If there’s a holy grail in U.S. manufacturing and CNC machining, it has to be finding the lowest “price per part.” Of course, unlike the actual holy grail (or just like it, depending on your views), a part’s lowest price isn’t something you can really find and possess. Instead, it’s a thing to chase after and chase after with gusto no matter where on Earth it takes you .
Yes, there’s a thrill whenever a new bottom price emerges from a pile of RFQs. Unless you know and trust the supplier offering it, however, that low price is little more than an invitation to take on more risk and do more work. Good manufacturers know a low price is only as good as the part it actually buys. They also know to be wary of the high costs those low prices can incur when improperly managed or vetted.
It’s U.S. manufacturing’s version of the classic battle between good and evil, and cost and price take turns playing both roles. When it comes to your actual supply chain, however, it’s sorely off-base. Price and cost concerns are too flimsy to base business decisions on, because they can’t really protect — or reveal […]