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Common Manufacturing Terms
If you are looking to buy goods for your home or business, you may want to consider buying goods directly from a manufacturer to save money. Manufacturers produce anything from boats to watches for sale to businesses or direct to consumers. Below are five terms to be familiar with when buying goods from a manufacturer.
Manufacturers - Companies that produce products for sale using raw materials, like plastics, metals, and glass, which they turn into finished goods. Manufacturers may produce products for sale to wholesalers and retailers or produce products for sale in their own retail stores. For example, car manufacturers produce vehicles for sale in their own car dealerships.
Manufacturer Coupons - Coupons offered by the manufacturer of a product that can be used at any store that sells the product. Food and home goods manufacturers often offer coupons online or in newspapers to encourage consumers to buy their products.
Manufacturer's Outlet - A store where a manufacturer sells their goods directly to consumers at wholesale prices. Manufacturer's outlets typically sell overstock or blemished goods at discount prices. Often manufacturer's outlets that sell clothing or furniture are grouped together in outlet malls.
Wholesalers - Companies that sell goods in bulk to retailers. A wholesaler will buy goods like furniture or mobile phones from a manufacturer and then resell them to another business at a higher price.
Retailers - Companies that sell goods directly to consumers. Retailers typically display products in their stores, on the internet, or in catalogs. A retail store usually specializes in the sale of a particular type of products. For instance, a retail store might sell clothing, watches, or mobile phones exclusively.
Manufacturers produce the things we use every day. Many of these companies operate on a national or even an international scale. Others are more local and may distribute only within a small area or a state.
Many manufacturers outsource to China or Taiwan. Locating a factory overseas can allow them to obtain cheap labor and thus reduce costs. This causes products to be cheaper, although many consider such outsourcing in a negative light as a practice that moves jobs away from America. However, most industries outsource to at least some extent. Even high technology is often outsourced.
Manufacturers often have complicated supply systems intended to ensure a supply of materials and tools and get their products to market. Logistics is as important as engineering. Raw materials such as plastic, steel, and rubber are often moved over long distances.
The manufacturing industry also feeds itself, as some manufacturers fabricate tools that are then used by others. Both exports and imports are regulated by countries and governments, but few countries practice much protectionism and in practice goods move at the global level. Manufacturing technology is highly developed and robots are commonly used in factories, replacing or assisting human labor.
In some ways, the manufacturing industry has declined. Consumer goods are now the largest market and a lot of these are electronics and other relatively small items. Cars do remain important, but large scale steel production has somewhat faded as higher technology materials come into use. That, in addition to outsourcing, leads some to believe that there is a crisis in manufacturing in the United States.
However, manufacturing remains highly important. Manufacturers make everything from clothing to personal computers.