Advantages and Disadvantages Of Manufacturing Abroad

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Manufacturing Abroad

Explore the prospects for excellent productivity and a vast network by conducting business outside your local country to keep your company ahead of the competition. The global expansion allows you to access a market of over 7 billion consumers while reaping extra benefits that result in business success.

Consumer goods industries have a long history of contracting to LLCs (Low Labor Costs). Tech businesses have outsourced production to low-cost countries, including China, India, and Mexico, over the last two decades. Due to reduced labor expenses and minimal environmental and worker requirements, they may offer reduced production prices. There are drawbacks to manufacturing in LLCs that could mitigate potential savings or generate other business issues.

What Is Overseas Manufacturing?

Overseas manufacturing is when product manufacture or assembly is moved to another country. Most businesses achieve this since labor expenses in other countries are significantly lower. Overseas production can also occur when core resources are cheaper in another country. For many years, China has been sought out as the manufacturing supercenter.

The Recent Shift In Manufacturing

After the early 2000s, the trend toward outsourcing manufacturing gained a foothold. Many prominent manufacturers advised suppliers to contemplate outsourcing production if they wanted to be a favorite supplier. Some even required vendors to estimate projects if they had a plan to supply from overseas.

The industrial sector shrank dramatically, and competition against China, Mexico, and India became the status quo.

Previous to the LLC mobilization, quality was the most crucial consideration in securing new customers, with cost being a close contender. Other corporations adopted similar messaging to Ford’s “Quality Is Job 1” tagline.

When global rivalry became more intense, everything changed. Major corporations began relocating overseas to cut expenses. Direct suppliers quickly followed, and it wasn’t long until most smaller businesses in the distribution chain were getting on board.

The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Manufacturing Overseas

Businesses must evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing manufacturing. You are more confident of getting an excellent ROI if you take a comprehensive inventory of the advantages and disadvantages of overseas manufacturing and balance them in terms of products and company model.

Advantages of Overseas Manufacturing

Most product manufacturers choose to have their goods manufactured in foreign facilities right away. It’s easy to see why. Here are some of the most compelling reasons entrepreneurs, eCommerce merchants, and commodity businesses seek overseas production partners.

1. Low Labor Costs

There are perhaps some advantages and disadvantages of producing goods overseas using inexpensive labor. The decreased labor expenditure in manufacturing overseas is probably the most evident and significant advantage. Companies obtain access to a low-cost labor sector through production in nations such as China, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

There are multiple grounds for all of these countries’ lower labor costs. The most important of them are reduced wage demands for workers, a cheaper standard of living for employees, and better currency exchange for the country’s exchange rate. Even though employees are paid less than they would be in any developed nation, supporters of low-cost country outsourcing believe that manufacturing in low-cost countries provides chances to workers who need them the most.

2. Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure

Nations such as China have established global manufacturing equipment and infrastructure, allowing them to quickly and efficiently fulfill the production demands of many enterprises fast and efficiently.

India, on the other hand, has also established world-class production facilities. They have built up a new reputation as a world-leading manufacturer, especially in particular areas. Automobile production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and textile manufacturing are some businesses. The country is becoming a more enticing choice for corporations wishing to manufacture overseas, given that labor costs in many situations can be lower than in China.

Most low-cost countries, such as India, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, spend on infrastructures to improve production and attract foreign corporations to set up branch operations there. As a result, many of these businesses offer a strategic advantage to corporations trying to improve their production and sourcing processes.

3. Favorable Regulatory Policies

Companies can, however, benefit from favorable legal conditions by manufacturing overseas. Many low-cost countries endeavor to create laws and policies as helpful as possible for enterprises that choose to produce there, similar to how they invest in industrial infrastructure.

Changing or eliminating laws and reducing red tape enables governments in these countries to engage more enterprises to operate there, resulting in greater possibilities for their inhabitants.

Several companies that are displeased with the strict and cumbersome regulatory system prevalent in many industrialized countries seek to manufacture overseas to optimize and reduce the cost of their bidding process.

Managing restrictions in other countries are facilitated by the growing number of organizations offering strategic sourcing and supply chain consultancy services. These services enable manufacturers to delegate much legwork to well-versed professionals when deciding to manufacture overseas. Some businesses can benefit from attractive tax breaks. Many low-cost countries provide good tax regulations for international corporations as part of their strategy to attract businesses to operate in their country.

