Typically, the finishing process requires a number of administrative and non-productive steps for both the manufacturer and coating company that tend to slow down the overall coating process. These steps include packaging, transportation to and from the coating company, development of purchase orders and shipping instructions, transmittal of drawings and special finishing instructions, and preparation of certifications and invoices. Each of these steps can be thought of as 'points of friction' and to the extent that these points of friction can be reduced or minimized, then overall turnaround time can be reduced.
To develop a truly frictionless business model, the coating company and OEM must work collaboratively to devise a supply chain based program that is consistent with the OEM's core processes and procedures.
The finishing process is often the final step before shipment to the end user, and proper management of the supply chain principles for this phase can insure that the order will be processed as quickly and as efficiently as possible thereby increasing the total number of orders delivered.
While each customer and each order is unique, LP&C is working with a number of OEM’s to develop a supply chain program that incorporates procedures to reduce the delays – what we call “points of friction” - between the production and finishing processes to get their orders processed and shipped as expeditiously as possible.
Utilizing a Full Service Company: A key component of an effective coating supply chain program, especially in a time of uncertain crude prices, is the use of a full service coating company. Most OEM’s produce parts that have varying finish specifications. By utilizing a coating company that provides a full range of corrosion protection services under one roof, i.e.: electroless nickel, phosphate, QPQ, and various spray coatings, an OEM can significantly reduce transportation and administrative costs, as well as turnaround times.
'One-stop shopping' for the majority of an OEM’s corrosion protection requirements, produces multiple benefits. Often times, an OEM will need to meet multiple coating specifications for each order and, in some cases, multiple specifications for each part.
Sending those parts to multiple locations is costly and time consuming. Having all, or the majority of those services in one location can eliminate days or weeks from the completion schedule. Some companies have even been able to alter specifications to take advantage of more efficient processes; e.g., QPQ vs. hard chrome to further reduce completion times and virtually eliminate 'process friction.'