In this episode of Wired Success, Sales Engineer, Mark Cessar, talks with George Allman, Liberty Electronics' Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor to ask some questions about how OEMs can benefit from collaborating with suppliers during the design phase of a project. During their discussion, George shares what suppliers can bring to the table and the overall value this offers OEMs.
At the heart of every aspect of our business, configuration management is extremely vital to Liberty Electronics. In fact, we built our entire Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System around it. Expanding our Oracle Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) software to include multiple ERP functions—estimating, planning, inventory and production control, quality assurance, etc.—enabled us to embed revision management into every step of the process.
In today’s manufacturing world, “good” is not good enough when it comes to configuration management. In our increasingly competitive, fast-paced market, change processes are vital to ensuring that you get the right components, adhere to modified critical dimensions, and have the correct code in software programs and revised tool settings; these are only a few of the numerous reasons as to why configuration management is so important. There is no question regarding the rising necessity of exceptional configuration management in the manufacturing world.
Information technology can promote the development and productivity of a business. That is why IT is a core competency at Liberty Electronics and plays a key role in satisfying our customers. Rather than using off-the-shelf software, which is often a “jack of all trades and master of none,” Liberty employs a different approach.
In the past, using commercial software applications has forced Liberty to make sacrifices and compromises due to the different limitations of these products, which ultimately was inefficient to the company. Instead, Liberty strategically customizes robust applications in order to achieve our customer-driven requirements as an electronic manufacturing services contract manufacturer. As customer and industry requirements evolve, our software also evolves through updates by our IT department. Our self-sufficient approach to IT ultimately reduces cost and lead-times, speeds up simple actions through automation, and improves customer service. Here are a couple of examples:
OEMs and suppliers both bring experience, expertise and specialized knowledge to the table during the manufacturing process. Suppliers often don’t enter the picture until a design is created, and sometimes not until prototypes have been manufactured. However, there’s an argument to be made that a partnership between an OEM and a trusted supplier should be formed during the design phase. Collaborative design can benefit both OEMs and suppliers for a number of reasons.
Industry predictions indicate that manufacturing will grow faster than the general economy*. Growth in areas such as global aircraft manufacturing is projected to spike from the less than 4% rise seen from 2013-2017 to nearly 9.5% from 2017 until 2021. These high manufacturing expectations are bound to cause an increase in production needs for OEMs. But how do you best scale up production without falling victim to overspending on inventory or finding yourself unable to fill orders due to long lead-times and or lack of capacity?