For our second to last post of the Top 10 Tips to Consider When Selecting Your Injection Molding Partner, we're covering tips 8 and 9. Tip 8: Assessing Your Potential Partner's Creative Problem-Solving Skills This is a good way to determine how much your partner will bring to the table in terms of solving your problem – not just molding a part. Regarding lead times on time critical projects, is the potential supplier considering expediting, providing alternative, custom or creative proposals? While most situations could be solved with an impossible 1-week lead time production tool, this doesn’t mean that the only other alternative is a standard 8 to 10 week lead time on a production tool. Does your #injectionmolding partner have internal tooling #manufacturing capabilities? This can greatly reduce lead times because of internal priority control vs. relying on subcontractor that is not vested in your project. The ability of the supplier to do grooming and adjustment to tooling to yield conforming parts in-house will save weeks in possible delays. Tip 9: Consider the True Costs of Offshoring Our second to last tip when choosing your next injection molder is to be wary of offshoring. It can seem like a cost-conscious solution, but it brings with it a few complications you might not initially consider. Does offshoring sound too tempting to pass up? Unless you have an existing relationship with the supplier, this is not advisable when the project is critical. Cost and lead-times can be attractive, but both of these advantages will likely be eroded through miscommunication and lack of transparency. US brokers can be used for their existing relationships to mitigate some risk, but a solid communication, transparency, timing, and quality of technical communication is compromised. We have experienced several situations where the use of a broker was more costly than purchasing tooling and parts domestically. Geo-political situations can also compound the challenges of offshore manufacturing. Read earlier blogs for the rest of our thoughts on what to consider when choosing your next injection-molding partner. If you have a question, drop us a note in the form below!