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This is an entire internet community built around the topic of 'Plastics Sourcing and Buying'. If you work in, or are interested in, sourcing, please consider this your home away from home! And the best way to get started is to JOIN this site AND this group.
Group members gain access to all of our functions, including being able to ask questions of experts in the Manufacturing Forums.
Modern Sourcing 101...
The impact of the Internet on sourcing cannot be overstated.
Complex Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ) processes that months to complete only 15 years ago have compressed to a matter of days. Today, supplier discovery, engagement, vetting, and management begin — with few exceptions — online. Search engines, supplier Web sites, online directories, association sites, online marketplaces and other Web-based resources all add up to a collection of tools that give small and medium sized manufacturers (SMMs) the power to create, manage and grow supply chains and alternatives that equal those of much larger companies.
The primary differentiating factors that define higher functioning (and more profitable) manufacturers often are directly related to the quality of their stable of suppliers, as well as the spend and demand management of the chains in which they contribute. Properly managing global supply and demand chains require constant diligence and scrutiny; not only must procurement professionals and engineers manage existing suppliers — they must ensure that contingency suppliers are available when needed to minimize supply disruptions.
Many plastics SMMs that supply product have adopted these sourcing methods to find suitable, dependable plastics processors and suppliers to outsource to when faced with limited capacity, demanding schedules or processes outside their core competence.
Regardless of a company's sourcing needs or roles, a strategy is crucial since the process of assessment, engagement and replenishment is continuous. A sound sourcing strategy must:
- Define the personas of the ideal supplier(s) for each project — including (but not limited to) process / product competence, pricing requirements, geographic limits, schedule / demand conformance, total cost of ownership, certifications, industry compliance / experience, and acceptable deviations from defined requirements.
- Specify lists / data for maintaining primary and contingency suppliers for each process, including performance, costs and quality. These lists / data should also regularly monitor suppliers' fiscal health, technical proficiency and stability to anticipate and avoid supply chain disruption.
- Anticipate scenarios that could require the rapid reorganization of supply chain structures — civil / economic disruptions in source countries, poor / unacceptable supplier performance, and natural disasters — and define contingency plans to maintain supply channels.
Assemble acceptable sources for building up-to-date lists of known sources for current or anticipated products.
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