Doing business today, is no longer a static proposition. Driven by dynamic forces, it is an undertaking that is both exciting and challenging and requires constant reevaluation.
“Value” in manufacturing is often defined as the ratio of “function” to “cost.” “Function” brings the product to life. “Cost” is the amalgamation of elements such as raw materials, and production, including processes such as engineering, quoting, sales, purchasing, machine time, assembly, shipping, etc. Unfortunately, and as we all know, “Cost” is not simple to control.
“Value” can also be defined as the opportunity to implement improvements that will allow customers to remain competitive in the marketplace. At Precision Plus (PPI), we strive to deliver that value.
We have come to recognize, however, that our ability to deliver “Value,” is no longer just accomplished by reducing our own costs and/or improving on our own efficiencies, but that these efforts extend beyond our own walls and into our customer/partners’ facilities, requiring collaboration between us both. Customer and supplier must now be members of the same team, pursuing the same goal.
How do we identify and separate the wants and needs of our customers? It is human nature to want the absolute best at the best possible price, but in reality, we are constrained by what we really need and/or can afford. The process requires substantial commitment from both sides in the review of every element of interaction, as well as of the production process itself. Transparency is key in determining each other’s workflows, reviewing the process, identifying unnecessary steps, outlining solutions, and effectively increasing “Value.”
So, at Precision Plus, we have put a plan in motion: We began by reaching out to our customer/partners to have these conversations to reduce costs and improve on efficiencies throughout the supply chain. In the last couple of months, PPI’s leadership team has started to draft a template, which will serve as a model for all of our business efforts. Separating value-added activities from those that do not, is at the core of this process. To develop the PPI Value Template, the Precision Plus Team is utilizing a number of tools, including Value Stream Mapping, Structured Problem Solving, Lean Thinking, and Six Sigma.
Recently, PPI welcomed Di Bartels, Division Lean Manager, who worked with our team for two days at the end of October to share her knowledge on lean principles and value stream mapping. As a representative of one of our customer/partners, she also shared insights from her company’s value systems in place. All departments, from Front Office to Shipping, took part in the workshop, leaving with a much greater understanding of the principle.
We are grateful to have customers that believe in true partnerships and collaborative efforts for improved results for all.
Yes, Precision Plus is a contract manufacturer of Swiss-turned precision components, but our story goes well beyond that. We are in the business of providing the best “Value” to our customer/partners so that, in turn, they can remain competitive in their own marketplaces. We deliver it by providing high quality products, excellent service (from engineering to customer relations), committing to the education and training of our current staff as well as of tomorrow’s manufacturing professionals, and by regularly assessing and improving on our ability to deliver our “Value” to you.
Michael J Reader, President