Over the past couple of decades, outsourcing the manufacturing of products to Asia or importing products from the region have been very popular among Canadian companies, primarily because of lower costs – but is this really the only cost?
Manufacturing in Canada on the other hand presents several advantages that are worth considering:
Better Quality, Better Service:
Products in general and protective medical/pharmaceutical supplies in particular are imported in large quantities from Asia. Purchasing such products is primarily motivated by pricing, and therefore, most imported products are of a lower grade, while companies should be prioritizing quality to ensure the best return. The quality of medical supplies, for example, can never be compromised. Protective wear such as disposable isolation gowns, gloves, masks and shoe covers need to meet standards to fulfill their purpose. They are meant to prevent cross-contamination, and must be durable and efficient. Health centers cannot afford to carry protective wear that rips easily and does not withstand the daily activities. Canadian quality standards, on the other hand, translate into top-quality products because of strict regulations that ensure the high quality of products. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facilities test and validate their gowning supplies to ensure they meet strict criteria. Quality supplies have become popular in recent years because they add value.
Yes, manufacturing at home is potentially more costly than the habit to outsource – but what does the consumer gain from using a lower-priced product that doesn’t perform the job? Is it more cost-efficient to use cheaper isolation gowns that tear easily and still present a risk than using higher priced yet durable gowns that eliminate such risk? In addition, manufacturing locally makes it easier to respond to customers’ specific needs, giving them the access to better service and support. Once customers realize they can rely on quality products and quality service, they won’t be looking elsewhere.
Room for Innovation & Customization:
Unlike local manufacturers, importers of Asian products cannot respond to clients’ requirements, nor provide valuable advice/solutions to their challenges, because their principal interest is to move the products they imported. This does not make them able or interested to respond. Manufacturers can provide mainstream product lines as well as provide customized solutions. Medical or pharmaceutical environments in particular often have changing needs which may require greater capabilities in protective apparels. A company that locally manufactures its products would be able to respond to such needs without facing restrictions.
Boost the Local Economy:
Customers are growingly becoming socially conscious: they care about what they purchase. This is especially true in Canada, where conscious-consumerism has been sweeping the country in recent years. By buying “Canadian”, customers help support the local economy by boosting economical sustainability and supporting Canadian labor. In addition, environmental and social concerns, pollution and poor treatment of labor are nothing new in Asia – and they inevitably affect the final product. Lest we forget, brand value goes a long way. Customers are increasingly willing to pay slightly more for a “Made in Canada” label.
Changes in the market and the realization that cheaper isn’t better call for changes in manufacturing. Companies need to ask themselves whether they prioritize the cost or value of their products – and understand the implications of their answer on manufacturing.
If you have business challenges or custom requirements that you would like to discuss with us, please feel free to call us at 514-678-0930.