5 Problems

No matter what type of product you’re building, timely delivery of every component is critical. Even missing one part can bring an entire production to a grinding halt.

Here are some signs you might have a delivery problem on your hands:

  • You’re not receiving delivery confirmations from your suppliers.
  • There’s been an increase in variability with delivery times
and/or missed commitments in terms of the delivery date.
  • You don’t receive responses quickly (or at all) when
you inquire about missed or late deliveries.
If this sounds familiar, we can help.
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Obsolescence happens when a part you use in your product design is no longer being made. If you manufacture a product long enough, you’ll almost certainly run into obsolescence at some point. Suppliers should get you this information as soon as it’s available so you can have enough time to come up with solutions before you’re in a bind but, unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

You might be facing obsolescence-based problems if:

  • You’re in the middle of building a product and your supplier suddenly announces a part is no longer available.
  • There has been a noticeable increase in the lead times associated with a particular component. 
  • You’re seeing an uptick in the prices of subcomponents that get passed on as a price increase for assembled parts.
Are you worried that one of your critical parts is becoming obsolete? We can help.
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Quality refers to how well a part conforms to its design specifications. In other words, components are intended to work within certain tolerances, under certain conditions, for a certain lifespan. When they fail to fulfill those expectations, you have a quality problem.

The quality of your product might be suffering if you notice the following:

  • An increase in out-of-the-box failures, which show up on your assembly line. This might look like a part that’s visibly damaged, or a part that’s been assembled into your product – then later is discovered to be incorrect.  
  • An increase in field failures, which are even more problematic for your business. These often show up once a product has been shipped to the end user, and then doesn’t work or stops working long before its life cycle should be over.
Are you experiencing these symptoms of quality problems? We can get you back on track!
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Performance refers to the initial setting of the design specification for the product, and is different from quality. A product’s performance suffers when its design fails to contain all the functions and features the end user needs. It’s important to stay on top of performance issues, so you don’t end up lagging in the market. 

Here are two major signs that you have problems in this area:

  • You’re regularly hearing feedback from dissatisfied customers, which indicates your product should be better designed to meet their expectations. 
  • Your competition’s product has more features than yours does, which points toward a performance gap. 
Struggling with performance? We can help you get your competitive advantage back.
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Cost might be the last reason a manufacturer thinks about change, but it’s still an important factor. Keep in mind that the cost of your product is more than the sum of the components and labor that go into it. It also includes the indirect infrastructure supporting the labor and material management. 

You might have a cost problem if:

  • Your supplier has made an unexpected pricing increase.
  • You encounter market resistance (this could suggest you’ve been paying too much from the beginning, and are consequently charging too much for your product). 
  • Your profitability has been slipping.
Running into any of these cost-related obstacles? Reach out to us to find out how you can get past them.
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