Assembly Services

Written by Linda Alexander
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Manufacturers and warehouses are catching on to the idea that outsourcing assembly services is a productive and profitable venture. In a process called postponement, companies are leaving the final assembly and packaging to the warehouses, after orders comes in. It allows companies to quickly respond to orders as well as offer mass customization of products.

Recently, warehouses began offering value added services, such as assembly services, packaging, and knitting. Postponing these processes until orders comes in requires intense planning--but can be very profitable. It brings products closer to the consumer, offering them more options for customized products, and shortening lead times from order entry to fulfillment.

Balancing Inventory with Outsourced Assembly Services

Outsourcing assembly services this way allows manufacturers to strike a good inventory balance at different points in the lifecycle of a product. Using common components to assemble a number of different products allows companies to make products specific to order. It is largely efficient when planned correctly. It's also a boon to global vendors, who would otherwise have to preassemble products in different languages for different countries. Instead, they can use generic parts and make customized products after the orders come in.

Postponement is not a popular process yet, but its popularity is growing. It seems counterintuitive to have unfinished products stored at warehouses. But when warehouses also act as fulfillment centers, manufacturers get more comfortable with the idea. If you are looking for a way to make mass customization more efficient, consider outsourcing your assembly.


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