The injection molding supply chain is more than just a way to reduce operational costs and promote efficiency. 

Supply chain strategies have been designed to effectively respond to regulatory changes, cost containment and other growing issues involving product security and company integrity.

Manufacturers who thrive are implementing communicative, collaborative relationships with their suppliers in order to generate this critical success. This is because the approach supports value creation and competitive advantage. Every supplier plays an important role in maintaining the brand and creating value for their customers. 

 Effective Strategies Enhance Injection Molding Supply Chains

Kanban Shipping: Kanban is a system of alerts designed to move or produce products.  This approach puts a limit on inventory buildup, when the Kanban is full no additional products can be moved or produced.  

The "Just-In-Time" approach was created out of theidea that keeping a physical inventory is wasteful. The approach includes using the information given by the Kanban to place component orders with a quick turnaround schedule.  This is ideal for businesses with a particularly large inventory or those with concerns over where to house their excess inventory.

Blanket Orders: these are required for the injectionmolder to specifically schedule out several deliveries at different points in time.  This tactic offers greater peace of mind than the more traditional inventory management solutions currently in use.

Effective Injection Molding Supply Chain Strategies that Help Your Company Succeed:

  • Customer Relationships: To help build these relationships effectively - you must be mutually determined to cultivate satisfying goals for the project while maintaining excellent customer support and service.  Effective customer service is also a way to continuously receive real time information, scheduling information and product availability details.
  • Procurement Process: this is a standard method for operating procedures involving selection, qualification and maintenance. Suppliers offer approved supplier lists, improved supplier histories, supplier corrective actions and other pertinent documentation.
  • Manufacturing Flow Management Process: this is the established method to track order progression from the entering point of the work order through its production and shipping.  This approach helps to monitor changes in the manufacturing flow process and help to improve the many levels of responsiveness. 
  • Physical Distribution: this is the process for moving the finished products into the hands of your customers. 
  • Performance Measurement: it is important to have performance metrics and continuous improvement metrics for customer perception, verification and highest quality best practices.

Establishing Injection Molding Supply Chain Goals

Companies who are engaging the cutting-edge of supply chain improvement strategies (flexibility, quality, managing total cost of project) are enjoying the benefits.

Flexibility - means adapting a schedule to meet your customer’s needs, even if it means bringing in a new piece of equipment to meet the customer’s changing requirements. Flexibility also means engaging the ability to detect and react to issues such as a truck being late, demand suddenly surging, or special unexpected packaging and handling requirements. Success is completely hinged on how fast the supplier reacts to overall company strategies or market place changes and adapts to do whatever is needed to accommodate these changes.

Quality – manufactured injection molding part quality is of utmost concern - and because of this most companies use some form of product /part inspection.  Make sure your molder has the proper certifications to meet your product specifications. Inspections during the manufacturing process occur so that a company can verify for the customer that the product is within certain specific prescribed tolerances for product usefulness. Final checks after production of products may also include packaging. 

Total Cost Management – by providing itemized production and calculated releases of product to minimize inventory that must be kept on hand, many injection molding supply chain providers deliver continuous improvement by upgrading equipment, adding upgrades to processes and by improving the work environment in order to provide the best value while maintaining caps on the total cost of projects.  

Honesty and Integrity - flexibility, quality and the ability to deliver feedback that can help reduce the cost of a part are critical factors for securing a positive industry reputation. Upholding honesty and integrity are the only way to maintain a thriving company with a respected reputation.

To partner with industry experts who deliver this in an ongoing manner - consider Crescent Industries for your injection molding supply chain needs. 

Topics: custom injection molding