The Truth About Custom Manufacturing

In a one-size-fits-all world, where immediate returns and instant gratification rule, some things are worth waiting for.  Some things must be planned, well- designed, carefully crafted and handled with care.
This is particularly true when it comes to the custom manufacturing process.  Of course, many items are standard, and an off-the-shelf item may work perfectly fine. However, in many cases, the line between success and failure could depend on one single component.  Sometimes an application calls for a part that does not yet exist.  And this is the world in which custom manufacturing lives.  It fills the gap between a problem and it's solution.  This type of manufacturing is meant to evolve as a customer’s project evolves.  To flex alongside it's customer in formation and creation, with a partnership that ultimately creates a fully functioning and successful end product.

I remember going to one of my favorite authentic Mexican restaurants and reading the sign on the wall as I waited for food.  It read "quality food can not be made at microwave speed".  This is exactly how we should feel about custom manufacturing.  High-quality product can not be made at low-quality speed.  
The good news is that there are factors that can influence the speed of custom manufacturing.  


Dependability: You can spot a dependable company by it's ability to thrive and weather the economic ups and downs.  Manufacturers with decades of proven experience have gone through recessions and survived.  This shows a solid track record of dependability which is incredibly important.

Credibility:  Quality management systems like AS9100 and ISO9001 approve manufacturers who meet their stringent requirements.  With these systems in place, you know the manufacturing process is lean, cost-effective, safe and stable.  Companies accredited to these types industry standards have been thoroughly tested, tried and have been accepted.

Capacity: You need your products done as close to the due date as possible.  To ensure this happens, take a look at a manufacturers capacity.  A company running multiple shifts with ample employees is a safe choice.

Integrity: Finding a company you can trust can be a challenge.  Often by looking at its employees, you will learn a lot.   A good manufacturer will have long-time, loyal employees.  Talk to the leadership, have a meeting with the sales team.  Make sure this is a company you trust and feel good about working with.

Wisdom:  Custom manufacturing can not be learned quickly, it takes years of experience to develop wisdom to run efficiently and properly.  Manufacturing is, quite simply, not an exact science.  You want qualified and capable people handling your part.  

Although quality does take time, finding a partner that meets all the criteria
above will help to shorten the manufacturing lead times, as well as significantly reduce the chance of dealing with a rejection.   
So remember, when you need just the right part, in the perfect material and exact size, it will take more time than a standard part.  However, doing a little background research to find an experienced, trusted company, will set you up for success.

Cindy LeClair is the Vice President of Marketing at Vip Rubber and Plastic Company in California.  Cindy is in the third generation of family ownership and has over 10 years of experience in the manufacturing industry.  She is passionate about helping others and aims to educate and connect customers with the right resources.  Should you want to get to know Vip Rubber and Plastic better as a potential supplier, do not hesitate to reach out to Cindy. Visit


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