Fasteners and Class C Component Supply

Falcon supplies fasteners and inventory management services to manufacturers in North and South Carolina, Kentucky, and the surrounding areas.

Charlotte Office

10715 John Price Road
Charlotte, NC 28273

Phone: 800.438.0332

Mobile: 704.588.4740

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 7429 | Charlotte, NC 28241-7429

Phone: 704.588.4740

Fax: 704.588.5753

Kentucky Office

11536 Commonwealth Drive
Louisville, KY 40299

Phone: 502.266.6292

Fax: 502.526.5567

5 Common Problems Affecting Lead Times

Lead time reduction is a great way to improve productivity, increase output of finished products and streamline operations. However, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often encounter road blocks that extend lead times, which can slow down and otherwise negatively impact the manufacturing process. Here are five issues you are likely to encounter that can drag production down, and how you can approach these problems when you're working on reducing lead times.

1. Stock-outs
It's impossible to build equipment when you're missing the the necessary parts. Whether you underestimated the amount of stock you needed or you forgot to place an order to replenish before you ran out of a certain fastener, bolt or other component, waiting for the new inventory to be delivered will eat up time and money. This is especially problematic if the parts are not commonly available, as the lead time can be weeks or months. There are a few different solutions to this problem. A vendor managed inventory (VMI) program allows you to automate stock replenishment from an off-site supplier who uses Just in Time (JIT) inventory management to order and deliver components based on your usage.

2. Lead time variability
When ordering parts like fasteners and class C components, the lead time can vary from vendor to vendor. This makes it difficult to predict when items will be delivered and even harder to coordinate production. Supply Chain Digest pointed out that the variability may create inventory surplus and stock-outs. While the latter is more likely to slow down operations, the former can be problematic as well. Ordering excess inventory strains your budget. One effective strategy to eliminate this issue is to consolidate your company's suppliers. Rather than ordering from various providers and receiving shipments at random, having one supplier means everything will arrive together. This can help cut down on shipping costs and make it easier to schedule builds and get them done with less hold-up.

3. Shipping delays
This is perhaps the most unpredictable issue that may arise for OEMs. A number of factors can affect shipments, from raw material shortages to natural disasters to human error. For this reason, it is difficult to avoid problems, but it's not impossible to reduce risk. Finding a supplier located close to your factory is not necessarily feasible. This is why working with a supplier who keeps inventory on hand in its warehouse and on order while continuously monitoring your usage is a best practice. Using fewer suppliers is also advantageous when you're worried about delays. The fewer shipments you have coming in, the less likely an accident or other road block will extend the delivery date.

4. Too many processes
When factory workers have to build every component of a finished assembly, it will take longer to complete a project. This means your output is lower and your return on investment (ROI) is less than if you were able to produce more finished products in the same time frame. You may be able to unburden your manufacturing team of some of these tasks by having subassemblies built off-site. Then, they will arrive ready to go, saving countless hours of production. Your products will take less time to complete, so you can make and sell more, resulting in more profitability and happier customers.

5. Disorganized inventory
Keeping all of the parts to complete a build on-site allows you to easily assemble the finished product. However, if your component supply warehouse is at all disorganized, you can lose a lot of time hunting down the items on your build list. This is especially the case if you stock surplus parts, as the excess inventory can make this process even more challenging. If you have a VMI program in place, the supplier can keep track of your fasteners and class C components in an off-site storage facility. Then the only parts you'll have on hand are the ones you need, so finding these items is much less of a wild goose chase.

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Reliable Stock™ Lean VMI Solutions by Falcon

Falcon’s Reliable Stock™ lean VMI program delivers 100% production uptime efficiency and reduces your lead times, while lowering your overall inventory investment in class C production components and fastening supplies. Download the Reliable Stock™ brochure today to find out how you could be saving time and money.
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By | 2017-03-21T12:00:33+00:00 August 14th, 2014|Categories: Reducing Lead Times|Comments Off on 5 Common Problems Affecting Lead Times

About the Author:

Michelle is the Marketing Manager at Falcon Fastening Solutions, Inc. She is focused in communicating value to Falcon's customers, contacts and audiences by sharing the company's unique approach to fastening and class C production component supply.