For Unimacts, “Source” means putting the right parts in the right factory.
We have a global network of suppliers, and can manufacture just about any industrial mechanical part, in a number of different factories. So the challenge is to determine which factory is the best fit for the specific part, program, situation, etc.
The first pass is easy. Which factory has the machines and processes to make that class of part.
But then it gets more complicated. We really look at the part and the customer situation. We look at the level of precision required. We look at the annual quantities. We look at the stability of demand. We not only look at today, but we look at the future – is demand going up or down.
Once we understand the customer requirement, THEN we figure out which shop would be the best fit. We run the parts through our RFQ system and get detailed quotes from our factories. We do our own should-cost models, so we know roughly how much the part should cost, but we also get the detailed responses from our factories to see if they have a better way of making the part, or if they have a greatly under-utilized asset they need to fill, etc.
Based on our understanding of the customer requirements, and our factory’s situation, we come up with a solution and propose it to our customer.
And once in a while we find a situation where there is NOT a good long term fit between the customer requirements and our supply network, and we’ll either find a new supplier or “create” one. Recently we had to build a new tube factory since the customer demand was so high and the quality requirements were so tight.