Efficiency is essential for success

20th January 2017
Source: Optimas
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Efficiency is essential for success

In a world that is constantly changing, where globalisation and rapidly advancing technologies are driving the competition like nothing we have seen before, efficiency holds a great power. Lean Manufacturing, Factory Automation, Renewable Energy; all of the major advancements in industry over the past decade can be linked back to efficiency - even the newest hyper cars are hybrids. So why would a manufacturer put its production schedule at risk by operating a less than efficient supply chain?

As a supplier of fasteners and C-Class components, Optimas Solutions offers support and integration at every level; helping its partners to reduce weight, cut costs and maximise productivity.

While they may not be as technically complicated as other mechanical components, fasteners play a vital part on every production line in the world. The vast quantities that are used on a day-to-day basis by even Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) manufacturers are staggering, underlining the importance of efficient supply chain management.

Standardising designs to reduce part counts; using new materials to shed weight and complexity; ordering from a single source to secure lower costs and reliable supply; each of these activities can have a significant and instant effect on the bottom line.

Unfortunately the reality is that it requires a great deal of expertise and time-consuming analysis in order to integrate such changes without interrupting a busy production schedule. It’s very rare that internal personnel – be it engineering, production or management – have the capacity to investigate such things while focussing on ‘bigger picture’ issues. Often these smaller details remain unexplored, meaning that it is often an area of opportunity that goes untapped.

Sourcing spare capacity                 
This is where an outsourced provider of integrated supply chain solutions and engineering support can add value to production. Optimas believe that working with each customer as a partner, helping them reap the rewards with minimum upheaval is important. Of course, each customer has a different list of capabilities, requirements, limitations and expectations, so building and delivering a service for every customer around the world.

This service will vary in complexity from bulk supply of standard fasteners, through to bespoke engineered components delivered in high volumes to multiple sites. In many cases we offer complete management of a customer’s supply chain for fasteners, c-class components and MRO assets.

At the start of any partnership spending time getting to know your business: your goals, strengths, products, capabilities and future designs is crucial, and teams at Optimas will assess current situations and coordinate a suite of services that will help to streamline and improve production while keeping the total cost of ownership in check.

This service level is only possible because of the foundations a business is built on. Optimas include analysts and logistical experts who work with Just-In-Time delivery and forecasting demand; holding regionally based ISO registered and VDA 6.2 certified quality centres is another benefit Optimas include as well as offering in-house manufacturing capabilities in both Europe and the US.

Reaping the benefits
The company has abilities beyond logistics and into design and manufacturing, so customers can improve its product at the drawing board. A recent example saw the number of different fastener type’s fall by over 40% on a single production line. The reduced unit cost from larger bulk orders led to immediate savings, while the fastener design sped up the production line to improve overall efficiency.

In another example a luxury automotive manufacturer wanted to reduce the instances of fastener variant on a new model launch. So bespoke products were developed and supplied a database of all available fasteners which could be accessed and ordered from the customers’ intranet. In total, this collaboration has delivered cost savings of over £3m.

Efficiency designed in
In truth, efficiency is a very broad word, which can be used to describe a multitude of design advantages, each of which can help a business to maintain a competitive edge. It can often be hard to ‘see the wood for the trees’ when looking at all the possible improvements – deciding which ones will genuinely provide long term, sustainable improvements can be a full time job in itself.

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