What Custom Interface is doing to overcome long lead times

Image of Custom Interface Team
Custom Interface Team

There are many sad stories about lead times which have impacted businesses around the world. For instance, Rockwell Automation Manufacturing Lead Times | As of June 22, 2022 shows lead times for some items as high as 200 days. It is now common to experience delays because of ongoing supply constraints stemming from components shortages and related issues. Will it be enough to move people to change their mindsets and processes relied on for years? We hope so.

The Custom Interface team took on the challenge to improve our lead time, in spite of the obstacles and constraints. We continue to highlight the benefits of our stocking programs and now think differently about “Just-In-time Manufacturing” with new market conditions.

We are happy to say that we have achieved a 60% reduction in lead time this year by implementing these strategies:

  • Managed labor constraints and shortages

    • Expanded Hiring Pool of Candidates with region wide outreach

    • Highlighted Advancement Opportunities

    • Increased Flexibility in Roles

    • Aligned Compensation with Inflation

  • Supply constraints that impact vendors as well

Custom Interface is adopting three inter-related strategies to strengthen resiliency:

    • Visibility: CII deployed additional procurement team members to monitor the supply chain in real time which reduced reaction time when bottle necks occur.

    • Buffer: Custom Interface is providing customers a stocking program for either raw materials or finished products.

    • Agility: Custom Interface has an improved ability to pivot quickly to alternative processes or equivalent raw materials.

  • Implemented improved training

    • Custom Interface identified and implemented processes to streamline training of new hires and cross training seasoned employees which have improved productivity.

  • Increased capacity

This required feedback from the Custom Interface team. Each of the staff offered valuable insights.

    • Scheduled regular OT with most efficient teams.

    • Developed better plan for tracking time and quickly identifying bottlenecks – resulting in reduced que time.

    • Regularly check-in with resources for task status updates.

    • Schedule buffers for learning and development (L&D). According to a Gartner survey, 70% of workers believe they haven’t mastered the skills needed for their current jobs. We are on a mission to ensure each staff has the training and opportunity to develop skills.

    • Prioritized projects to better allocate resources - Criteria for a priority project includes time-sensitive orders.

Manufacturing lead-time is one of our key metrics. It is not unusual for businesses to accept the current lead-times quoted by suppliers and given the current market conditions, even expect the occasional delay. We strive to not accept status-quo and instead challenge our team and suppliers to excel, regardless of market conditions. We are very proud of our recent improvement in lead time and hope to be of service to you.

Do you have a project? Do you need a quote? Please contact us!

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