After the COVID-19 crisis, companies realized that they cannot do things the same way as before. Since then, companies came to recognize how important it is to have a resilient supply chain. Since crises like these will likely happen again, companies will have to plan strategies that can keep their supply chains operating reliably when they occur. Since companies will not be able to control when these events occur, they will need to devise plans to minimize the direct and indirect impacts of these events on their operations. Preparing well made plans can create some assurance regarding how a supply chain can respond to such events. These plans do not have to involve elaborate methodologies, but can employ simpler tactics such as adjusting inventory and lead time, and identifying and reserving robust and reliable sources of materials, transportation and production capacity.
Value Over Price
As companies consider moving their operations back to the U.S., they will still need to diversify their production resources and material suppliers in some way. Some companies will opt to keep all production in-house, but this can pose some risk if a company loses some of their own production capabilities during a crisis. Hence, extra suppliers of production and materials should be selected and retained using criteria other than solely the list price, which is most often utilized. It begins with finding those suppliers who can be reliable sources for materials and production. In addition to price, factors to be considered would include, among others, supplier quality, response, coordination and logistics, required control and visibility, compliance, reputation, intellectual property protection, and business contracts and agreements.
It’s All About Risk
Since suppliers should be viewed as business partners and not adversaries, contractual terms should seek to have all parties sharing risks in some way. Since risk arises from uncertainty, anything that a company can do to eliminate uncertainty in their supply chain can reduce risk. Reserving additional reliable sources of production and materials can further reduce uncertainty. This starts with realizing how a supply chain network is driven by the way the very products it supports are designed and produced. Products should be designed, or at least examined, for those portions that require responsive and dependable sources. This can then form the basis for creating the criteria for choosing the right production and material suppliers, and create further certainty that the product can be produced in a reliable fashion, even during a crisis.
Resilience by Design
In the post COVID era, firms realized that resilience must be built into the design of a product’s supply chain network. It involves using some of the aforementioned approaches, that are based on fundamental principles which did not radically change after the crisis. They include:
• Preparing response plans to minimize the impacts of adverse events on production and sourcing;
• Proactively diversifying material suppliers and production resources, including those that are in-house;
• Pre-emptively reducing risk by eliminating uncertainty in critical points throughout the supply chain, including choosing reliable and responsive suppliers and production contractors.
Hence, utilizing some simple basic approaches can ultimately shape a fulfillment network that can withstand the effects of a variety of crisis.
A unique business model allows Peoria Production Solutions to provide needed wages and benefits for employees while offering competitive pricing for high-quality assembly, kitting, packaging, and other post-production services.
In an era of ongoing labor shortages and high employee turnover, Peoria Production Solutions (PPS) enjoys an exceptionally low turnover rate of just four percent. Nationally, the average turnover rate for manufacturing companies is 43%.
At PPS, longevity is the rule, not the exception. Out of 230 employees:
Number of Employees
Years of Service
An impressive 60% of PPS employees also have consistently perfect attendance.
What accounts for these impressive statistics? A sense of engagement? Job satisfaction? Loyalty and commitment? All of these are factors, but it also has a lot to do with the significant role that PPS plays in the lives of their employees.
Peoria Production Solutions is unique in the sense that 57% of the employees have a diagnosed disability.
It is well known that people with disabilities experience high levels of unemployment. Unfortunately, even though they have exceptional skills and abilities, more than 50% of disabled Americans are unemployed at any given time. On average, the unemployment rate for people with a disability is nearly twice that for people without a disability.
The sad reality is that people with disabilities often find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain satisfying, paid employment. That’s why the jobs and support offered by PPS provide a unique opportunity for persons with disabilities to gain financial and social independence.
The Key to Success
Peoria Productions Solutions’ key to success is focusing on the strengths and abilities of employees, rather than their disabilities. These abilities include (among others) exceptional attention to detail, dedication, and an eagerness to learn new skills.
By creating an environment that is respectful and affirming, the organization creates a win-win for both employees and customers. Customers benefit from the consistently high-quality service that only an organization with a skilled, stable, and dedicated workforce can provide.
Established in 1941
From the very beginning, providing employment and support for people with disabilities has been central to Peoria Productions Solutions’ mission. Established in 1941, the original goal was to provide employment to people recovering from tuberculosis. After incorporating as a not-for-profit company in 1951, the mission was expanded to provide employment, training, and encouragement for all persons with disabilities.
As a self-sustaining 501(c)3 charitable organization, PPS provides contract assembly and other production services for companies of all sizes in a wide range of industries. Services include assembly, wrapping, packaging, kitting, sewing, cutting, finishing, rework, and salvage, as well as turnkey solutions and shipping of finished products.
Peoria Production Solutions recently partnered with PointCore, another Peoria, Illinois based company with a high reputation for providing expertise and management of nonclinical healthcare services. PointCore identifies areas of growth and helps businesses to operate smarter and more efficiently. PointCore provides value across all aspects of nonclinical healthcare operations to add value across healthcare systems that improve operational efficiencies, workforce performance, and patient outcomes.
PointCore works exclusively in healthcare, helping healthcare providers with decades of experience managing nonclinical areas for clinics and hospitals of all sizes. Peoria Production Solutions is proud to expand our operations to join PointCore in their mission to help healthcare systems that are facing increasing pressure regarding supply availability, cost, and operational effectiveness and efficiencies.
Innovation through Strategic Partnership
PointCore initially reached out to PPS about this opportunity to see if we would be willing to partner with them which would entail building a clean room and installing a three ply mask machine. They knew we had the capacity, labor, and resources to add value to their domestic supply chain. Through this strategic partnership, we have had great success in meeting our goals and fulfilling the vision of improving PPE mask production for the healthcare industry.
