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Deciding Between Using a Direct Supplier or a Broker: Pros and Cons

December 22, 2016

Consider this hypothetical scenario: You’ve designed a new part that needs to be produced, and the first thing on your list is to find someone who can make it. You could start by going through your list of manufacturers, vetting their capabilities and getting competitive quotes. But when you’re forced to look outside your own country, the time and costs associated with this effort can quickly add up. The other option is to work through a broker or direct supplier. But how do you know if you’re selecting the best option?

Using a Broker

  • Broker
    • Finds a manufacturer with the capabilities to produce your part.
    • Often selects a manufacturer with whom they already have a relationship.
    • Manufacturer fulfills the contract to produce the part.
    • Broker’s duties are complete.
  • Project Manager (Internal)
    • Manages the design process through to final production release.
    • Manages the logistic chain through loading the finished product on a ship, properly staging it in a warehouse, and most importantly, maintaining quality assurance throughout the process.
    • Often performs these duties from the disadvantage of a 12-hour time zone difference from the manufacturer.

Using a Direct Supplier

  • Starting from their list of Asian partners, identifies the partner capable of manufacturing the desired product.
  • Completely handles the logistics chain.
      Prepares parts for shipment.
    • Manages the warehouse to keep a steady flow available for distribution.
    • Maintains quality through the production run.
  • Gets the cost savings of working with an Asian supplier, without the extra responsibilities or added cost of an internal project manager.
  • Reduces overall risk by having experienced professionals manage the production process turnkey.

As a direct supplier, UGS has been providing manufacturing solutions and fine-tuning the production process for more than 35 years. UGS takes pride in working with our partners to deliver viable parts on time, to print and specifications, with the cost benefits of producing in Asia.

From either our main office in Detroit, Michigan, or “in region” office in Shanghai, China, we can operate on the time zone you need. Give us a call to see how we can help you produce parts at the quality you demand, and at a cost that keeps you ahead of the competition.