How to secure your supply of machined components
Securing your supply chain
Managing supply is one of the most challenging aspects of a buyer’s job.
Of course you need your components at a good price, but the most important thing is that the components are available. And they must be available as soon as they are needed. Otherwise, production lines stop and that’s an issue no matter what industry you operate in.
If supply chains break down due to national or international disruption, that’s one thing, but if it’s down to a supplier underperforming, that’s an avoidable problem that will reflect badly on the purchasing department.
In this article, we break down some key ways you can build security into your supply chain.
What purchasing systems can help secure my supply chain?
For critical production lines, securing uptime by ensuring the right stock levels of machined components is an easy solution.
At Penta, we offer four purchasing systems that can help you achieve this much-desired security, and may also help you find additional cost savings.
1. Call off orders
Place a large order of your machined components and request shipments as and when you need them.
This is good for cash flow, as you only pay when your components are despatched.
Your supplier may be able to offer cost savings too, as a larger order allows for more efficient manufacture and inspection, while locking in material prices for a period of time.
2. Scheduled orders
Like call off orders, place a large order of components, but in this scenario you agree a delivery schedule in advance with your supplier.
This means you have no lead time to manage as components simply arrive when they are supposed to, and it is good for cash flow as you can forecast spend precisely.
3. Kanban orders
A Kanban system offers the ultimate supply chain security. Think of it as three consignments of stock.
The first is with you, the customer, with the stock being run down as components are used.
The second consignment is a complete batch in storage at the supplier. As soon as you need more, this consignment can be sent out immediately, and the supplier begins manufacturing the third – a reserve stock.
Management of a Kanban system necessitates a supplier who truly cares, and when you find the right supplier, there is simply no comparison for the peace of mind it provides.
4. Larger orders
This buying method is not for everyone but if you have good forward visibility, storage capacity and cash flow is less of an issue, buying a larger quantity of parts up front can be an excellent way of reducing unit cost.
Choose a one-stop shop
Choosing a single supplier can save you a considerable amount of time and stress, as well as providing considerable security to your supply chain.
What do we mean when we say 'one-stop shop'? This is a company, normally a CNC machining supplier, who manages the whole process for you - from ordering material, machining, coatings or finishing processes, inspection and even assembly.
If you have previously managed this process yourself, you will know that often small problems can grow into much bigger issues that can take up a considerable amount of your time.
For example, a delay in material arriving will affect a machining schedule. This could then have a knock-on effect for finishing processes such as anodising or coating.
Each time something is delayed, you are at risk of missing your slot with another supplier. Managing this process can take up what seems a disproportionate amount of a buyer's time and put the supply chain at risk.
A one-stop shop will coordinate everything on your behalf. It will be their responsiblity to build in an appropriate level of contiency time to manage the process and meet your deadline.
Penta: securing supply chains since 1998
At Penta, we have extensive experience across multiple market sectors where these purchasing systems are critical to the business running smoothly.
Our one-stop shop service can not only improve supply chain security, it can also save a considerable amount of your precious time.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’, so we will always work with you to find the approach that works best for your business, giving you a secure supply chain for your machined components.
We communicate effectively so we understand your requirements fully. We take care across every stage of the process to ensure you have what you need. And we are consistent in the service we provide.
If you would like to find out more about these purchasing options, contact our estimators today.
Is it time to find a new supplier?
If you have been let down by your machining company , take a look at our changing supplier guide. It is designed to answer all your questions when going through the difficult process of choosing a new provider, from identifying when it's time to make the change, to knowing where to look and what to look for in your new machining partner.
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