When we talk to our regular customers, one of the things they value most is our ability to manufacture in variable quantity production runs. Companies that were ordering in batches of 1000s find that working with us they can get good value placing orders for 20s, 10s or even single units. We also consolidate sticker and label sets at Viking saving our customers from having to build kits from boxes of labels from a cluster of different suppliers.
Some advantages of being able to order in small volumes:
- Prototypes in volumes that let you fully market test a product.
- Order in batches that match your order book, not some arbitrary supplier minimum.
- Reduce minimum stock holding levels to improve cash flow.
- Benefit from robust, UK based supply chain and reduced inventory when you may be building stock from your European suppliers to protect against Brexit.
- Avoid the waste that comes from stocking parts that become obsolete when requirements change.
- Let us consolidate into label fitting kits, rather than having to manage and sort stock from a mess of different suppliers.
What we offer is this idea that
Siemens Gamesa Case Study:
Labelling kits for wind turbines
Before using us as a supplier, Siemens Gamesa were buying their wind farm signs, stickers and labels from different suppliers. Multiple product lines were ordered in bulk, warehoused by our customer and then re-consolidated every time a new site was commissioned. Because each wind farm had different turbine configurations, layouts and risks a different set of stickers, signs and labels were needed for each site. This meant re-ordering certain lines from some suppliers and not others. Although these labels were a tiny part of the overall project BOM, they were critical enough to stop the commissioning of a new site if any were missed.
When we took over supply we didn't insist on minimum order quantities for a whole number of separate product lines instead we helped Siemens Gamesa to build kits on the fly and order the exact labels they needed for each site. This saved the cost of holding stock, the effort of re-stocking and consolidating for individual builds and mitigated the risk of missing an essential label that could have delayed site commissioning.
How being an industry 4.0 champion helps us to achieve this.
We have been set up along industry 4.0 lines before we even knew it was a thing.
Our MD Darren realised that the production techniques he had learnt as a design engineer at Ford and Visteon could be applied to the sign market. We could steel a march on the large production runs that dominated the Safety Sign industry by avoiding the high set-up costs and large batch requirements of screen printing.
By setting up our system using Digital Manufacturing and Manufacturing On Demand principles we have built a successful e-commerce business shipping over 20K units every month holding only minimal raw materials. We are set up so that express orders can be placed at 1pm and designed, manufactured and shipped the same day.
Having set our systems to produce with accuracy, speed and in small batch sizes we started to find that other manufacturing companies valued doing business with us, they reaped the benefits of dealing with a company that understood what manufacturers needed and could turn around high quality product, in a range of materials in very small order quantities with very short lead times.