Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find the answers to some common questions about our products and services.
- Why not just buy these parts offshore at a lower price?
- Low piece cost can be very seductive. However, there are some serious downsides with offshore supply. Shipping usually takes 3-5 weeks. This contradicts the entire Lean process and slows the implementation of design improvements. West Coast dock strikes in 2002 seriously affected the offshore material pipeline. Many customers found it necessary to air freight material to prevent plant shutdowns. When this happens, there goes your cost reduction.
In addition, dealing with suppliers in distant time zones who do not speak English is a real problem. What is the true cost of 2:00 a.m. teleconferences that end without a concise understanding by either side of what was discussed?
- What is your management philosophy on quality and your policy on continuous quality improvement?
- Powers & Sons, LLC is dedicated to providing the best quality products and services at the least possible cost in a timely manner, with an individual commitment by every employee to attain total customer satisfaction through continuous improvement.
- How will Powers & Sons, LLC take steps to reduce final costs?
- Our purchasing department obtains multiple quotations for each component. Sub supplier sourcing is based on several factors: Each supplier is evaluated based on cost, quality, and delivery performance.
Additionally, Powers & Sons, LLC uses Lean Manufacturing processes internally. We will apply our Lean knowledge both prior to production and once the program is running to look for ways to improve and keep our costs down.
- How does Powers & Sons, LLC track cost of quality?
- Cost of Quality is tracked in the monthly management review (QOS) in a variety of metrics; scrap, rework, customer complaints, warranty repairs/1000 units and cost per unit.
- What is the Powers & Sons, LLC' plan for training employees on continuous improvement?
- Monthly plant-wide training sessions are held to discuss such topics as continuous improvement. Our internal "cell meetings&" also drive continuous improvement training.
- How does Powers & Sons, LLC provide for customer involvement when developing product specifications?
- As part of the QFD process, customer input is solicited. This includes load requirements, temperature ranges and environmental requirements (ie: salt spray).
If a customer engineering specification does not exist, Powers & Sons, LLC will develop one which will be concurred in writing by the customer.
- How do you participate in value engineering efforts?
- Powers & Sons, LLC participates in a variety of ways:
At the beginning of the design process, QFD principles are applied to insure that the customer's true needs are being addressed, rather than adding features which are not relevant to the customer's needs.
- Benchmarking of competitive products
- Adaptation of Lean Manufacturing principles throughout our operations
- Cost per part and man-hours per part are tracked monthly in the management QOS reviews
- Describe the process to provide new product innovations.
- A need is identified. This need may be identified by the customer, discovered in benchmarking or initiated internally. Once the need is identified, it is reviewed in either the weekly Customer Information Meeting or our bi-weekly General Manager's Planning Committee. A cross-functional team of design engineers, manufacturing engineers and shop floor personnel is established to address the need. Brainstorming sessions are conducted to establish potential solutions. These alternatives are evaluated and ranked for effectiveness, cost, manufacturability, lead time, adaptability to Lean Manufacturing methods in addition to general shop practices for health and safety. The best alternatives are prototyped and tested for effectiveness. Concurrently, production costs and lead times are established.
- How do you respond to fast changing requirements in both quantity and delivery that may occasionally be requested?
- We directly pass-through customer requirements/changes to our suppliers through B.O.S.S. This is a real-time system that shows current customer forecast, current Powers & Sons, LLC inventory and updates every 12 minutes. Daily follow-up ensures that any reasonable delivery request can be accommodated. Our Production Control Department will adjust production and shipments as needed per the customer's request.
If you have any questions not answered here, please call us at 419.485.3151 or
email us at email@example.com.