Some companies that are in need of quality rubber products find themselves intimidated by the idea of making a direct rubber purchase, opting instead to seek a middle man to facilitate the process. This can become a crucial mistake that tosses aside the many benefits of direct elastomer purchase in exchange for illusionary convenience. There are a couple of things that make this a mistake.
The first and most obvious mistake is the financial cost. It is an elementary aspect of business that every hand that touches a product from the raw material stage to final product expects to be paid. For any company doing business in today’s competitive marketplace, it is extremely unwise to invite more of these hands into the process. The most cost effective model for getting a custom product is the end purchaser working directly with a company capable of taking the product all the way from concept to complete.
The next benefit that comes from purchasing rubber directly is control over the specifics of the product. In any situation where a custom rubber application is required, there are specifics from material characteristics to manufacture methods that will impact the suitability of the end result. Losing this control by choosing to work through a proxy can easily result in a product that is at least not as good as possible and could result in a product that is inadequate altogether. By having a direct input with the company producing the rubber product, the customer vastly reduces the potential of problems.
The final benefit of buying elastomer straight from the manufacturer is being able to make changes to that product. Using a go-between creates time for messages to be passed from party to party. As an example of how big a problem this could be, picture a company that needs rubber linings for the waste chutes on machines located in thousands of locations. After approving prototypes, the company discovers that some factor has been overlooked – maybe chemicals that will pass through the chutes or more heat contacting the chutes than previously thought. Working directly with the fabricator, the company can quickly get production stopped while the product is reworked. Should a middle man be involved, a delay or misunderstanding in the message getting passed could result in part after useless part being produced that serve no purpose but must still be paid for.
Working with a manufacturer makes sense on many levels. Working with a good manufacturer also eliminates the only possible reason for choosing a middle man in any event – convenience. A quality rubber producer will be as easy to deal with as any proxy.