Companies that manufacture overseas might take advantage of tax incentives available to international investors. The reason is that opting to manufacture overseas reflects an investment in the community and economy of the manufacturing country.

4. Tax Incentives.

Some businesses can benefit from attractive tax breaks when deciding to manufacture overseas. Many low-cost countries provide attractive tax regulations for international corporations as part of their strategy to attract businesses to operate in their country.

Companies that manufacture overseas might take advantage of tax incentives available to international investors. The reason is that opting to manufacture overseas reflects an investment in the community and economy of the manufacturing country.

The American tax system has also been more friendly to enterprises manufacturing overseas.

5. A Massive Global Footprint

As the trend of globalization proceeds, the world grows shallower and smaller. Companies can obtain access to overseas markets with greater ease, and developing a worldwide global identity is more enticing than ever.

Most countries, including India and China, are regarded as top prospects to become manufacturing hubs for many corporations, an emerging middle class, and a fair number of affluent consumers. Manufacturing in India or China can be an excellent approach to acquiring a footing and eventually selling to their consumers.

Developing a global foothold may improve the chances of selling products to customers in nearby countries. As investigated in this case study from the Washington Post, some corporations are changing their international presence to respond effectively to recent global developments. Finally, producing in a foreign country can help the company’s brand awareness in that region of the world. It is frequently a great strategic move that positions a company to continue developing and expanding.

Disadvantages of Overseas Manufacturing

Considering all the advantages, overseas manufacturing has its own set of drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages of manufacturing overseas.

1. High Freight Costs and Longer Lead Times

One of the most significant disadvantages is that transportation charges in nations such as China are frequently higher, making some products more expensive in other parts of the world. It is substantially more costly to import your product because overseas manufacturers frequently demand an additional price for delivery outside of their country (i.e., import fees). These costs often outweigh the financial benefits of producing elsewhere.

It takes time to transport commodities from other countries back into the United States to meet domestic demand. You must consider shipping time and national holidays. For example, the Chinese New Year lasts a month or more, during which businesses shut down.

2. Inadequate Oversight

You won’t be able to hold many face-to-face meetings to make agreements and inspect for quality faults if you outsource manufacturing. Even while many countries place great importance on face-to-face interactions, building a relationship without being present is more complicated. COVID has made foreign travel practically impossible, and even if you could, regular travel is expensive.

Working with a product innovation business that can appoint a delegate to your account is one method to address this difficulty. They’ll operate as your eyes and ears at any factory you choose, performing all of the quality assurance activities you’d achieve if you were there.

3. Language And Cultural Barriers

When working with any overseas manufacturing company, you’ll almost certainly encounter language and cultural challenges. When it comes to drafting contracts and prices, understanding procedures and ethics, and recognizing other cultural differences might be a struggle.

Using a local liaison ensures that nothing is lost in translation. They will be a resident or fluent in the language and culture, allowing them to communicate on your account and emphasize your best interests.

4. Problems With Customer Service

Consider that one large shipment that goes awry or fails to fulfill expectations, leaving all those individuals who had been eagerly waiting for their goods frustrated. If a customer complains about delays or poor quality, you’re left to bear the issues. Consumers will not care that there was a production issue because you are the image of your company. You are to fault, and you must deal with the fallout.

5. Safety Risks

The safety of workers and the environment is often a priority. Not every country places the same emphasis on labor safety and environmental protection as the United States. Locating manufacturing partnerships renowned for good labor practices, safety measures, and environmental stewardship should all be part of your vetting processes. Ensure to partner with a product development firm that has built ties with pre-screened manufacturers. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction so you don’t waste time and money dealing with manufacturers who take on more liability than they should.


Manufacturing products in another country can save you money, but you must be willing to surmount any difficulties. If you feel it’s the right approach for your organization, there are many advantages. Before deciding whether or not this is a practical next step, you’ll need to consider all of these issues.

The disadvantages of manufacturing overseas can be curbed and managed correctly for a prolific business experience. If you need assistance with your manufacturing project, 3D Innovations can help. Contact us today to see how we can assist.


Developing Ideas From Concept To Product®

3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, & LinkedIn today.

March 2024

Most Viewed Posts

BabyToon Testimonial

error: Content is protected !!