Why Startups Should Consider In-house Manufacturing

As a startup, getting an innovative, potentially first-of-its-kind product off the ground requires efficient manufacturing strategies and components. Because not all startups have the resources necessary to make these important decisions, many companies will outsource manufacturing work.  Whether it’s due to short staffing, minimal space, real or perceived costs, or the difficulty in obtaining specialized equipment, startups aren’t always the most capable of handling their manufacturing operations – at least initially. But there are significant benefits to keeping manufacturing processes in-house, some of which we have witnessed and believe could be advantageous to other startups. 

In-house manufacturing provides a number of advantages, but an obvious benefit comes from the cost transparency. Maintaining control of all expenditures in the manufacturing process - from raw materials to finished products - allows us to more easily monitor spending and remain under budget. Controlling costs is critical as a startup, but manufacturing practices can make or break your bottom line and your product’s market price. With direct oversight of your manufacturing budget, you not only have the transparency necessary to make strategic business decisions on where costs can be cut or when sourcing can be made more efficient, but at the end of the day the more transparency we have at every level of our company, the better we will be able to manage our budgets. which can only ultimately benefit us.

In addition to cost, a transparency around operations creates an environment that’s more productive, and one that can be continuously optimized to be as innovative as the product you’re producing. At GKD,  staff members are more agile and efficient, as they are able to communicate directly within our manufacturing space. Further, with everyone under one roof, problems are solved expeditiously and yield more creative solutions, as members of our team are able to work next to each other and in tandem to accomplish a goal. 

A manufacturing workspace that is modular and multipurpose allows companies to develop what they need, whenever they need it. It creates flexibility – for instance,  equipment can be moved, workstations shifted or new tools brought in to create an environment capable of maximum efficiency and productivity. The business of a startup should always be agile, it’s part of what makes us unique and valuable. But we should be viewing our manufacturing abilities the same way – their ability to be moved, increased or decreased at any point in time is what keeps our operations as optimized as possible.

The main hall of our manufacturing suite, complete with offices, kitchen, and multple workspaces.

The main hall of our manufacturing suite, complete with offices, kitchen, and multple workspaces.

Naturally lit manufacturing space.

Naturally lit manufacturing space.

Kitchen area of the manufacturing suite.

Kitchen area of the manufacturing suite.

While not all startups are able to build their own manufacturing facilities or employ in-house experts to manage and oversee manufacturing lines, it is important to recognize and understand the advantages of doing so once you’ve reached an appropriate stage of growth. By owning manufacturing operations, companies are able to control costs, be more communicative and innovative, and employ flexibility whenever necessary. While an in-house manufacturing space may not be the right decision for every startup, we’ve found that it has benefited us greatly in achieving our objectives and reaching new heights as a company. 

Our successful manufacturing operations are so critical to our general operations, that we’ve recently expanded our space and team. Read all about it here.

Liam Lindsayblog