Table of Contents
The watch industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years driven by increasing consumer demand, technology innovation, and accessible manufacturing capabilities. Original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) have become prevalent practices for watch brands looking to tap into the latest designs and efficient production systems while minimizing costs.
However, OEM/ODM watch manufacturing also comes with its own set of challenges. Issues can arise during design and development, production, testing, and delivery processes – leading to compromised quality, delays, and budget overruns. Identifying and addressing these pain points is key to ensuring smooth OEM/ODM arrangements and maintaining customer satisfaction.
In this article, we will dive into some of the most common OEM/ODM issues that watch brands face and viable solutions to tackle them. Drawing from our extensive experience as an OEM/ODM watch manufacturer, we will specifically highlight problems across quality control, manufacturing efficiency, cost management, testing capabilities, and delivery timelines. The solutions presented will center on building robust supply chains, optimizing workflows, strengthening quality protocols, increasing automation, and boosting project management.
Additionally, we will also showcase our strengths and core competitiveness as a watch OEM/ODM partner renowned for exceptional quality, value, delivery performance, and customer service. The insights can aid potential clients in evaluating and engaging with a reliable OEM/ODM company to mitigate the described issues in watch manufacturing projects.
Issues in Design and Development
The design and development phase lays the critical foundations for watch manufacturing by transforming product concepts into tangible plans. However, common pitfalls at this stage include:
Component Procurement Mismatch
Watch movements and cases depend on intricate components like hands, dials, crystals, straps, and precision parts that are sourced from external suppliers. Procuring lower-grade or non-compliant components that don’t match specifications can severely undermine quality. Strict vetting and quality assurance testing of suppliers is thus essential.
Subpar Design Quality
Brands lacking watch design expertise often develop products that fail compliance and testing against ISO standards, WR rating norms, and durability benchmarks. Weak designs lead to quality issues down the line. OEM/ODM partners with seasoned design and engineering teams can create compliant and tested designs.
Prolonged Development Timelines
The watch development process including conceptualization, design, prototyping, iterations, verification, and freezing the design is complex and thus prone to delays. OEM/ODMs with past experience and the right tools like CAD software, 3D printing, CNC machines, etc. can accelerate the development process.
The solutions to mitigate these design and procurement related risks include robust supplier audits and integration, experienced design teams, and utilizing the latest tools and prototyping setups – right from the design phase rather than as an afterthought. This strengthens the overall product design and quality foundations.
Issues in Production and Manufacturing
After design completion, watches enter the crucial production phase where quality and efficiency challenges can emerge:
Insufficient Quality Control
Lack of stringent quality protocols, inadequate testing at different production stages, and overdependence on suppliers leads to compromised quality. Investing in quality assurance infrastructure for motion testing, water resistance testing, drop testing, and more is imperative.
Low Production Efficiency
Manual and legacy production methods restrict output volumes and cause inconsistencies. Latest technologies like CNC machines, robotic arms, enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), and rigorous Lean/Six Sigma-based workflows are essential for scalability.
Difficulty in Cost Control
Volatility in component pricing, inadequate production monitoring systems, process waste, and lack of cost optimization practices makes budgeting and cost reduction difficult. Robust procurement strategies and technologies like IoT and data analytics to drive efficiency gains become necessary.
Tackling these manufacturing issues hinges on supply chain transparency, workflow optimization, automation enablers, real-time data monitoring, and continuous improvement – requiring coordination between OEM/ODM and brand partners along with process and technology upgrades.
Issues in Testing and Delivery
Before handing over finished watches, they undergo extensive testing. Delivery milestones also need alignment. Pitfalls include:
Insufficient Testing Capabilities
Superficial testing focusing only on basic functions rather than standards compliance and durability benchmarks leads to products prone to early failures and consumer complaints. Investments into latest lab gear for mechanical, electronics, visual, EMC/EMI testing is a must.
Delayed Delivery Timelines
As intricate mechanical devices, watches have little tolerance for production delays or quality issues. Supply uncertainties, lack of process buffers, poor planning, and lack of visibility into production workflows makes delays inevitable. Improved forecasting, risk management, and tracking helps.
Inadequate After-sales Support
Complex repair needs of watches due to component damages or construction issues calls for strong after-sales service infrastructure – which smaller OEM/ODMs struggle with. Streamlined warranty and troubleshooting processes are required to maintain satisfaction.
Robust quality assurance bandwidths at all checkpoints, lean delivery workflows to prevent unforeseen delays, and responsive customer service capabilities post-purchase are prerequisites for sustainable OEM/ODM engagements.
