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One of the best ways for a fastener distributor to grow profitably during these difficult times is to differentiate their company from their competition while building an advantage the customer will greatly appreciate. One way is the Fastener Assembly Cost Reduction Evaluation which takes you out of the lowest price, fastest delivery and highest quality battle that nobody wins in the long run. There are many "Differential Advantages" that a distributor can choose to take to project their distributorship to their customers with added-valued savings. They can come from virtually any department within a distributorship and this article is just a sample of one from the sales department.
The Fastener Assembly Cost Reduction Evaluation plan will set you apart from your competition by offering a superior sales approach by selling an engineering fastening assembly service and not just one of "we can beat that price, meet your delivery schedule requirements with better fasteners!" Once you go through the process noted on the form on the following page, you will win over your customer and it will be very difficult to lose them if you preform the normal function of being a fattener distributor.
Moving forward, let us review the included Evaluation form. Some are self-explanatory, but make sure you will fill out the information completely and use additional information sheets, flyers, or catalogs from potential suppliers to detail your proposed new type of fastener or how it is applied. Have samples available for testing and evaluation of the application.
Under Personal, think about including not only the fastener buyer or purchasing agent, but any engineers that might be responsible for the production of the product, the plant manager, any supervisors and anyone from corporate like an accountant. Saving money for the company is always appreciated by the accounting department and might seal the deal.
Describe the product manufactured in enough detail so that others still have a good idea of what your project will involve. If possible, get an assembly or instruction manual from your customer. There can be a lot of information here and the opportunity to find other applications that might need evaluation.
When describing the current assembly method and fasteners, include any fasteners trade names, manufacturer's part numbers, special features on the fasteners and the usage of the various fasteners or parts.
Your proposal to reduce assembly costs should include the type of fastener(s) suggested, mfg. part number, any processes needed, i.e. plating, locking element added, heat treating, changing to a different type of material etc. Very important is to state how the assembly process will change and how this will help your customer's assembly.
State the advantages of your new suggested method of assembling. Good examples might be fewer fasteners to be used , savings in assembly labor cost by eliminating a drilling and tapping process, using a standard fastener instead of a "special" , quicker assembly times, better material choice to eliminate Galvanic Corrosion, adding a locking feature, a blended purchase with some domestic and imported parts and the list goes on. Sems®, Teks® & Teks® are great examples of labor cost saving fasteners. Every new application evaluation will suggest some type of assembly advantages.
Draw the current application showing the use of the current fasteners and then the proposed fasteners in application in the blank spaces provided. Make any necessary footnotes.
The comparison section is the real meat of the evaluation and will show the financial figures that will make your new suggestion of great value. Take your time here, do your homework and make sure you include ALL the operations and costs involved in the assembly of the application you are evaluating. When I say ALL the costs, remember things like the cost of carrying inventory, paperwork, handling, freight, and the consumption of MRO components. Ask questions about the warranty-rework and down time costs as these alone could greatly affect the over-all costs and sometimes are hidden and not considered.
Finally, add it all up and multiply that figure by the calculated annual fastener usage to find your annual total savings. Hopefully, you will have a substantial cost savings for your customer, but more important you have a better, safer engineered fastener application making the over-all product better.
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