Awh_tokyo - 3PL makes sense in many cases for commoditized goods.
In our case, there are a few other considerations that favor some wholly-owned domestic operations -
- There are final-stage configuration processes that require product-specific labor (like keycap config)
- TextBlade is very modular. The 3 blades, as well as their subassembly parts are simple to click together.
- This allows us to aggregate parts and subsystems from many global suppliers, for final config in the US.
- The labor cost is a relatively small percentage of overall cost compared to the silicon cost.
- We already do automated test and final QA all in the US.
- We want in-house hands-on and eyes-on final assy to assure quality.
- Due to uncertain US/China trade right now, it has become wise to maintain some operations in the US.
Logistics should presumably not be a core competency, but given the above, we don’t think farming everything out to start wide release will be reliable enough for our standards.
We think other firms are coming around to this same point of view now, and rethinking their all-China sourcing arrangements.
Hope this gives some insight into our planning.