For over 10 years we have been interested in obtaining government contracts for manufactured parts or even products. After all, given we have a large and varied network of custom manufacturers, we should be a desireable connection for contracts.
Now we are in the midst of a significant government contract for a multi-year and multi-million dollar project. This work is a good example of the sort of thing we do. Perhaps it would fit your situation!
We are partnering with a tier 1 company that has had great success obtaining and completing small government projects. This particular one is a plastic fuel container. When the project was accepted by the tier 1, the container was thought to be a blow molding candidate, and the economics were derived from this assumption. The tier 1 did not have great blow molding contacts sufficient for the magnitude of this project, and so they came to Proficient Sourcing for assistance. We know how to find suitable sources for most manufacturing; and this is no exception.
We first connected with local sources who were not necessarily good candidates for blow molding, but knew the technologies that might be best for the specific applications involved. During these initial sessions we met with technical experts to discuss the design features of the fuel container along with fuel container regulations, and began to become concerned that the presumed blow molding techniques would not work.
Next we consulted with blow molding companies sufficiently sophisticated to be able to handle not only the main fuel container, but also the supporting parts that would need to be sub-contracted to other companies. These subordinate parts included a couple of die cut items and cap parts presumably injection molded. Because the tier 1 is a relatively small company, we were seeking a source with sufficient resources to be able to manage the subordinate parts supply. This way the one company would be responsible for supplying the entire assembled fuel container—complete.
We visited these companies to ensure they had the resources to do the work, and also to more fully investigate the blow molding limitations we had unearthed in the earlier meetings.
Once blow molding discussions began, we discovered the limitations we were worried about were real and prohibitive. One option was to redesign the container and create alternatives that would duplicate the features that preclude blow molding. The other option was to employ rotomolding technology, which would work, but at an increased unit cost.
When we presented these alternatives to our tier one, it became clear that the redesign alternative would not work. According to them, because this is a government project, the redesign (rather simple in our view) would consume some 3-5 years! Yow! And that would kill the project.
So we moved to rotomolding.
We have a local source for this, but that source may have inadequate resources to handle a project of this magnitude, and so larger companies were needed. By accessing our network we quickly identified 3 larger and more sophisticated candidates and are in the process of qualifying them to find the best alternative.
And so while this project will consume the next many months to complete, it does illustrate that we routinely deal with such complex sourcing issues and would be delighted to work on yours! Just give us a call (513) 489-5252 and we’ll get right to work for you.