Specialty parts can present a lot of challenges when it comes to procurement, but they don't have to. You may need to deal with multiple manufacturers to get the custom fasteners and other class C components you need for a build. In turn, this can increase lead times and halt your factory's operations while you wait for shipments to arrive. Cutting down on this hassle by resourcing these parts with one supplier is an effective method of lead time reduction that could be advantageous to improve production, especially if your factory is moving toward lean manufacturing.
Let the supplier do all the work of procurement
When you handle all of your own material sourcing, you may spend hours contacting suppliers, ordering components and filling out paperwork when you need to replenish your made-to-print parts. Then you'll have to wait for multiple shipments to arrive and spend time inspecting each shipment to check for quality. Having a supplier source parts for you significantly reduces this workload. The supplier can contact the manufacturers, and typically already has well-established relationships within a global supply chain that can make the transaction move faster and more smoothly. This also means that the supplier has a working knowledge of the quality and reputation of the manufacturer, and may even perform regular audits and reviews, mitigating risk in the supply chain as it relates to quality.
Save money in more ways than one
Reducing labor hours associated with procuring made-to-print parts is just one way your company can save money by sourcing parts with the help of a supplier. Since a supplier spends a lot of time working with the supply base, the established relationship can help get the job done faster. Consolidating your purchases with one supplier increases your leverage, which can lead to faster turnaround times on orders as well as better pricing, and this is especially true if you enlist inventory management services. Services such as vendor managed inventory (VMI) programs allows your supplier to place larger purchase orders, as they will be storing more inventory on-site while only sending you the amount you need. Ordering in bulk directly correlates to lower pricing and can reduce lead times if not eliminate them entirely, since the supplier will already have inventory ready to go when it comes time to replenish the stock on the factory floor.