How are you addressing the occasional need for customized/semi-customized parts?
Here’s a scenario: A customer that typically buys a standard size part from you is now asking for a specialty order where the width is a bit larger than normal. Naturally, your response to this request is "yes", but the reality is that you don’t have the machining availability to accommodate. Now what?
When considering a partner for machining services to produce engineered-to-order parts, here are three factors to consider:
- Dedicated facilities: Part of being able to machine and process customized/semi-customized parts in the most cost-efficient manner is the ability to do so at dedicated facilities close in proximity to your location. Dedicated processing centers offer fast and reliable turnaround for anything from simple cut profiles to more complex fabrications.
- Consolidated steps: Another consideration is being able to consolidate steps in the manufacturing process. The ability to process parts quickly with minimal set-up time means less inventory, and the ability to produce parts in one continuous step reduces the number of times material is handled. For example, multi-process plate machines that are capable of drilling and burning in order to reduce the amount of material handling necessary, or tube laser machines that can streamline multiple steps, leading to a significant cost reduction versus typical machining methods.
- Eliminating Inventory: Seeing that this is a custom part, you probably don't want to carry the inventory. You may be a fit for a just-in-time delivery program that, when coupled with a broad logistical network, ensures you get the material when you need it.
It’s all about staying nimble. Finding the right partner that can process customized/semi-customized parts helps instill confidence that you can continue to secure business while controlling costs and capacity.