By WESCO Marketing
WESCO is a global supply chain solutions leader who services customers’ MRO, OEM, and capital project needs.
In some industries, things are relatively stable from year to year. While manufacturing was done in much the same way for many years, emerging trends promise to change that. An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) must be resourceful and search for opportunities to stay competitive in an increasingly volatile market. While there may be challenges ahead, applying industry best practices will help any manufacturer operate at the top of their game.
Here are upcoming industry challenges that OEMs may face and standards that can be put in place to meet those challenges.
Plan for Unpredictable Commodity Prices
The prices of nickel, copper and silver change frequently and inconsistently. Price unpredictability makes it difficult for OEM manufacturers to keep operating costs under control. Increasing commodity prices can directly impact a manufacturer’s bottom line, especially when product prices can’t be increased to offset manufacturer costs. OEMs can counteract rising prices by managing supply chain costs. Implement just-in-time production to respond quickly to changes in demand. Shortening supply chains can also lessen transportation costs.
OEMs should also be aware of how purchase decisions may affect the business down the road. Buying commodity in bulk comes with benefits and risks. If the cost of a commodity goes up after a bulk buy, the business comes out ahead. If the price goes down, the business loses.
Investing in substitutes may become necessary for some manufacturers. Copper prices have been historically volatile. If prices rise in 2017, manufacturers may need to find alternatives for copper and other expensive metals.
Manage Product Lifecycles
Successful OEMs require sophisticated equipment. But even the greatest equipment eventually runs its course. A product’s end of life (EOL) is defined as the final stage in a product’s existence. Manufacturers address EOL by discontinuing production of one product and developing another. A seamless transition from one product to another is key to ensuring minimal interruptions. Implement a product lifecycle management (PLM) program to manage the stages a product goes through from design to implementation to retirement.
Lean Means Greater Efficiency
What’s the best way to stay competitive in the face of volatile prices and retiring equipment? Constantly strive to increase productivity. Incorporating Lean manufacturing practices into your business is a sure-fire way to increase efficiency.
It all comes down to eliminating waste. Use 5S practices to manage OEM electrical inventory by establishing a clean, organized workspace. Standardize manufacturing to reduce defects. Keep your production lines running smoothly to avoid wasteful stops. Lean warehousing reduces errors, eliminates waste and increases storage density by standardizing inventory and creating visual controls. A more flexible supply chain starts with creating a better layout, design and storage for increased flow.
Invest in Inventory Management
Every OEM knows that having the right inventory on hand is vital. Invest in inventory management software to track inventory levels, sales and orders. This avoids costly out-of-stock issues. An inventory management program cuts costs by minimizing the number of materials on hand. Creating an efficient supply chain means better SKU visibility and accuracy. Managing inventory helps you save time and money on transportation, all while increasing flexibility.
Meet the Challenge
Upcoming trends in the OEM market can be a challenge for manufacturers. But by embracing Lean practices and establishing an inventory management system, OEMs will always have the equipment needed to stay ahead of the curve.
In this article: Supply Chain
When you’re standing or sitting at work for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than sore legs and feet. Every year, two million sick days are lost to lower limb disorders. Ergonomic injuries come at a high cost. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation comes from insufficient ergonomic protection. It’s clear that taking steps to prevent these injuries is well worth it.
Mar 3, 2017 | Safety
Electrical equipment is only as effective as it is protected. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, exposed to water, or facing harsh weather conditions, electrical equipment needs to be protected by an enclosure. Choosing the right electrical enclosure requires some knowledge of electrical standards. Ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide guidance on what level of protection your enclosure needs depending on the environmental factors it is subjected to.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Did you know that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise? In just one year, 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. And these are only the cases that were reported! From these statistics, it’s clear that we’re not doing enough to prevent hearing loss at work. Employers give earplugs and earmuffs to employees, but getting employees to wear them when they need to is another story altogether.
Feb 24, 2017 | Safety