Archive: Aug 2023

6 Ways Micro-Tronics Navigates Supply Chain Issues

6 Ways Micro-Tronics Navigates Supply Chain Issues

Manufacturing supply chains continue to pose a challenge for companies across industries.

The good news is that supply chains are more stable now than at the height of the pandemic. The not-so-good news is that manufacturers still face difficulties sourcing materials and outside services as quickly as they once could. 

In response to ongoing supply chain uncertainty, many manufacturers, including Micro-Tronics, have shifted from a cost-competitive mindset to a risk-competitive mindset

Micro-Tronics has implemented a many-layered approach to mitigate the impact of supply chain issues and keep lead times to a minimum. 

Minimizing the Impact of Manufacturing Supply Chain Issues

Micro-Tronics offers a competitive cycle time and is committed to delivering critical parts like bonded seals and elastomer products on time. We take our reputation for reliable delivery extremely seriously and do whatever it takes to uphold it. 

Supply Chain Issues

Here’s a look at the supply chain safeguards Micro-Tronics has implemented in recent years.

1. Diversifying our sources 

We maintain a network of multiple suppliers for raw materials and outside processes. If one supplier can’t fulfill an order, we have plenty of other suppliers we can contact.

2. Monitoring and grading our supply base

We continuously monitor the suppliers in our network and grade them monthly on delivery and quality metrics. By closely tracking these metrics, we gain real-time insights into the health of our supply chain and can swiftly address any potential issues before they escalate.

3. Maintaining consistent communication with suppliers

We keep open lines of communication with suppliers to avoid any surprises. For instance, if a supplier’s timeline changes, we’ll know in advance and react accordingly, possibly by placing an order earlier than usual. 

4. Collaborating with customers 

We work with customers collaboratively to understand their future needs so we can plan around anticipated challenges. 

5. Building our material inventory

We are willing to build and maintain an inventory of materials that typically have long lead times so that we have those materials on hand for customers’ critical elastomer products and other projects. 

6. Creating an in-house elastomer spec 

We created our own in-house elastomer spec that meets the mechanical properties of aerospace material specifications (AMS). Controlling our elastomer spec enables us to strategically choose which materials we use and where we source them, which is extremely valuable if availability issues arise.

What Can Customers Do? 

Customers often ask us if there are any steps they can take to minimize the impact of supply chain issues. Here are a couple of recommendations. 

1. Consider material substitutions

Depending on your part’s application, you may have the opportunity to be flexible with your material selection. If your desired material is unavailable or difficult to source, are you open to using an alternative material with similar properties? 

One of our customers clarifies on their blueprint which alternative materials are acceptable for their parts. This flexibility allows us to source their materials more strategically amid manufacturing supply chain challenges.

2. Transition from castings to hogouts

Lead times for castings are exceptionally long currently—upwards of a year in many cases. If you need a casting, consider transitioning to a hogout. We can precision machine hogouts in-house, saving you substantial time and money. 

Micro-Tronics Is Committed to Customer Satisfaction

Micro-Tronics strives to be the precision manufacturer of choice for our customers. We attribute our decades of success to our commitment to continuously improving our workflows and systems, including our sourcing protocols.

When you partner with Micro-Tronics for elastomer products, EDM manufacturing, or one of our many other offerings, you partner with a company committed to quality products and customer satisfaction. 

Request a quote to work with our expert team today!