Solutions to Mitigate OEM/ODM Issues
By leveraging proven strategies and technologies, OEM/ODM partners can effectively tackle the described pain points:
Building Robust Supply Chains
Vetting and integrating suppliers early using selection criteria covering quality infrastructure, certifications, production capacities, and sustainability compliance ensures steady component supplies. Regular audits and QC testing also strengthens oversight.
Optimizing Production Workflows
Analyzing production lines to minimize waste, installing automated technologies to improve reliability and output volumes, and monitoring real-time data to enable predictive maintenance and fine-tuning prevents efficiency losses while driving up scale.
Enhancing Quality Control
Deploying rigorous quality assurance protocols mandated through process standard certifications like ISO-9001 and setting up latest lab testing gear to validate watch performance as per global benchmarks minimizes non-compliance.
Boosting Project Management
Instituting proven program management frameworks, tracking key metrics around budgets, timelines and quality through tools like product lifecycle management (PLM) software, and constantly evaluating risks improves planning and mitigation.
The technology and process upgrades do involve considerable initial investments for OEM/ODM partners but ensure superior and consistent executions – cementing trust and loyalty amongst clients on stringent quality and delivery demands.
Romlicen’s Strong OEM/ODM Capabilities
As a globally renowned OEM/ODM watch producer catering to leading brands for over 15 years, Romlicen has organically developed specialized competencies to navigate the described challenges:
- Rich Domain Experience
Our decade-plus partnership with 50+ major watch players equips us with deep category insight to craft high-quality, compelling products catering to diverse target groups.
- Skilled Project Teams
Our project squads comprise industry experts across design, engineering, manufacturing, quality analysis, and program management – optimizing every project milestone from concept to delivery.
- Mature Quality Systems
We are ISO-9001 certified and leverage strict quality protocols across supplier selection, component testing, production inspection, lab validation, and after-sales – resulting in <1% warranty claims.
- Advanced Testing Infrastructure
Our state-of-the-art labs with 600+ types of testing equipment ensures all watch performance parameters including accuracy, water resistance, impact resistance, etc. meet global standards.
- Reliable Delivery Performance
Robust manufacturing and supply chain practices supplemented by ERP-based production monitoring enables 95%+ on-time delivery rates, surpassing expectations.
By partnering with Romlicen, brands can rely on best-in-class OEM/ODM services matching top-tier quality without making massive upfront investments – making us a trusted choice globally.
Romlicen's Core Competitive Edge
As established above, Romlicen’s mature OEM/ODM capabilities help mitigate common manufacturing issues watches brands face. Additionally, we provide unique value drivers:
- Superior Product Quality
With stringent quality protocols covering every production step, heavy investments in advanced testing equipment, and seasoned technicians, we ensure all watches exceed established durability and performance benchmarks.
- High Cost-Efficiency
Our scale, process optimization experience, and technological infrastructure ensures we can deliver better output volumes without quality trade-offs – bringing down per unit costs.
- Excellent On-Time Ratios
Smooth collaboration across teams, data-backed production planning, integrated supplier relationships, and contingency mechanisms results best-in-class delivery record.
- High Customer Satisfaction
Our quality and on-time delivery excellence along with seasoned technical post-sales support teams have resulted in 98%+ customer retention over the years.
By consolidating requirements with Romlicen, watch brands can leverage these value drivers to accelerate market entry and growth in a profitable manner – backed by exceptional products and services.
Executing watch manufacturing projects through OEM/ODM partners has emerged as an optimal route for brands to actualize design ambitions without investing heavily into in-house infrastructure. However, lack of preparedness around likely design, production, quality testing, and delivery issues can quickly escalate into unsatisfactory outcomes.
As detailed in this article, challenges like supply mismatches, weak designs, manufacturing inefficiencies, cost overruns, insufficient validation testing abilities, and delays are common when engaging with the wrong OEM/ODM. The suggested countermeasures involve both strategic and operational realignments by brands and manufacturers.
At Romlicen, our technology-fueled production lines manned by expert teams demonstrate proven excellence across critical parameters like quality, reliability, value, and customer service. By tapping into our rich domain experience and purpose-built OEM/ODM offerings right from the design stage, watch brands can develop and launch products smoothly and profitably.
We urge business looking to outsource watch manufacturing to assess capabilities around quality protocols, latest lab equipment, optimized workflows, supply expertise, and documentation compliance during OEM/ODM selection. Building strategic partnerships with manufacturers invested into addressing the outlined issues can make or break market success. Evaluating OEM/ODMs on the dimensions shared can help filter options effectively for long-term gains.