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Supplier Management

Order Management
Checklist

Overview

Many suppliers are great at taking orders and providing a ship date but sometimes are not very effective at planning and communicating. For example, more often than not, they don't maintain safety stocks of materials, don't plan production in a detailed manner, lack work instructions for shop floor workers, and fail to communicate issues promptly. 

Especially for orders with very tight deadlines, having a 3rd party stay on top of the supplier can be very effective. 

 

Example Deliverables

 

  • We provide comprehensive Gantt charts showing all dependencies and work with you on inventory planning to smoothen production, maximize cash flow, and keep your supply chain agile and responsive. We consider all of the details and identify ways to mitigate risks and delays by staying a step ahead.

  • We oversee the entire production process, ensuring material is ordered on time, machines are scheduled, and things are on track.

  • When possible, we visit suppliers and sub-suppliers to ensure that any high-risk item is managed tightly and that things are getting done when they say they will. 

Cost Reduction
Market Analysis

Overview

Manufacturing costs and profit margins don't need to be elusive. Indeed, whenever possible, understanding detailed manufacturing costs helps you make the right design decisions and helps bridge understanding with your suppliers. 

 

Example Deliverables

  • Working with our engineers, we a perform a manufacturing costing analysis of either part or your entire product, considering every single manufacturing step in the process, including direct labor, parts per hour/cycle time, scrap, and other factors.

  • We study the factory's overheads to estimate a reasonable gross margin and estimated manufacturing cost. 

  • By breaking down all of the direct manufacturing costs, we can give you an idea of where there might be opportunities to improve the design, the process or negotiate lower prices. 

  • We can help negotiate lower prices with your supplier through face-to-face negotiations, focusing on costing fundamentals. 

Tooling Management
Maintenance and Repair

Overview

Tooling management is an unusual topic and gets frequently overlooked. However, the cost and reputational implications for assuming a supplier is giving you the best solution or takes good care of your tooling can be substantial. 

 

Not all tooling suppliers are created equal, and there are many options for tooling design. With an experienced engineer and a strong commercial understanding, there might be ways to reduce your costs dramatically. 

 

Further, companies seldom consider maintenance when they buy tooling. This can result in costly repairs down the line, and some cases, requiring complete replacement of the tools themselves. 

Example Deliverables

  • Our experts can visit the facility and ensure that the tool is in good working order, oiled, and/or passivated against corrosion. 

  • We can support you by providing options to meet your goals, whether to minimize your initial tooling investment, improve manufacturability, lower your part price, and more. 

Manufacturer Performance Improvement
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Overview

We can perform process studies with our subject matter experts and look for opportunities to increase manufacturing throughput, improve on-time delivery in full, reduce scrap, improve quality, and reduce cost. 

We have seen many reasons for poor performance and high costs, from excessively long cycle times, to taking very shallow cuts and use slow feeds and speeds during the machining process.

 

Our team can get in there and diagnose these issues and work with you and the supplier to improve.

Using lean and agile tools, we work collaboratively with suppliers management and shop floor workers to plan and manufacture your orders more professionally and efficiently. 

Example Deliverables

 

  • We can work with your supplier and provide or co-develop the processes necessary to ensure your orders are shipped on time in full, on budget, and with the quality required.

  • We investigate machine parameter settings, analyze sub-supplier performance, work with key stakeholders, and drive efficiency improvements with the aim to reduce manufacturing costs.

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