Subcontracting is a business model in which part of the manufacturing process is outsourced to a third party. More specifically, it is the outsourcing of certain production activities, that were previously performed by the manufacturer, to a supplier or contract manufacturer. Subcontracting is also referred to as Contract Manufacturing.
A business may outsource the manufacture of certain product components or outsource the assembly of the product.
Many outsourcing businesses have become specialists in a multitude of services for manufacturers, including design, production, assembly, and distribution.