What do high freight costs have in common with stock-outs and late shipments? If you can’t get the rubber products that you need, does it really matter what you’d pay for freight or how long you’d wait for items to arrive? As global supply chain disruptions continue, it’s time to stop looking at purchasing, inventory, and shipping problems in isolation. Stock-outs that stop assembly lines have plenty in common with high freight costs and lengthy shipping times. That’s because the solution involves partnering with a vendor with the right capabilities, including forecasting.

In a recent article for Supply Chain Management Review, Paul Sorrek of Miller Fabrication Solutions poses five questions that manufacturers need to ask of their existing vendors and when vetting potential new partners.

  1. Do you have a diversified customer base?
  2. Do you have the capacity to take on new work?
  3. Can you demonstrate a commitment to a “no surprises” relationship?
  4. Can you get the necessary certifications in time?
  5. Are you willing and able to invest in people, processes, and technology?  

Let’s take a closer look at each question in terms of rubber fabrication. Along the way, we’ll explain how value-added manufacturing from Elasto Proxy has what you need. Contact us to get started.

Diversified Customer Base

Rubber fabricators that are largely dependent on a single customer may not prioritize other projects – including yours. The sudden loss of this customer might free-up capacity, but your vendor may also have a difficult time staying in business. Whether you’re auditing a current vendor or vetting a potential partner, ask how the fabricator’s business is divided among its customers. At Elasto Proxy, we serve Tier 1 OEMs with names you’d recognize as well as lesser-known companies with very successful businesses. 

Manufacturing Capacity

In the heavy equipment industry, metal fabricators are expected to take on millions of dollars in work with little to no warning. You might not spend this much on rubber products, but it’s still important to determine whether a vendor can respond to new opportunities. It’s also worth asking about your partner’s growth strategy to determine if they can expand with you. At Elasto Proxy, we recently added a second water jet cutter and have plenty of warehouse space to store your raw materials and finished goods.

Transparent Communications

Effective forecasting enables suppliers to avoid stock-outs, minimize freight costs, and avoid late shipments. Your vendor forecasts its own operational requirements, but are your company’s sales forecasts part of the big picture? At Elasto Proxy, we can incorporate your sales forecast into our material resource planning system and process releases against a blanket PO. Because we communicate with you regularly and transparently, we’ll also tell you if issues arise and work with you to find solutions.  

Certifications

Does your company need a rubber fabricator with a proven quality management system (QMS)? Do you need industrial rubber products that are free from defects and that ship on-time? It can take months or even years for a rubber fabricator to implement a QMS, or to achieve a certification from an independent accrediting body. At Elasto Proxy, we’re already ISO 9001:2015 and AS 9100D certified. Whether you’re an industrial company or part of the aerospace supply chain, we’re ready to work with you.    

Investments in the Future

Vendors who are investing in their own future are better positioned to help your company achieve its goals. From our recent addition of a second water jet cutter to our ability to meet your sales forecasts, Elasto Proxy can grow with you. Rubber may be a commodity item, but we’re not a commodity company.

For value-added rubber fabrication you won’t find anywhere else, contact us.       

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