Probably every manufacturing company changes its portfolio from time to time, which can lead to certain internal changes. At the same time, this also makes larger demands on suppliers who have to assess whether the individual purchased components are usable for production. A well-managed process can save a lot of time and money in these types of scenarios.
In our experience, however, we’ve seen how these companies fail to understand how missing steps in their processes can end up creating huge problems. For example, companies may accrue higher costs, more stress on employees involved, or suffer the postponement project deadlines.
Let’s use an example: a manufacturing company came to us with an issue. The sample components for a product were sent directly by the supplier to the company without the previous required measurements. Due to the fact that it was primary production, it was only a matter of time before they encountered an error. What did actually happen?
- The manufacturing company detected an error during the initial inspection (it would be even worse if this error was discovered on the assembly line). The component sent by the supplier from the other side of the world did not meet the requirements, and due to this 'small' misstep, the company had to deal with a large number of problems. The component traveled by ship for several weeks, wasting a lot of time. The next component could arrive by plane and be on the line much earlier, but the 'extra costs' would gradually increase in the meantime.
- As a result the company had no choice but to wait for the new shipment. This resulted in delays in deadlines, which delayed the entire launch of the product line.
- The production company ceased to meet the economic aims, partial goals of the departments. and even the needs of individual employees.
- The team of employees who weren’t responsible for the problem also suffered losses.
- In the end, the whole problem was transferred to the supplier, which led to a deterioration in business relations.
A simple way to have avoided this situation would have involved accurately defining the whole process ahead of time so nothing was missing.
How did ApuTime solve this case?
ApuTime helped the production company to design an ideal “tailor made” process:
- The design department of the manufacturing company first calculated and drew the required component.
- An internal team consisting of all relevant staff (for example, purchasing, quality, production, etc.) commented on the proposal.
- The internally annotated and modified component was then sent to the supplier.
- The supplier's task was to prepare comments (for example, on the complexity of production and the price of the mold). It also estimated the time required to manufacture and deliver the part.
- The manufacturing company then ordered the production of the sample in the required quantity and sent the measurements to the supplier.
- Once the manufacturing company approved the measurement, the supplier physically sent the parts.
- Then the manufacturing company incorporated the component into production and made a prototype.
- Once everything checked out, the company could then start on serial production.
This precisely managed process helped the manufacturing company to set the exact sequence of activities for further future portfolio updates. As a result, parts are no longer sent before being approved by the internal team. This has helped reduce waste, and increased efficiency (both in terms of time and costs). If an error does occur, it it now easily detected in time for a correction to be made or for management to address where the process is being hung up.