“The good news…after a long delay, your project is back on. The bad news…delivery deadlines have not changed and now you need a miracle!”
Cast Products understands that even with all the best planning and anticipation, there are critical projects that require unique solutions. A good partner anticipates this need and stands ready with answers. In this scenario, Cast Products was able to drastically reduce the “time to market” for one of our customers when the call came in for production parts to be delivered in just five weeks.
The Challenge – A Midwest supplier of automotive hardware came to us with a “mission impossible” challenge from their CEO. The company wanted to introduce a new product line to their OEM customers at an industry trade show, but the problem was that the designs were just being completed. They needed a die casting company that could fabricate dies, provide samples, and ultimately deliver fully approved painted parts in five weeks. As an existing customer, they were familiar with our engineering strength and product quality, but we surprised them with our tooling solutions that made this project a reality. Since Cast Products designs and fabricates its own dies, we carry an inventory of common die components and in this case, we had approximately one third of the die completed when this customer placed their purchase order.
Our Approach – We worked with our customer’s engineering staff and developed solid models for the required parts in a few days. We engaged our critical suppliers, making them aware of our needs and securing their commitment. We designed the dies using our powerful Solidworks 2007® CAD Software and our MasterCam® Software to create the most optimal cutting programs. Our tool room operations ran around the clock, scheduling machines without disruption to any existing customers. We had our powder coating supplier staged to receive parts in order to meet shipping deadlines. We had quality controls in place at every step of the process to ensure that no re-work would be required.
The Result – In this case, tools were completed ahead of schedule, the customer was able to test samples for their new product line, and ultimately they introduced a new offering ahead of their competition at the trade show.
Case Study #2
“Remember that special project you tooled up off shore because everybody else was doing it? Don’t worry we can fix it.”
A good deal is hard to pass up, but “if it sounds too good to be true”, it probably is. Cast Products understands that today’s competitive conditions demand cost reductions, but at what cost to your business? In the flurry to reduce price, companies move production overseas without fully understanding all of the risks. In this scenario, Cast Products saved a customer who unfortunately was “burned” by moving business overseas.
The Problem – One of our customers had fifteen months to design and build a new product and had received aggressive pricing from an offshore producer for three complex die-castings. Despite the anticipated communication, engineering, and scheduling concerns, they placed the order offshore figuring they had built-in plenty of time to deal with such problems. Designs moved forward and they experienced their fair share of communication and engineering challenges. Then with only three months left before their deadline, they discovered a product design problem that required extensive design changes to all three parts. These changes required that the near completed dies be scrapped and new dies started again. To make matters worse, their offshore supplier told them, “Sorry, we don’t have time to meet your deadline.” Thus the project that had more than enough time built-in for problems was at a standstill without a contingency plan.
The Solution – The customer brought this problem to Cast Products looking for way to meet their existing deadlines and production needs. We were forced to start from “scratch” as communication with the overseas source was difficult. Cast Products engineers worked side by side with our customer’s engineering team to ensure that the product designs were thoroughly reviewed before the start of die fabrication. Communication between our customer, vendors and Cast Products production departments happened regularly to insure that all deadlines could be met. Potential scheduling conflicts were dealt with and resolved before there was an issue.
The Result – In this case, Cast Products became the contingency plan. The dies and parts were completed on schedule and within budget for the project. Our customer recognized that if they had selected Cast Products from the beginning they would have avoided the risk and unexpected cost (and eventually the hard cost) of doing business overseas.
Case Study #3
“Would you sacrifice two hours to save thousands of dollars? This customer plans on doing it again!”
Understanding what really impacts your costs is critical to achieving substantial part price reductions and savings. We are often pressured by low price when in reality that price ends up costing us something in return. In this case, Cast Products was involved in the early stages of product design and ultimately saved the customer both time and money. Our design suggestions, production strategies, and die-casting expertise delivered outstanding quality and savings.
The Opportunity – A potential customer came to Cast Products with their die-casting needs and complaints that their current supplier was not meeting their quality and delivery requirements. They expressed several concerns and were skeptical about whether or not the die casting process could meet their needs at all. Their expectations of a die-casting supplier had been established by their existing supplier and unfortunately, they had not experienced the benefit of a true business partner. This customer came to Cast Products asking to have existing tools moved in order to improve quality and delivery. What they received was significantly more valuable!
Two hours = $$$ – Cast Products met with the customer for just two-hours and the results were amazing. During the meeting, we concentrated on understanding this customer’s issues, learning about their business, and understanding their requirements. This customer was very receptive to our questions and open about their business. We shared design ideas and discussed several options, which would to meet their needs. The options we raised along with subsequent questions focused on their part design strategies and practices. As we reviewed issues that impacted quality and delivery, we uncovered opportunities to “enhance” their parts and exceed their expectations.
The Result – Cast Products was able to save this customer over $10,000. We developed a solution that (1) reduced the weight of the part by removing unneccesary material,(2) strengthened the part,(3) allowed for multi-cavity tooling and production and (4) made a significant impact on the overall cost of the assembly.
Your business is only as strong as your weakest supplier… how bad does it have to hurt before you say “enough is enough”?