With the 2015 upgrades to the ISO9001 and 14001 standards, and the 2016 alignment of the automotive standard TS16949 (now designated as IATF16949).
Rapid prototyping at H T Brigham adds value for customers
The benefits of 3D printing have been widely reported; fast, low-cost and kind to the environment. This rapid prototyping allows working concepts to be ruled in or out more quickly, speeding up the development process and reducing the project lead time as a whole.
The best things come to those who wait. This is what we are led to believe in life, but when is this really true in business? Of course there are many examples of when playing the long game can pay off big time. In the presswork industry especially, getting on board with customer projects in the initial development stages can be extremely lucrative in the long-term, as long as you can afford the luxury of time.
From a customer point of view though, time can often be in short supply, making our response time as a supplier crucial. The focus on time to market, quick turnarounds and reducing lead-times is extremely prominent.
With these goals in mind, many companies are beginning to evaluate the benefits for localising their supply chain. Where sourcing from the Far East may have offered quite significant cost saving benefits not so long ago, this is now becoming less true, shifting buyer focus closer to home, in a bid to shorten lead times, reduce logistics costs, improve responsiveness and ease the carbon footprint.
What are the important factors?
If a company finds itself in the position of competing for some of this returning business, there are a few things to consider.
First and foremost, they must be globally competitive. If a supplier cannot compete on price, then locality is not likely to be enough to entice a returning buyer by itself.
Communication is also key. Once the relocation of supply has been secured, contact between the two companies must be comprehensive from the start and frequent throughout. This ensures that the customer’s exact requirements are understood from the outset and are met effectively.
H T Brigham achieves this by assigning a dedicated project engineer to act as the main point of contact for the customer. This person will immediately conduct an in-depth liaison with the customer, so that we can fully understand and respond to their request. The project engineer will then be fully responsible for coordinating processes internally, in order to achieve a smooth transition, on time and without disruption to the customer’s assembly lines.
Manufacturing processes must also be robust enough to ensure a smooth transition, without compromising the supplier’s existing production. Planning, communication and coordination between relevant departments is central to the project’s success.
H T Brigham recently completed a project for a new customer, which needed to urgently re-source one of their components more locally. The company, which manufactures automotive cable assemblies, was experiencing some significant logistical issues with their existing supplier inIndia. In a bid to resolve these issues, theMidlandsbased company wanted to shorten the supply chain and opted to source from a local supplier.
This project had to be completed within an extremely strict timeframe of 12 weeks. Within this time, prototypes were required, tooling needed to be designed, manufactured and trialled and production needed to have commenced. This had to be done quickly and efficiently, so that the customer’s assembly lines remained fully operational.
An organised approach was vital. To ensure that the deadline was met, H T Brigham assigned a project engineer to oversee all aspects of the project from start to finish; tool design right through to full scale component manufacture. The project was successfully completed on time, allowing our customer to meet the critical deadlines of their own customers.
This is just one example of how H T Brigham was able to quickly and effectively accommodate a customer’s urgent requirements. It is our aim to support all of our customers in this way, using our expertise to help solve any presswork issues which they may have.
So, for those companies thinking about sourcing their presswork requirements more locally, the transition doesn’t have to be all that difficult. With local suppliers often having the edge when it comes to responsiveness and flexibility, many OEMs are now looking to source globally competitive components from just around the corner. All we have to do is make sure they know we are here.