Part One of a Four-Part Monthly Series
The classic concern about outsourcing is that you will wake up one morning to find out that counterfeit versions of your products are being sold by a shady offshore firm. The reality is that this scenario is rare. Most off-shore manufacturers are focused on contract manufacturing and have no interest in destroying their reputation by engaging in this type of activity.
However there is a larger danger in protecting your intellectual assets that is much more commonplace, and while it is primarily an issue with overseas manufacturing it can affect domestic design and production as well. We see many companies that come to us wanting to shift production from their existing supplier for a variety of reasons, including quality, delivery, and cost. But they often do not have a complete manufacturing-ready documentation package that allows for a rapid production shift. The documentation is controlled by the manufacturer or engineering firm that helped design the product. So they end up having to reverse engineer their own products, or just end up living with the deficiencies of their current supplier.
The documentation package for your products is the key intellectual asset of your company. It should be treated like the crown jewels of your organization. All too often key pieces of documentation are only held by outside designers or manufacturers, and companies get held hostage to price increases or delivery issues. And once in this position many are afraid to push their vendors to get copies of the documentation for fear that it will trigger the very situations they are trying to avoid.
We will be presenting a series of blogs that will offer ideas for documentation control that will ensure control of the key Intellectual asset of your company – The Documentation Package.