Is buying a flex arm made in the USA really better for your product design?
Buying a flex arm made in the USA can be less expensive.
There’s one factor that goes into a design that no one likes to talk about: price point. You want the best, but you also need it to be within your budget. One way that folks designing flex arm devices try to trim some fat is to find the absolute cheapest option for their flex arm. That often means buying internationally.
While we get the impulse, here’s the thing: you aren’t actually saving that much money — in fact, you could be costing yourself (and your device) a lot in the long run. We’ve got some thoughts that you should take into account before your next flex arm order. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.
Designing with a flex arm has to be collaborative.
Communication can make or break your design. No one person can make a design, but not having an expert can actually break it. We appreciate it when our vendors are approachable, responsive, and competent. Bonus points if they’re actually fun to talk to. That’s exactly the vendor we try to be to our clients.
You need to expect the same from your flex arm provider. You may be an expert in your device’s design, but you’ll need someone to communicate clearly to you when things start to get messy. Sourcing overseas can be full of communication challenges that go way beyond language barriers.
The bigger the supply chain, the more likely it is to break.
2020 was a big eye-opener in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to supply chains. While global commerce is easier than ever to utilize, COVID-19 showed us that the bigger the chain, the more likely it is to break. A flex arm product with any degree of time-sensitivity needs a domestic partner who can help minimize the risk of a supply chain failure. Not having one could result in thousands (or even millions) of dollars of business lost. It’s not worth saving a few dollars on the front end if it ends up wrecking your business.
Buying flex arms made in the USA means more options.
USA-made flex arm companies offer a huge advantage: large inventory. We can’t speak for everyone, but we’ve been a committed full flex arm supplier for multiple generations. That means we have inventories for multiple sizes, strengths, and material combinations. That full array of choices comes in handy during the design and prototyping stage. It also means you can try out combinations with actual, physical flex arms — rather than just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. The close proximity of a domestic flex arm provider means that you’ll be able to switch out what you have for what you need.
Reaction times will be quicker for a US flex arm supplier.
No matter how well you plan, there are almost always unseen design changes. That can be quality problems, volume surges, or even volume reductions. When you get flex arms made in the USA, you get a partner that’s on the same timetable as you are. We’ve seen it all and as a domestic supplier, we’re here to work through every issue with you, quickly and reliably. It’s hard to get that guarantee from someone half a world away.
Whoever you choose, the cost difference is negligible.
We often run into the idea that a flex arm made in the USA is somehow automatically way more expensive than a foreign-made flex arm. While we hope this stems from a compliment (that we guarantee quality), that idea is just plain wrong. In fact, we supply OEM customers in countries worldwide, including Mexico and China. This proves our pricing and value are competitive, so don’t assume we are automatically more expensive just because we’re domestic. For real, shop around. We think you’ll like what you find. In fact, if you want to check out our affordable, ready-made options, head over to our online store.
An expert will understand the intangibles of your design.
We ask questions. Lots of them are the “right” ones that help you avoid pitfalls, the ones that sometimes cause you to dream bigger. Get used to it!
That’s just part of what we, as a USA-made flex arm supplier, bring to the table. There are unique advantages to working with Moffatt that have nothing to do with our domestic location. You simply won’t find them elsewhere on either side of the ocean. We get excited about your product! We get passionate about your design needs! That energy is important to stick with during the design process for a thorough result, and it just might get you to think bigger in your design work for a greater outcome.
And hey, when you buy flex arms made in the USA, you’re investing in the local economy. It’s a win, win.