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Outsourcing parts production overseas may come with some labor cost savings, but the tradeoff in quality, project management and freight are often much more costly. When researching rubber molders around the globe, the considerations need to go beyond just flat cost per part.

To help customers find the best total project cost without sacrificing quality and service, Molded Dimensions offers its exclusive GlocalSource program. Molded Dimensions takes on all the responsibility for quality, logistics and inventory by using qualified partners with lower labor costs in Asia.

“Having the ability to provide domestic and overseas manufacturing allows us to outsource when it makes sense, so we can give customers the best product at the best price,” says Kevin Kuhagen, global business manager. “It’s global sourcing with the added benefit of local service.”

Partners around the world
Sixteen years ago, the company began working with a network of qualified molding affiliates in Asia that have the same standards for quality and continuous improvement. If a part has a higher volume, more frequent use, lower complexity and high secondary labor content such as die cutting or packaging, it is likely a good candidate for production in Asia.

Whether producing parts locally or outsourcing overseas, Molded Dimensions uses its deep technical expertise in engineering, material testing and quality control. Every customer begins the process by working with Molded Dimensions’ dedicated project managers on design for manufacturability.

“It’s easier to sit across the table and talk about part design without worrying about time zone differences and language barriers,” Kuhagen adds. “We take care of all the communication with our Asian partners so the experience is seamless to our customers.”

Once the design is approved, Molded Dimensions works with affiliates to develop tooling and identify raw materials that meet all requirements and standards. During the pilot process and throughout production, sample parts are sent to Molded Dimensions for material property testing and FTIR analysis. Following approval, the team uses the customer’s production forecast to ensure product is inventoried to protect customers against potential customer demand surges, world-wide logistical difficulties and rubber supply shortages.

Logistics challenges solved
Lower labor costs aren’t the only benefits to the GlocalSource program. Leveraging its total volume of production with the affiliates, Molded Dimensions fills shipping containers and gets better freight rates than if a company had only had its single product shipped.

Once those parts reach the United States, Molded Dimensions handles all the inventory warehousing and distribution for products needed immediately and in the near future. Having those parts stored in the U.S. ensures orders will be filled within a week instead of relying on slow and unreliable international shipping.

While some international parts distributors may offer lower pricing, they don’t provide engineering support, project management, quality control and inventory. Often, freight and inventory costs add up to more than the price of a part. Molded Dimensions provides the best of both worlds with competitive product cost, quality parts, on-time delivery and superior service levels.

“Our customers see the same level of service and quality regardless of where the parts are produced,” Kuhagen says. “They just know they’ll get consistent, qualified products on time. That assurance is our reputation.”

Learn more about GlocalSource here.