Peoria Production Solutions shares PointCore’s efforts to solve supply chain issues in PPE manufacturing. PPS has expanded our operations to include machinery and mask making equipment to manufacture PPE face masks including ear loop masks, surgical masks and N95 masks, in our FDA-certified clean room.
We manufacture, inspect, and package PPE face masks with ample room in our state-of-the-art, modern facility with a team of skilled and dedicated staff. Through this strategic partnership, USA made PPE face masks will help PointCore partners to gain better control of their supply chain.
PPS: Driven by a Mission to Positively Impact our Community
PPS is a manufacturing company based in Peoria, IL, that provides employment, training, and encouragement to people with all disabilities. One of our goals is for our employees to achieve financial and social independence in an environment that is respectful, encouraging, and safe. Jointly, Pointcore and PPS achieve both of our missions of transforming healthcare and positively impacting the communities in which we serve.
80+ Years of Creating Jobs and Helping our Customers
Since 1941, Peoria Production Solutions has been driven by our mission of creating jobs for people with disabilities. The company was founded to help patients recovering from tuberculosis to find employment, and today we have grown into a fully self-sustaining not-for-profit company providing a wide range of production and contract packaging solutions.
We invest in our employees through training, encouragement, and provide a family-like atmosphere where our staff enjoys coming to work and is committed to a job well done, in every aspect of their employment.
We recruit and invest in a wonderful team of people that gain experience and master running precise, automated equipment. Our team is committed to a job well done and total customer satisfaction, following strict quality policies as part of our ISO9001:2015 registration. We provide leadership and encouragement with top-down management involvement, where every employee shares in the goal of high-quality, efficient, and productive work.
PPS offers a host of production and packaging solutions, including mask production and healthcare packaging. We offer kitting, assembly and secondary packaging solutions for OEM and private label products including fascial assembly and manufacturing and secondary packaging of many healthcare products. Contact us to learn more about this innovative partnership and our face mask production capabilities.
Peoria Production Solutions recently had an NPR article written about the company regarding its work with Rivian, the electric automaker that produces in Normal, Illinois. Rivian outsourced with PPS to meet their assembly and manufacturing needs on their electric delivery vans.
This article was published on May 18, 2021 and updated on February 16, 2023
Many types of companies have a need to assemble their products, whether a manufacturer that requires the assembly of components for further manufacturing processes or a retailer that must assemble products to make themselves ready for display. Companies that require product assembly must either perform these services in-house or outsource to a contract assembly provider. Outsourcing can be very beneficial to companies, although they should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of contract assembly.
Advantages of Contract Assembly
Companies that utilize the services of a contract assembly provider can realize many benefits that can improve productivity and increase profitability. Some of the ways in which companies realize advantages with contract assembly include increased internal capacity, which allows the company to focus on their niche manufacturing market, budget control, improved quality and delivery, and insight from an experienced assembly provider.
Increased internal capacity – companies that require assembly of products must dedicate floor space and labor to perform in the assembly process. By outsourcing this process to an assembly provider, companies free up internal resources with increased capacity.
Savings on labor and benefits – by outsourcing contract assembly, companies do not need to hire and train individuals to perform these processes, which saves on labor expenses as well as benefits and continual training with employee turnover.
More resources to focus on niche production – freeing up floorspace and labor by outsourcing assembly allows a company to focus on its niche manufacturing market or products.
Increased productivity – companies that receive assembled products on time can improve their own productivity by producing more products internally and increasing sales revenue.
Improved profitability – with a reputable contract assembly provider, companies can increase productivity and profitability with budget control and assurances of receiving quality products on time.
Improved quality and delivery – companies that are having a hard time meeting in-house assembly demands can improve their delivery by receiving assembled products on time. Working with an experienced assembly provider can improve quality when working with a quality-minded assembly house, particularly one that is certified to ISO9001:2015 and practices quality policies.
Insight gained from experienced assembly providers – experienced assembly providers can offer insight into the most efficient assembly methods and offer suggestions to manufacturers to improve the quality and delivery of assembled products.
These are some of the advantages of working with an experienced and quality-focused contract assembly provider.
Disadvantages of Contract Assembly
Companies seeking the services of a contract assembly provider should ensure that this provider has the experience and ask to see their quality policies and performance, including customer satisfaction and on-time delivery history. When working with an experienced, quality provider, there are not many disadvantages of contract assembly. Some issues that could arise with an inexperienced provider may include communication errors, less control over the entire project, intellectual property risks, and quality and delivery issues.
Communication errors – outsourcing to a third party could create communication errors if either party does not clearly relay assembly or quality requirements or issues that may arise. Make sure your assembly provider is responsive to your needs and specifications.
Less control over the entire project – using the services of a contract assembly provider means trusting the provider and having less control in-house over the process. Working with an assembly provider that has a track record of delivering quality assembled products can ease any concerns over losing complete control of a project. Make sure that a work process is developed with quality checks as required to meet your specifications, including any critical dimension checks and quality audit requirements.
Intellectual property risks – companies that must assemble proprietary products or government projects must ensure the safety of intellectual property. A trustworthy and reliable assembly provider will sign nondisclosure agreements and ensure the protection of intellectual property.
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, is a reliable and quality-focused contract assembly provider with more than 80 years of experience. We provide clear communication, work processes, and quality checks that align with our ISO9001:2015 certification and internal quality processes. You can have confidence in our experience, quality procedures, and highly trained staff to deliver contract assembly products on time and to your specifications.