Product redesign institutes multi-source balance
A $600-million aerospace and industrial company was buying a number of legacy off-patent products, but due to a series of mergers within its supply chain, the company no longer had access to detailed design drawings. The availability of new materials, processes, and updated quality expectations caused the client to seek offshore partners for both engineering design and manufacturing. The client’s own efforts to find qualified Indian and Eastern European engineering and fabrication had been frustrating. Amritt was approached by the V.P. of Operations who was responsible for sustaining engineering and for the supply chain.
Amritt’s evaluation of the Indian and Eastern European candidates concluded that none were appropriate for the client’s needs; the client agreed with Amritt findings. Amritt then conducted a selection process to look for companies with extensive experience in design, prototyping, fabrication of ferrous and nonferrous castings, die-cast assemblies, and multi-shot molded plastics, evaluating over 100 large and small candidates.
Out of the 12 shortlisted entities, one offered attractive prices for both design and manufacturing, two were seasoned in value engineering and five had varying degrees of manufacturing capability. Because the client had a wide range of needs, it placed trial business with ten of these entities; we placed three orders with each—one that would be easy and two that would challenge the company’s skills or capacity. The results of this pilot enabled the client to focus on just three key partners.
Within a year, the client launched the redesign of more than 24 complete products and the manufacture of about a third of these products exclusively in India; its internal U.S.-based engineering team chose to redesign a couple of high-end systems that could not be outsourced readily. Today the products and components are sourced from a mix of American, Chinese, and Indian partners.