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How Sub-Assembly Services Benefit Manufacturers

Fastening

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may not be getting all of the value out of their supply chain that they could. Many times OEMs make the mistake of treating their suppliers as competition, and engage in price-focused battles to achieve the lowest possible landed cost. Instead, they should treat select suppliers as partners and lean on their capabilities to help improve their overall operations and profitability.

Fastening distributors make a great choice for this tighter relationship because of the nature of where their products are used. Fasteners go into the final product, so they must consistently meet set standards and be delivered promptly. Because of this, supply chain services are typically an area of expertise for fastener distributors, and OEM’s would be wise to take full advantage. One of the services that OEMs underuse is sub-assembly.

What is a Sub-Assembly?

A sub-assembly is a small group of parts that is assembled away from the main assembly area and is combined with other pieces to make a final product. An assembly process can be composed of dozens of sub-assemblies depending on the complexity of the finished good, and each one takes time, money, and management to be done well.

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What are the benefits of a sub-assembly service?

1. Reduced cycle time
By outsourcing pieces of the assembly process, OEMs can reduce their cycle time to complete each part. This saves them money and enables them quickly scale their operations during a boom.

2. Reduced error rate
The distributor will check their own work, then it is checked again upon delivery, so the sub-assembly is verified and accurate. Then, by providing their workers with a sub-assembly instead of individual components, the amount of work being done is reduced, which allows the OEM’s employees to focus on a smaller set of tasks, reducing their number of mistakes.

3. Improved JIT delivery
Many OEMs require just-in-time deliveries, and adding sub-assembly to that helps to enhance the benefits of those deliveries. Reduced cycle time will allow for more accurate scheduling, meaning that they can provide accurate communication back to the supplier and that cost will not be introduced into the assembly process until the last possible moment.

4. Opportunity for Improvements
There is an opportunity cost associated with doing any activity. By speeding up the assembly process your workers can either handle a higher rate of products or they can be utilized for other tasks that are not currently being performed. Go ask your assembly manager if he has projects he can’t get to due to lack of manpower and you’re likely to uncover a host of good ideas that could be implemented if given the resources.

The Martin Difference

Martin specializes in helping companies operate better, and sub-assembly service is one of many ways that we accomplish our mission. We have case studies where we have saved companies thousands of in a single year due to our services. Click here to learn more about Martin Fastening Solutions, or to contact us directly and get started today give us a call at 800.828.8116.