RAPID PROBLEM SOLVING TO SUDDEN DEMAND INCREASES
Unexpectedly, one of our customers faced a tremendous demand increase – triple the forecasted output quantity – within a time frame of one month! What looked very positive at first glance caused heavy conflict on the supply chain side: With the suddenly increased demand versus the originally required production capacity, the end customer was facing a shutdown of the production line, possibly resulting in penalty costs to our customer.
Neither the planned capacity buffer of our automated connector production lines nor additional workforce would have covered the sudden quantity increase. We had to find a solution without compromising product quality while avoiding time-consuming development and approval procedures.
We were able to raise the production rate based on our existing automation lines by changing the reel packaging system from heat-sealed to self-adhesive tape. This increased the line output by about 30 percent.
Our customer agreed on this ad hoc solution, still a long-term solution had to be found. Instead of implementing four additional automated production lines, which would take ten weeks and strongly increase investment costs for our customer, we analyzed the whole process thoroughly to unveil all the bottlenecks. For example, by quickly implementing parallel processing stations in selected production steps, we were able to meet the 200 per cent increase in demand while reducing the turnaround time from ten to six weeks – at little additional cost compared to additional production lines.
We are proud to have found a time- and cost-saving solution together with our customer that demonstrates our proactive collaboration and performance in project, process and quality management as well as our fast decision-making based on teamwork.
In short, this is the result of our “Make it possible!” attitude.
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