Look for Excuses to Eliminate

Most people have work that varies in intensity.  Sometimes the work is almost overwhelming, and there’s no time for things other than the immediate task at hand. Other times, not so much.  These can be opportunities for those advocates of “management by walking around”. If this style fits your situation, a conscious effort of looking to eliminate excuses can be a fertile area for productivity improvements. One good example of this occurred during a manufacturing… Read More

Supplier selection criteria—are we on the same page?

Proficient Sourcing provides custom manufacturing candidates for buyers’ needs.  To do that effectively we must identify companies that fit your requirements.  During a long period of productivity consulting we developed a set of criteria for identifying good companies to recommend, and it would be extremely helpful if you would tell us if these criteria are the “right stuff” The better the match between our respective criteria, the more likely we can provide a win-win candidate… Read More

Big Company Bullying?

In Mid-April a major US corporation announced a new policy in order to raise money for investment in their operations. The Wall Street Journal reported these savings could be invested in facilities or stock buybacks. The policy was to extend payments to suppliers, but they’d work with suppliers to gradually implement the plan. Proficient Sourcing is a network of high performing small custom manufacturers (most are under $20M/year in sales), so maybe we’re under the… Read More

Dip Moldings

Many hand tools, levers, grips and a wide range of other items are made with plastic (plastisol) coatings. Dip molding is the technique for providing plastisol coating, and other applications include electrical insulators, caps, plugs and coatings for color coding. The process can produce both an external part coating or an item made inside a mold. Since plastisol is somewhat elastic, complex parts can be stripped from molds rather easily. Plastisol is a vinyl compound,… Read More

Prominent Article, but Bad Advice

Proficient Sourcing’s business involves responding to buyers seeking new manufacturing suppliers for custom parts or assemblies.  In most cases the buyer needs a NEW supplier because of any of several situations.  In these cases the buyer depends upon a responsible response to the inquiry, which is usually a drawing and/or request for quote. Amazingly, we recently found an article recommending NOT answering a quote request.  This would appear to represent perhaps the worst advice in… Read More

Tolerances: Anyone paying attention?

Here’s a problem we see rarely; never is when we’d prefer to see it. In a previous newsletter we noted an article that suggested NOT answering a request for proposal, and we thought that a very bad idea. However, here’s a case where it might be correct. One contact requested a quote for machined plates that fit together. The finished item was a machine base, so the parts needed to match up on the edges… Read More

An alternative to progressive die stamping

Parts assumed to require progressive dies and stamping presses may be candidates for fourslides—a common wire forming machine not routinely found in stamping companies. If you require a progressive die capability, it might be worthwhile to investigate the fourslide option. In general, set ups for fourslides are probably more complex, as the tooling is bolted onto the machine with timing accomplished via cams and slides. On the other hand, there may be less waste, less… Read More