Remember back when your customers could only pick two of the three? Well, welcome to 2021 where customers now expect to get their cake and eat it too. There are still remnants of this model in the market, mainly to cost justify expediting a job- ‘if you want it Good and Fast it’s not going to be Cheap!’ But quality for the most part is no longer negotiable, so from the customer’s point-of-view, it comes down to delivery at the best price. In today’s manufacturing world many shops and customers alike are finding that through careful planning, research, and execution they can have it all. As a manufacturer you must remain open to new ideas and ever-present innovation in the industry. Too many shops are losing their competitive edge by holding onto the notion that ‘we have always done it this way.’ At TCI these are the types of customers we strive to support and help succeed.
The key to success in realizing Better, Faster, Cheaper solutions is data. You need to understand the elements of time, cost of money, quality, and the importance of fast delivery. We have found that one of the best ways to stay on top of our game, and in touch with customer expectations, is to value stream map often with the goal of continually improving quality while reducing turnaround time and lowering production costs. Value stream mapping gives us a good hard look at material flow and processes, start-to-finish. It is amazing how we are able to shave seconds and minutes off our processes, all the while maintaining, and in many cases, improving overall quality.
In our experience with value stream mapping, we have found that complete objectivity is a must; we cannot lie to ourselves. During our mapping sessions, it is all about critical and creative thinking – how can we be Better, Faster, Cheaper for our shareholders and our customers? It is important to start with an objective view of where you are at present, this way you can visually map improvements:
1. Create an objective ‘as-is’ state of process for a new or existing job from beginning to end
2. Identify time, materials, or process waste and create an improved process map
3. Create an action plan and timeline to implement changes, and do not forget to monitor improvement
Part of the Process
TCI Precision Metals is part of the value stream map of every shop that utilizes our machine-ready materials, and we take this strategic reliance on our products and services very seriously. When customers map the value provided by machine-ready blanks we have to know, with complete confidence, that we deliver the materials Better – Faster – Cheaper than they can in-house.
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