LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT FOR FASTENERS AND ALLIED PRODUCTS AT CHALLENGE
The re-structuring of manufacturing industry in the UK has led companies to include some very efficient new processes and the outsourcing of procurement, subassembly and logistics is one of these. It is an area where Challenge (Europe) Ltd have proven very successful recently. Most popular are Kanban (bin feed systems to stores) and Linefeed (direct to lineside supply) whereby automatic stock replenishment of fastener components and sub-assemblies is arranged under contract, to some degree replacing customer stores and purchasing functions – allowing production line leaders to call off supply.
This has proved possible because of the high quality level offered with Challenge components, an essential feature when delivery is made direct to the production line.
The actual management of these systems will vary according to customer requirements, but generally speaking they allow reduced inventory, with back-up stock held by Challenge. This guarantees that customers will always have stock available to them, while keeping their inventory costs to a minimum. Kanban systems generally work on a 3-bin format – one in use, one in stock at customer site, the third bin at Challenge being delivered and invoiced at the point where the “in use” bin becomes empty.
There are also savings to the customer in respect of administration time in purchasing – often a single purchase order can be issued to cover 6 or 12 months use. The system is administered by Challenge. This can include site visits to check stock levels where appropriate. It is self-managing from the customer’s point of view, being triggered from the shop floor.