you asked for it, you are a dreamer!
before I comment in extreme detail i think i need more clarification from you… but obviously there are some things that are not feasible to produce in-house. bearings, bushings, wheels, grip tape, battery cells, wire…
At the end of the day the enertion business for me is about creative thought process, awesome design & grouping things (off the shelf & custom made parts) together in a way that is unique to my brand! Gathering of things together that would be otherwise extremely difficult for the individual to achieve on their own & leveraging suppliers to scale with growth & satisfy demand. I don’t do any manufacturing in house.
There will always be a procurement role in any business. Whether it’s the raw material or a finished product… You can’t make everything!
Do I only use suppliers that manufacture every single part themselves? NO… does that matter? of course it doesn’t! For me it’s about the lead times, finished result quality. I dare say if any factory tried to make everything themselves the quality would probably decline, if not the service would.
The trick is creating a really awesome product that no one else has & also being able to scale up and produce at a rate to meet demand whilst trying to protect your IP… to do this requires outside supply and lots of strategy & time.
If you got 100 orders of your unique hollow-core eboard design today, Can you do the work yourself in your shop in a timely manner?.. Maybe you have to spread the production out over 4-6 months or more, this could result in people going elsewhere & loss of a sale which will ultimately stop your business growing. NOW, if you only outsourced some production you could satisfy demand and hopefully bank some profit that could be reinvested in tooling or HR to allow you to grow bigger & meet the demand better in the future.
I do respect your ethos… But somethings are just not feasible for small business. If you can’t quickly scale to meet demand you will always be chasing your tail. That is why many businesses, in your words, are; “merely moving product”
I don’t manufacture anything in my 6m x 8m garage! Does that mean my business doesn’t have heart & soul?