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What DoD Contractors Should Expect from a Manufacturing Partner

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Table Of Contents


    Key Points:

    • DoD contractors face unique pressures and concerns, and manufacturing partners should be cognizant of them.
    • Security and expertise are chief concerns for DoD contractors that manufacturing partners must live up to.
    • Modus has compiled the essential list of things DoD contractors should expect from their manufacturing partners.


    Here’s the thing about manufacturing partners: They’re only as good as the tailored service they can provide to their customers. For manufacturing partners who serve Department of Defense (DoD) contractors, that puts the bar for performance pretty high. Unfortunately, far too many DoD contractors come away from their engagements with manufacturing partners disappointed or even downright angry.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Manufacturing partners like Modus Advanced routinely partner with DoD contractors and know exactly what they need. We’ve compiled those considerations into a quick and simple list below. Let’s jump in. Here’s what DoD contractors should expect from a manufacturing partner.

    As a DoD contractor, you expect nothing less than the best from a manufacturing partner. That’s a given, and it means you should work with the best: Modus Advanced. Contact us to learn more about how we can serve you.

    World-Class Security

    Security is one of the chief concerns surrounding any proprietary design intended for DoD or related use. And when it leaves your hands, you need to be absolutely certain that it’s secure. That means you have to have complete faith in your chosen manufacturing partner’s security practices.

    It’s not just about competitors getting their hands on your designs. Actual lives and national security could be at stake. That’s why you should expect the latest in cyber security and physical facility security from your manufacturing partner. Look for the gold standard set by the DoD itself: Cybersecurity Maturity Model 2.0 Certification (CMMC).

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    The Right Certifications

    Speaking of certifications, any manufacturer who works with DoD contractors should have current industry certifications. ISO 9001 certification is the bare minimum certification for manufacturing partners of any kind, but if you’re working on devices meant for aerospace or defense use, you need to ensure that your chosen partner is also AS9100 certified.

    Vertically Integrated Processes

    You work hard to ensure that your projects remain within stringent DoD budget requirements, so why would you work with a manufacturing partner who isn’t doing everything possible to ensure both cost-effectiveness and timeliness? 

    You wouldn’t, which is why your chosen partner needs to be actively engaged in the vertical integration of its manufacturing processes. For example, Modus Advanced’s SigShield process brings the machining of metal housing, plating and coating, gasket dispensing and addition of thermal materials all under one roof. The result is a much shorter lead time and much less hassle of sending your part back and forth to different vendors.

    Partnership in Design and Manufacturing

    The most experienced engineers in the world work on DoD projects, and all of that experience will carry them far. It does not, however, mean that they know exactly how to engineer parts and devices for optimum manufacturability.

    That’s where your manufacturing partner should come in. Your chosen partner needs to be able to weigh in on your design and advise on pieces or aspects that may add unnecessary costs or manufacturing inefficiencies. That’s exactly what Modus offers with our Design for Manufacturability (DFM) reviews.

    Fully Updated Processes and Systems

    Manufacturing changes all the time. Ours is one of the industries with the fastest-moving technology, and each update can be important when you’re dealing with highly sensitive devices, such as those that DoD contractors design.

    That’s why your chosen manufacturing partner needs to have a demonstrable strategy for updating both its systems and processes. You need to see evidence of the latest in manufacturing tools and a constant review of processes to promote quality.

    Defense and Aerospace Expertise

    Joe’s machine shop down the road may say they can manufacture anything you throw their way, and they may be right, but they won’t have the defense-specific expertise necessary to act as a true manufacturing partner. They won’t be able to draw upon a wealth of experience with other DoD contractors’ projects to understand what will work, what will cause unnecessary manufacturing costs and how to keep you in the loop.

    That’s why it’s critical that you choose a manufacturing partner who has a demonstrated history of working in the defense and aerospace industries.

    Ability to Support Various Manufacturing Methods

    It can’t just be CNC machining, and it can’t just be form-in-place (FIP) dispensing. It can’t even just be 3D printing. Your manufacturing partner needs to be able to manufacture your designs in multiple ways. 

    Why? Because you very likely have on your hands a design that would be best served by multiple manufacturing processes for various components. And you may need to change the manufacturing method during the process; you want a partner who can do that easily on the fly.

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    Access to Speed and Scale

    Whether you’re prototyping or edging into mass production, you need a manufacturing partner who can meet you where you are. While mass production is not as common in defense as it is in other industries, you still need to ensure that the manufacturer you work with can produce for you at the speed necessary to keep your project on track.

    Clear Quality and Delivery Expectations

    Quality is critically important in manufacturing of any kind, but for DoD contractor projects, it’s everything. That means you need to partner with a manufacturer who can deliver the utmost in quality.

    No quality system is perfect — some escapes will always occur — but you need assurances that your manufacturing partner’s system is as close to perfect as possible. Modus, for example, aims for 99.5% quality on every single project.

    Dependable, Transparent Service

    What happens if you can’t depend on your manufacturing partner as a DoD contractor? You stress and catastrophize, and sometimes, your visions of failure come true. That’s unacceptable in this industry, and it’s why you need a manufacturing partner who has a proven history of dependability.

    Dependability tells you that the project’s stated goals and outcomes will be met, and transparency keeps you updated at every step. That way, you sleep better at night and end up with a part or device that meets all of your expectations.

    Why DoD Contractors Partner with Modus Advanced

    In highly specialized manufacturing, word gets around quickly when particular manufacturing partners are really good or really bad at what they do. It’s how we’ve made a name for ourselves among DoD contractors. We exemplify all of the traits and qualities outlined above, and we see how much DoD contractors have appreciated that over the years.

    It’s our honor to serve DoD contractors in the unique ways they need to be served by a manufacturing partner. We have no intention of changing this strategy any time soon, and if you want to be one of the beneficiaries of it, you can be. All you have to do is reach out to us.

    To get in touch with Modus Advanced, give us a call at 925-960-8700 or contact us online today.


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