of you can catch wind of this mistake, and it’s going to inform their choice of OEM.

    Rebuilding Your Reputation with Partners

    Your reputation matters not just with customers, but with other partners along the chain of production. Low-quality manufacturing can affect your reputation with partners in two ways:

    • Delays. If you opt for a poor business quality manufacturing partner and then catch their mistake, your part of the device’s production process is going to be delayed while you fix the issue. That means you probably won’t be able to send the part to the partner further down the chain of production on time. That partner won’t soon forget the delay and the problems it causes for them.
    • Bad associations. If you don’t catch the mistake and the completed device is released to the public, you have a faulty product that has your partners’ names on it as much as your own. They aren’t going to like being associated with subpar quality manufacturing, and they may opt to not work with you in the future. 

    Rebuilding your reputation with partners is always going to be an uphill battle. If you’re already at the top of the hill, why risk falling to the bottom by working with a low-quality manufacturer?

    How to Recover from Quality Control Issues

    If you’re thinking, “Too late — I already made these mistakes,” we feel for you. But your company can recover from quality control issues. It takes time and hard work, but it’s possible. 

    The first — and, really, only — step is finding a high-quality manufacturing partner you can trust. You need to be able to sleep at night in the comfort of knowing that your design is going to come back to you fully formed and free of defects. 

    From there, it’s a simple matter of repetition. Produce superior service and high-quality parts with the right manufacturing partner, get them where they need to go, and repeat the process. Slowly but surely, your reputation will recover.

    Modus Advanced: Quality Manufacturing

    Modus quality manufacturing achieves the quality we do because we plan for it through continual improvement, process control, feedback, and high internal standards. Quality is what we do at Modus Advanced. We believe that manufacturers who put superior service first always win in the long run. When quality manufacturing partners win, the OEMs that work with them win, too. That’s why you should work with us. 

    We’re ready to bring your business design from paper to prototype — in record time and with perfect quality. Reach out to our team to get started. Contact us online or give us a call at (925) 960-8700.


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