More often than not, achieving success relies upon the robustness of your supply chain. But for that supply chain to be truly unbreakable, every link needs to work closely with the next.
“Manufacturers work hard to choose the best suppliers for machines, equipment, consumables and service support,” says James Thorpe, sales manager at Chemique Adhesives. “But even if these suppliers are great at their respective specialisms, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and when one of the links in the chain breaks, this leaves the manufacturer vulnerable to costly downtime.
“Let’s say, for instance, that you are using an adhesive dispensing machine in your production process. It’s perfectly possible that someone designed and manufactured the machine, someone else installed it, another company is supplying the adhesive and yet another one is providing servicing and spare parts whenever it malfunctions. Even if all these individual companies are top of their game, they may not have overall knowledge and understanding of how your entire process works, so the solution may not be optimised and the multiple suppliers could be slow at putting things right when they go wrong.”
A better approach is to source, from a single supplier, he suggests – a complete package that takes your manufacturing process from idea to production and beyond; choosing a supplier that will listen to your challenges and devise tailored solutions is the first step.
“After that, working closely with the supplier ensures that your requirements are met every step of the way. The supplier should be able manage the design and commissioning of the new piece of machinery, then help you to get production underway by delivering training sessions for your employees. Consumables such as adhesives, sealants and solvents should be provided from the same company to ensure total compatibility and optimum performance. Your chosen supplier should also be able to offer regular servicing and support, in case of breakdowns.”
Recently, Chemique Adhesives was able to provide this kind of service and support to a leading panel manufacturer, states Thorpe. “Chemique were tasked with increasing output of panels by up to 20% and so were able to provide a tailored adhesive that would give the desired curing times, as well as design and install new equipment that could apply the adhesive more efficiently.
“By saving 20% on production time for the panels, the panel manufacturer was able to boost its overall productivity, increasing both its sales and its profit. As the new equipment has been designed with reliability in mind, downtime is minimised and, on the rare occasion a problem does occur, the service agreement included as part of the package ensures that it is fixed promptly and efficiently.
“It is this type of comprehensive package that helps high value manufacturers to remain competitive and maximise their productivity. Knowing that all aspects of the production line are covered – the equipment, adhesive, training, installation, service, supply of spares and components – also gives service users total peace of mind.”
Working with a single supplier for all aspects of adhesive usage in a business also allows a strong relationship to be built, Thorpe adds, “whereby over time the supplier will accumulate knowledge that may well allow them to suggest further ways of improving speed and timings, reducing adhesive consumption and waste, increasing safety for workers and generally finding more efficient production methods”.
In short, the adhesive supplier’s holistic understanding of the way things work, and the processes and goals within a factory, will enable them to offer better and more tailored solutions, he concludes. “In fact, for over three decades, Chemique Adhesives have been providing the ‘Total Service Package’, ensuring that every customer receives the right product, the right application and the right service, time after time."