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A short guide to consolidating your component buying

clock 5 minutes | 16 Oct 2019

Consolidating components can bring benefits

When you start looking at whether to consolidate your injection moulded component buying with one manufacturer, it can initially seem like putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Customers who have chosen to consolidate their components with us have found that it can bring plenty of benefits, including access to better processes and products, cost-effective components and a hassle-free service that suits their production needs.

They’ve also found that our global distribution has meant that they can easily scale up their component buying easily, rather than dealing with local suppliers for every component.

However, it’s often thought that without using different manufacturers for different parts, it’s impossible to get a competitive cost and raises the risk of running out of component supplies or delaying lead times due to a problem in the manufacturing process.

So, what’s the truth behind consolidating your injection moulded component buying?

Building relationships with your manufacturer can bring benefits

Better relationships equal big benefits

As with any business partnership, teaming up with an injection moulding manufacturer to consolidate your component buying can bring advantages to both your costs and operations in the long and short term.

Operationally, bringing all of your component buying under the banner of one manufacturer means that they can work with you to make the ordering, delivery and storage of components easier.

These improvements in process efficiency will help to reduce wasted costs. Plus, if a manufacturer has a better overall picture of your needs, they’ll be able to recommend and help with ordering volumes and component selection. This will help to bring down overall costs.

This was the experience of Tecumseh, an air-conditioning and refrigeration manufacturer who decided to consolidate their component buying with us after having problems with six different suppliers. Sourcing their cable glands, locks and cable management components from one place made their ordering process more efficient. The team could take advantage of just-in-time ordering, reducing costs and the need for storage of excess products.

Having a greater visibility over the team’s needs and manufacturing process also meant that they were able to reduce the number of cable glands Tecumseh needed by 66%.

Jerome Erba, Industrial Buyer for Tecumseh said: “The wide range and service from Essentra Components meant it was a simple decision to reduce our supplier base, which has made the whole buying process much more efficient.”

Working with your manufacturer to create custom components

Quicker, hassle-free customer service

Partnering with a manufacturer also means that they’ll have more visibility over your full production processes and schedules. This will help them to make sure you’ve always got the right part for your needs at the right time.

As both a distributor and a manufacturer, we work with all our customers to make sure they get their components at the right time in their production schedule wherever they are in the world. When customers consolidate their components with us though, we can offer next level service and are able to build a relationship that enables customers to get the parts they need easily and quickly, whatever the scale or time restriction.

More efficient customer service was the main benefit for a steel construction specialist. One of their buyers said, "I received a very fast and competent customer service. Also all the help I needed."

Same supplier, same component quality

Selecting the same supplier for all your components means you can be sure that they’re of a consistent quality across the whole range. By knowing that your manufacturer is using a standard and repeatable process to create your parts, has plenty of experience across different sectors and meets industry standards, you can be more sure that they’ll be of high-quality. This means less disruption to your lead times and less headaches trying to deal with low-quality suppliers.

As well as ensuring quality within standard products, building a relationship with your injection moulding manufacturer can also give you access to their prototyping and sampling processes, so you can get the exact part you need, whether it’s a standard or custom component.

Your manufacturer can help you prototype a new product

Accessing the latest processes

By working closely with our team, metal fabricator Bax Metaal used our prototyping and sampling process to create the perfect component for their product within 12 weeks of their initial brief.

The solution, which was for levelling feet that included a cost-effective plastic insert and bumper for a new bed frame design, was developed through extensive discussions with the team and the creation of free samples and prototypes. The resulting product meant that Bax Metaal saved on assembly costs, 425 hours of assembly time and managed to get their box spring frame (and their customer’s new bed design) to market on time.

Mathijs Kox, Director for Bax Metaal, said, “Essentra Components’ flexibility and capability to deliver the same day means we are able to support the ongoing demands from our customers, hassle free.”

Manufacturers can bring benefits to developing products

Improved value for money

When looking at the value for money of consolidating your components, it can often be a balancing act between time and cost efficiencies. Consolidating means better security in terms of:

  • Delivery times
  • Part quality
  • Time saved within the product development process

It also means that buyers, rather than having to focus on individual orders and relationships with different suppliers, can invest in the long-term picture of component buying. Rather than in the short-term purchases your making with several manufacturers.

Your manufacturers can help to make component choice easier

What to consider with component consolidation

Although there are plenty of benefits and advantages to consolidating your component buying with a manufacturer, it’s important that you select a trusted, high-quality supplier who you know will be able to meet your company’s needs.

Some of the areas you may need to consider when choosing a manufacturer are:

  • Can the supplier provide a wide enough range of standard products?
  • Can they deliver them when and where you need them easily?
  • Are the supplier’s components high quality enough for your needs?
  • Are you prepared to share your production schedules and processes with them?
  • Do they have the ability to help you develop custom products when needed?
  • Do they have more than one process available to you e.g. injection moulding, dip moulding?

Consolidating your component buying can bring a range of cost and time efficiencies. However, it’s important that you consider these questions to help you to decide whether consolidating your buying is right for your business and if so, which manufacturer would be the best option to choose.

Tecumseh Case Study