When companies experience a road bump in their supply chain, more often than not the solution is reactive, rather than informed by strategic supply chain management. In fact, according to the Logistics Bureau, only 22 percent of companies have a proactive supply chain network. Without such a plan in place, companies fail to realize the tremendous effect these seemingly small bumps in the road have on their overall bottom line. For example, if production stops due to machinery failure, a business not only has to pay for the physical repair costs, but also the detrimental opportunity cost of lost time.
Rubber Products Role in Supply Chains
One industry in which this situation is prevalent and potentially ruinous is in rubber sealing devices and o-rings. One might not believe that a hiccup involving such a small, seemingly insignificant piece could ever have much of an impact on a company’s potential profit or loss. In reality, these parts are the glue or seal (no pun intended) of most industrial manufacturing processes, working to power industries from automotive and aerospace to pharmaceutical and medical devices. Ensuring the quality of such products can make or break the effectiveness and efficiency of damaging disruptions.
Minimizing Supply Chain Disruptions
With organizations losing more than $184 million annually due to supply chain disruptions, it’s no wonder why businesses would be looking for ways to minimize stops in their supply chains. But how? The answer begins with a reliable manufacturer who understands the value of proactive strategies and the intricacies of your individual supply chain. Such qualified manufacturers are well versed in maintaining quality control and work to ensure a defective product doesn’t malfunction or wear out quickly. In many cases, rubber parts manufacturers, while well-intentioned, lack a robust inventory and the ability to manage bulk orders and custom order options — critical elements for avoiding supply chain issues.
Finding Reliable Manufacturers
There are many characteristics to consider when sourcing a reliable manufacturer. Expertise, price, speed and flexibility all come into play as a company considers who might be the best fit. Oftentimes, businesses see overseas suppliers as a way to cut costs. Unfortunately, working solely with an overseas supplier also comes with its own hidden opportunity costs, such as longer lead times, inconsistent supplies and a lack of product quality control. Most of all, companies may experience high tariffs and hold ups at customs — and these issues are only continuing to grow. To illustrate the point, keep in mind that in June of 2021, ocean shipments from China took 42 percent longer to arrive compared to the prior year.
To maximize efficiency, find a domestic supply chain partner. Such U.S.-based organizations can manufacture rubber components completely in-house, allowing for more nimble and in turn cost-effective supply chains. The right domestic manufacturer will work to develop stable processes and custom molds ahead of time, so that in the case of a disruption, reaction time is fast and well-thought-out.
Avoid Supply Chain Issues With the Right Manufacturer
All in all, preparation is the primary component driving strong supply chain performance and influencing a business’ bottom line. Working with a reliable manufacturer helps to minimize unnecessary bumps in the road by maximizing product quality standards and managing complex processes. By working with a domestic manufacturer, companies can ensure reliability due to the nearby proximity and proactive planning.