Supply Chain Lead Time Reduction
Supply chain managers know that one of the biggest impacts on inventory level is lead time. Developing strategies for lead time reduction should be one of your highest priorities. That said, some manufacturers struggle with maintaining visibility over their inventory, making it hard to control levels and manage lead time.
Extended lead times don’t just create inefficiencies when it comes to inventory levels. They also tie up your cash and storage space. Let’s say your lead time is 30 weeks, or about seven months. This means that in order to fulfill your own orders, you must carry over half a year’s inventory. You also need to ensure you have safety stock on hand, which increases costs all around.
You often see this with disorganized companies. Not only does it take weeks for them to process an order, but if they’re buying from an inefficient supplier, that increases lead time further—especially if they’re overseas. Now you aren't only looking at high prices; you're also looking at long waits.
Supply Chain Lead Time Reduction Strategies
Is your lead time larger than you’d like? You’re not alone. Many companies lack the resources to analyze inventory levels and create efficiencies that save time and money.
An experienced supply chain partner, like Birmingham Fastener Managed Inventory, can diagnose issues in your supply chain and develop strategies to improve processes and maximize profits. You can process orders quicker, optimize inventory levels and ensure you can get shipments out quickly. With an inventory management partner, can avoid overspending and stocking spare parts to free up storage space and your budget.
When it comes to reducing your supply chain lead time, consider these questions:
How long does it take to send an order to the supplier?
- Is it taking days or weeks for your team to review orders? Why? Finding ways to reduce review time is essential to lead reduction.
How long does it take your supplier to ship your products?
- In addition to your own review time, your supplier has a review time, too. They also have to manufacture and package your orders. This isn’t in your control, but that makes it even more critical that you have suppliers that you trust. Find a supplier that is committed to being your partner, not just another provider.
How long is delivery time?
- Understanding how shipping costs relate to your bottom line is essential. While you want to save as much money as possible, you should also consider your return on investment and total cost of ownership. Sometimes the high price for expedited shipping is worth it.
When it comes to answering these questions, you need maximum data visibility. While some companies struggle with this, others enter into valuable partnerships with experts they can trust. If you’re looking to reduce lead time, consider a team of experts who can create efficiencies in your supply chain and save you money.
Our team at Alabama Aerospace recently supplied our partners at Nanoracks with hardware for the Bishop Airlock, which was installed on the International Space Station on December 19th. The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock Module will allow teams to move larger payloads inside and outside the station.
Congrats to our team at Alabama Aerospace for this amazing achievement!
Avoiding Issues with Metal Building Screws
While metal building screws are easy to install in the best conditions, some contractors have difficulty with installation on the jobsite. Simple mistakes can cause massive delays.
The most common solution to ensuring your metal building screws perform correctly when you need them is by storing them correctly. Too often, we see cardboard boxes sitting on construction sites exposed to the elements. Screw boxes often end up waterlogged, causing the perfect condition for rust to form on your metal building screws.
Taking the time to properly store your screws and fasteners can save you time, money, and plenty of headaches. That said, there are a few other common issues with metal building screw installation that also have simple solutions. Let’s go over some now.
The phrase “understanding the tools of the trade” is literal when it comes to metal building screws and fabrication. Having the right tools makes all the difference. If you’re experiencing metal building screw issues, consider your tools first.
Sometimes, your team is using the wrong tool. Contrary to popular belief, impact tools and screw guns are not the same thing. Using an impact tool might seem like a good way to speed things along, but impact tools can add stress to the fastener. They end up over-torquing the fastener and result in failure. Though screw guns may be “slower,” they are the best way to ensure your metal building screws are properly installed. Slow and steady wins the race!
Even if you’re using a screw gun, you may still run into problems. Be sure you’re using the right drill bit or drill point for the job whether you’re using self tappers or self drillers.
Self tappers require a pilot hole, so it’s important to ensure you’re making the pilot hole the right size and using the correct drill bit, so you don’t strip the screw head. For self drillers, be sure you’re using the right drill point for the application. This can save you valuable time on the job.
It’s also important to ensure you’re taking the time to set the tool and avoid overdriving the metal building screws. Remember, a key component of metal building screws is the sealing washer that is used to waterproof the steel building. While you want everything snug, you don’t need to overdrive the screw which often leads to deforming the sealing washer and causes leaks. Letting the screw gun do the work ensures you avoid leaks and other issues over time.
If you’re still having issues despite using the right tools and storing fasteners properly, it may be an issue of the fastener. Having the right metal building screws for your job is critical to a safe, easy construction.
When it comes to fasteners, be sure to know what you need before purchasing. Using the wrong type of metal building screws can cause poor connection strength and result in corrosion.
Before you purchase materials, work with your contractor to determine exactly what type of metal building screws you need.
To get the best fasteners for your job, discuss your needs with Birmingham Fastener’s expert sales team. Birmingham Fastener sources the best quality for metal building screws and can offer advice to help you succeed.