Case Study: Power Management Systems

Customer Analysis Overview

Business Impact

  • Cost Savings
  • Productivity
  • Reduced Inventory
  • Speed to Market

Metrics

  • Reduced inventory by 10%.
  • Saved $35,000 annually by aligning orders with efficient production.
  • Provided training to customer’s engineering team to improve designs of metal fabricated parts.
  • 1 to 2 day turnaround on quotes vs. 1 to 2 weeks for other suppliers.
  • Very favorable prototyping costs and ability.
  • Reduced lead time from 8 weeks to 2 days (>96% lead time reduction) on critical product.

Business Description

This OEM is a global technology leader of power management solutions for hydraulic, electrical and mechanical power systems.

They utilize sheet metal principally for enclosures and panels.  Over the last several years the customer has looked to continually improve the value of their products by finding innovative ways and partners to reduce costs, improve speed-to-market, shorten order-to-delivery time, and reduce working capital.

 Critical Business Issues

  • Lower inventory
  • Reduce supply chain costs
  • Reduce lead times
  • Enhance flexibility in ordering to match production demand while managing cost
  • Improve product designs for cost and ease of assembly
  • Accelerate speed-to-market

Results

Muza Metal Products has achieved many successes over the long term of this customer relationship.  Even after providing many years of continual savings and improvements to the metal fabricated parts supply chain, the Muza Solutions Team has continued to deliver.  A number of additional improvements have been delivered over the past two years in innovative ways to address the critical business issues.  One of the aspects of Muza that this customer most values is the multiple touchpoints and interactions by team members of both Muza and the customer to collaboratively solve problems.

“Muza has robust prototyping capability with favorable costs.”

– Matt K.

The customer views Muza as having exceptionally robust prototyping capability with ‘very favorable costs.’  Unlike their other metal fabricator suppliers, Muza arrives with the prototypes and goes to the production floor to watch assembly, making recommendations on design changes to lower cost, reduce assembly time, and improve assembler safety.  This helps reduce the start-up curve and accelerates speed-to-market.

The customer asked the Muza team about how to reduce lead times on enclosures for a highly variable but profitable segment of their business.  Muza developed an innovative production and supply program that reduced lead times from 8 weeks to 2 days, a 96.5% reduction in lead time.

Recently Muza attended a Supplier’s Fair.  Based on the positive feedback from that event, Muza asked if they could do a Lunch-and-Learn with the design and engineering team.  They partnered with the customer to conduct a highly regarded and attended event with the design and engineering team to collaborate on how to improve designs for sheet metal fabrication.   Matt K., New Product Development Purchasing at the customer, says it is Muza’s ‘teamwork and touchpoints’ that set them apart from the other suppliers.

“Muza’s teamwork and touchpoints set them apart from other suppliers.”

– Matt K.

To help with annual cost savings targets, Muza introduced a Kanban system with Vendor Managed Inventory across many of their parts saving $35,000 annually by improving the customer order patterns.  The customer has seen a reduction in their parts inventory of 10% in the past two years.

“Muza is a top performing supplier and their key difference is their flexibility.”

– Nicole D.

The customer is also highly appreciative of the transparency, accuracy and turnaround time in Muza’s quotes.  This also sets them apart from other suppliers.  Fast and transparent quotes help match ordering with cost effective production, and improve speed-to-market for new designs.    Quotes that take other suppliers 1 to 2 weeks, if they even respond, are turned around by Muza in 1 to 2 days.

The customer values their relationship with Muza due to their ability to think ‘outside the enclosure’ and improve multiple areas of the total supply chain value, and their overall can-do teamwork and attitude.  According to Nicole D., Plant Commodities Manager, Muza is a ‘top performing supplier, and their key point of difference is their flexibility.’