5 Common Causes of Manufacturing Delays


Manufacturing delays are not only devastating for the primary businesses but also everyone else in the supply chain. One manufacturing plant’s failure can have a domino effect across a supply chain, so business owners must know the causes of manufacturing delays so they can know to stop them from happening.

Design Changes

It is impossible to anticipate every need or change a client or customer would need before starting a production run. Design changes happen all the time because manufacturing is typically a messy process. 

There are so many things that would necessitate a design change. For example, the materials you are using might not be strong enough so you might opt to use stronger ones. However, the new materials might not gel well with the previous design so you must also change the design.

Businesses should have processes for fixing issues and making design changes as quickly as possible once potential issues or changes are detected or requested.

Equipment Breakdown

Manufacturing plants rely on different types of machines to ensure production efficiency. Failure in one of these machines or systems can cause manufacturing to stall, so businesses should be aware of this and prevent it.

Businesses should also know the most likely types of failure. For example, businesses that use pumps should know that pump cavitation is a real concern they should keep an eye on. There are different ways of preventing pump cavitation, the best being routine maintenance. 

This applies to all the machines you own, and you should ensure a technician checks them regularly for issues so they can correct them before small issues become expensive repairs or replacements.


Manufacturers require different raw materials to complete their production runs. Running out of these materials means they have to wait for them to arrive after ordering them. 

Stockouts cause delays, lost time, and bottlenecks that translate into longer lead times and unhappy customers. They can also cause a loss of market share, revenues, and customers if they happen for a long time.

Supplier Issues

Stockouts are worsened if the supplier also has an issue on their end. Common issues include being unable to produce a given quantity in a given period. Many manufacturers also want to fix issues on their end without communicating with their customers. Perhaps they think that would cause their reputation and perceived reliability to decrease.

This lack of clear communication and transparency can blindside even the most well-organized manufacturers, causing issues.

Optimistic Schedules

Many suppliers have strict and optimistic schedules. While it is a good thing to have such schedules to ensure a product can reach your customers, it does not leave much room for maneuver. They set these schedules with the thinking that everything will go right, and everyone is impacted if it does not.

It could also lead to substandard materials or products if the supply team starts cutting corners to hit strict deadlines, thereby creating even more issues for the manufacturer.


Even though businesses do all they can to prevent them, delays are a reality of doing business. Understanding what causes these delays is crucial for knowing how to prevent them and what to do if a delay occurs.

Will Fastiggi
Will Fastiggi

Originally from England, Will is an Upper Primary Coordinator now living in Brazil. He is passionate about making the most of technology to enrich the education of students.

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