It is difficult to escape supply chain frustration right now. Volatile pricing, stretched delivery dates and even lack of input availability are making it nearly impossible to predictably fulfill customer needs. While we all are experiencing these pains, you may be able to implement low-volume inventory to alleviate some of those challenges.
So how does low volume-stocking help you serve your customers?
Once you’ve established components or kits for stocking, Rexarc can help with your custom fabrication needs. You can put our nearly century of excellence to work for you.
We are currently only guaranteed pricing from our suppliers for 24 hours. Never has that happened.
Yes, that complicates decision-making. But if you are working with a manufacturing partner who understands, monitors and analyzes their input supply lines, they can help you decide and lock in a price. With prices for most inputs, including metal alloys, predicted to rise over the next year, locking in a price on fabricated components today could save you exponentially down the road.
Lower input costs allow you to pass those savings on to your customers. That’s a definite advantage in the marketplace.
Take Advantage of Input Availability
The global pandemic disrupted normally reliable suppliers, even taking some of them out of business. While still learning from this challenge, we need to keep in mind that other outside forces could impact our supply chains at any time, regardless of where those inputs originate. Delays in some commodities have essentially rendered input unavailable. This is our reality for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn how to work within these constraints.
When you partner with a custom manufacturer to provide regular low-volume stock, you can take advantage of input availability. If and when those supply chains tighten, you will reduce worries about being able to procure needed materials and fulfill your customer’s needs.
Overcome Staffing Challenges
Staffing challenges, while heightened during the pandemic, always present challenges. The absence of one team member can adversely impact production and seasonalities, such as holidays and peak vacation times, result in varied staffing levels at times.
Low-volume stocking can help level out staffing peaks and valleys. When short staffed, low-volume stocking of components or kitting of critical parts allows your team to focus on your core competency rather than building components or gathering key parts.
Consider Low-Volume Stocking as Market Edge
Look for a manufacturing partner skilled at monitoring and analyzing supply chains. Suppliers should also have diverse supplier relationships. Stay away from suppliers that rely solely on one or two sources and do not monitor supply chains. Many of us have built relationships with suppliers over the years and enjoy working with them. However, limiting the number of supplier options can critically impact your partner’s ability to deliver as promised. Yet, it remains critical that your partner has done rightful due diligence for suppliers.
International consulting company, McKinsey & Co., has a great analysis of building a flexible supply chain and how to decide about taking on low-volume stocks. Their research findings were published in April 2020, so they do not take the global pandemic and resulting logistics and economic challenges into account. Be sure to take those factors into account when deciding whether or not you want to take on low-volume stocking.
When you have a low-volume stock of necessary parts and components you can overcome some of your customer service challenges with fluctuating supply chains. When you deliver on or even exceed customer expectations during such unsettled times, you will find very loyal customers, even after the supply chain challenges are resolved.
To learn how Rexarc can help you with a low-volume inventory program, email Greg Rush.
Summary – Low-volume stocks of components and frequently used parts can help boiler manufacturers and other custom fabricators overcome challenges. Rexarc can help with custom steel tank and deaerator needs. Rexarc’s generations of steel tank excellence can help you deliver on your customer’s expectations.
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