Kitting is the process of collecting and organizing separate but related parts for future use in the manufacturing of a product. Kits may be stored until needed on the manufacturing assembly line or delivered directly to customers. Putting items together into a kit sounds simple, but when you have thousands of parts and hundreds of orders, the task becomes much more difficult to do effectively and efficiently.

 

At some point, every OEM must decide what core competencies it wishes to retain in-house. Outsourcing frees OEMs to focus on these core competencies and the company’s strategic vision – which often do not include services such as kitting. For this reason, many companies outsource these responsibilities to a contract manufacturer. Kitting must occur where the product inventory resides so it makes sense to partner with a company, like Riverside Integrated Solutions, that can provide kitting as well as operations such as manufacturing and warehousing. For OEMs that already rely on a contract manufacturer, pushing kitting to them is a natural step since kitting is the immediate upstream operation from assembly.

 

Even if an OEM decides to keep production in-house, there are major advantages to outsourcing all upstream logistics: procurement, inventory management of parts and raw material, warehousing, the actual picking, packaging of the kit for transport, and shipping the kit to a required destination. A key advantage of choosing RIS as your contract manufacturer is the complete start-to-finish manufacturing support we provide. From procuring materials, to building or kitting your product to the final outbound shipment, you gain access to our complete distribution capabilities that will expand your reach into any channel.

Kitting services not only help OEMs save time and money but also avoid the headaches that come from figuring out where to store products, how to package them, how to keep track of inventory, and how to distribute them. If you currently perform kitting in-house and are considering outsourcing this service to a contract manufacturer, take a look at the following reasons why OEMs outsource kitting.

 

· Reduce Costs: kitting can be a very time-consuming and pricey process as there are many in-house costs including personnel, warehouse and storage facilities, IT management systems, and equipment. Cost reductions is one of the key reasons why OEMs outsource kitting. Contract manufacturers have the facilities available and the resources and processes in place that enable completion of kitting operations more efficiently – resulting in significantly lower costs and a competitive advantage for OEMs.

 

· Elevate Productivity: kitting improves productivity as assemblers utilize pre-prepared kits at the moment they are needed instead of taking the time to locate and pull the various parts from storage – further reducing labor costs and saving time on the production line. Outsourcing to a contract manufacturer adds further kitting efficiency gains. Since they have the necessary equipment and procedures in place and are very experienced with kitting, contract kitters, like RIS, are often able to perform kitting services faster – increasing overall speed to market for OEMs.

Could your team benefit from outsourcing kitting to a trusted contract manufacturer?

Contact the professionals at RIS today to learn about kitting and our other integrated manufacturing solutions.

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· Minimize Warehousing and Storage: kit assembly and storage of assembled kits consumes a significant amount of space. Once teamed up with a partner, OEMs not only tap into their partner’s kitting expertise, they also get to take advantage of their inventory and warehousing facilities – eliminating the need for OEMs to use their own floor space for these activities. Outsourcing kitting to a contract manufacturer results in fewer products in your facility and less storage expenses for you. This is a huge advantage of outsourcing kitting and allows OEMs to utilize the space for other purposes including production growth opportunities and new business ventures.

· Increase Quality: kitting operations can be overwhelming, especially during busy periods, making operations prone to mistakes and human error. Additionally, kitting is not typically a core competency found within most OEMs. For these reasons, product quality may be at risk. Contract manufacturers, on the other hand, have extensive experience with inventory, assembly, and kitting that translates to high accuracy and quality in these operations. Contract manufacturers typically have rigorous quality training and dedicated professionals in place to ensure quality standards are being met. They apply their depth of knowledge across various industries to their quality management program. These measures lead to a higher level of quality control that results in more consistent and elevated product quality – as well as a healthier bottom line and happier customers. At RIS, we have a layered and proven approach to quality management. We are ISO 9001 registered and adhere to quality systems that meet national standards for production procedures, product quality and customer service. We don’t just check the boxes when it comes to quality control: quality is engrained in our culture and our workplace.

 

· More Cost-Effective Packaging and Shipping: one of the reasons that OEMs outsource kitting is the packaging and shipping efficiencies gains. The ability of contract kitters to buy in bulk allows economies of scale that are not possible when OEMs perform the kitting and packaging steps. For example, by ordering supplies such as boxes, pallets, crates, bins, and bags in bulk, contract kitters can drive down those costs and pass the savings along to OEMs. Contract manufacturers are experienced in packaging all sorts of shapes and sizes of products and can find a packaging and shipping solution that is most cost-effective for your specific application. Additionally, contract kitters provide more economical and sustainable packaging by utilizing custom-sized boxes, as opposed to standard box sizes, to reduce the size and weight of shipments.

 

· More Manufacturing Flexibility: partnering with a contract manufacturer for kitting provides more scalability. Contract manufacturers have the experience and resources to handle your fluctuating demands, whether that means having more inventory ready to go or scaling back for a little while. Since the provider can readily scale operations, OEMs are able to adjust production and kitting as necessary to respond to demand changes and market conditions. And the additional nimbleness in manufacturing is achieved without sacrificing quality or time to market.

About RIS Integrated Manufacturing Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly, product assembly, kitting, supply chain management, fulfillment, distribution, and reverse logistics. We employ more than 300 people and provide services to OEM’s across the world. We operate 3 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the U.S, and as your one-stop-shop we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards, and resources to provide you with support for all of your manufacturing needs.

With all of the contract manufacturing partner choices out there, we know it can be difficult to find someone that not only understands your business model but also has your best intentions in mind. RIS has proven to always be a win-win focused relationship. As your one-stop-shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards, and resources to provide you with support for all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is difficult and very time consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity. Our total-package solutions include:

· Extensive supply-chain network

· Purchasing and inventory management

· Dedicated Program Manager

· Warehousing and drop-shipping capabilities

· Flexible order fulfillment

· Product assembly: sub-assembly and full product

· Scalability to meet your needs

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your PCB assembly needs, or click here for a quote.