The eternal question for any manufacturer is whether to make versus buy, particularly when it comes to wood components. There are, however, a number of benefits for outsourcing components, chief among them inventory and cost control.

In the webcast, “3 Keys to Outsourcing Wood Components,” Steve Harmon, president and CEO of Drawer Connection, Michele Weitzel, Home Organization Channel manager at Northern Contours, and Jeremy Funk, marketing manager at Elias Woodwork, discuss these and other ways in which working with a components supplier can enhance quality productivity, design and product diversity for manufacturers. 

Benefits of Outsourcing

In addition to reductions in inventory, other benefits noted by Harmon include reduced production man hours/lean manufacturing and quicker lead times. Outsourcing also allows for the sharing of others’ expertise and capabilities and allows the company to focus its concentration on internal product and market development.

Weitzel added another dimension to the benefits of outsourcing: the ease of staying current with design trends. Relying on the component manufacturer takes the burden off a company. 

For example, current trends, as seen at KBIS, call for traditional, “classic colors and clean profiles that relate to both timeless and modern styles,” she said. Color choices continue to trend toward white and gray.
For doors, she referenced Houzz and its findings for 2015:  a preference for slab and Shaker. Weitzel noted that these door styles are versatile and work for many designs.

Open concept was another trend she noted.

Funk capped off the webcast discussing vendor relationships. Building that trust can take time, he said, but when it is mutual both companies benefit from the relationship. Furthermore, when choosing a vendor that offers a selection of product styles and colors, it will enable your business to accommodate a wide variety of customers.  The ability to offer accessories, such as corbels, wine racks,  valances, etc., also translates into higher profits.

Another way in which working with vendors is beneficial is that they can help with marketing materials,  samples and displays.

Listen to the free webcast, “3 Keys to Outsourcing Wood Components,” on demand. To see the entire series of webcasts available, visit WoodworkingNetwork.com/webcasts.

 

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