As we see manufacturing gain strength throughout many sectors, the primary conversation we are having with both customers and vendors is around lead-times. Everyone wants to cut costs and work as efficiently as possible, but at the end of the day getting product to market weighs supreme in our fast paced economy. Creating a highly responsive and flexible supply chain is critical, and where we bring value. We are continuously focusing on 3 core areas in order to accommodate shortening lead-times among increased demand.
1: Effective communication-both internally and externally
We all know that communication is critically important. But as things heat up we tend to drop things like following up details, reviewing gantt charts, and attending scheduling meetings. However, if we don’t remain diligent around the details, projects tend to slip and push schedules. It is important that we communicate in real-time both internally and externally. No one likes to have a conversation about a project being late, but it is better to be upfront and transparent with schedules and delays rather than letting people know after the fact. That way options can be discussed and implemented before it’s too late.
2: Real-time Manufacturing Systems
Our custom built real-time systems have always been a unique way to separate ourselves from other tooling suppliers, and as demand grows stronger they play a bigger role than ever in giving us the visibility to commit to projects and lead-times within the shortest timeframes possible. We have the ability to analyze our entire organization’s schedule as a whole, drill down a single part for an individual project, or anything in between in real-time. We also have the ability to run “what if” scenarios to see how booking certain project would affect our current schedule. In other words, we can commit to a project and schedule using real-time data, not just say “no problem” without a clue how and when we are going to deliver.
3: Practice Saying NO
This is a tough one for me, and if we are honest most business owners and managers. We all want to get as much done as we can and help solve all the problems that come our way. But in reality, it’s not efficient. Saying NO to some projects keeps capacity and resource open for projects that fit within your wheelhouse and allows you to be the most efficient. Whether from a company or individual perspective, if everyone says Yes to what they are good at and No to the things they are not, things get done efficiently and in the most timely manner. Saying No to projects that don’t fit in our wheelhouse gives us the capacity to take on projects that do fit us well and we are able to design, build, and commission those projects in the shortest amount of time possible.
It’s great to see manufacturing picking up and we hope it will continue. There will always be things to make and problems to solve and we hope we can have the opportunity to work with you on a project. If you have the need to increase your manufacturing capacity by utilizing weld and inspection fixtures please contact us, we would welcome the opportunity to help!