To remove the long lead times, reduce stock and the high costs associated with tooling:
Developing new products that contain a lot of parts can be a costly business, particularly when the product quantities aren’t huge. As a ‘hands on’ Managing Director Richard Harris gets involved in the day to day design and build of Clenaware Systems products. Working closely with the R&D and Technical Director Vic Carpenter, keeping new product development and production costs under control is an important part of the business.
Richard says, “We looked at the cost of developing our new products and realised that for the number of parts we need, investing in tools was a big and expensive step. We also thought long and hard about the stipulations from suppliers for minimum order quantities and wondered if there was alternatives”.
“One of the parts we needed was a complex moulded shape and we were being asked to order them in batches of 1000, which would last us years! I have lots of examples where we’ve bought a large number of components only to see the part superseded later, which can leave us with redundant stock on our shelves. The tools we were sourcing were from various suppliers in the UK and we often leave the tools with suppliers, covered by our insurance, until they were needed. Any change to the tool was a long drawn out process and usually expensive. Our initial thoughts were to focus on R&D and to make sure that we minimised our cost of change on these tools, by printing and approving final designs before committing to anything else, but actually it turned out much better than that!”