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Clad Metal – Stat!

When exceptional supply chain management matters most

From time to time, our OEM customers experience sudden spikes in the demand for their product. The need to quickly increase production can send shock waves throughout their supply chain.

The clad metal that PEP Polymet manufactures is usually a gating item for our customers. When we receive a pull-in request on an existing order, we start by advancing each process step toward meeting the accelerated need-by date. Typically we do this without charging an overtime premium. Days and hours count in these situations. Close coordination between PEP Polymet’s customer support staff, our production planners, and the customer keeps everyone updated through expedited shipping.

PEP Polymet’s raw material suppliers are also a key part of a solution. For new orders, we have multiple vendors pre-qualified to be able to quickly select the fastest providers, and expedite materials. It’s one of our delivery pressure relief valves.

Occasionally our short-term flexibility is limited by the availability of unique alloys which must be ordered months in advance. With a firm order and releases from our customers, we are able to plan well ahead to assure a steady flow of raw materials once the initial shipment is received. In the event of a spike in demand, our vendors are usually able to pull-in existing orders much faster than new orders.

With many of our customers their demand is consistent enough for them to place annual blanket orders with us. We, in turn, are then able to place blanket orders with our suppliers, and ask them to keep a release ahead. When a spike hits we are ready.

A case in point is a thirty-year PEP Polymet customer that makes large switches used in electrical substations. With their annual blanket orders, Kanban-style pulls, and careful planning on our part, we have reduced clad metal delivery from 8 weeks to 3 days or better! We accomplish this by always having finished material packed, certified, and ready to ship with a simple emailed pull. In addition, we also have at least 3 months of WIP at our facility, and extra raw material in the queue at our vendors. If we receive a spike in requests, we are able to react quickly.

Our customer benefits from this exceptional service without having to increase their inventory carrying cost. Savings are substantial; especially as most of our materials contain precious metals. We are told that an important side benefit is that our 3-day delivery enables our customer to offer faster deliveries to their customers and therefore win greater market share.

So let’s talk.

Let PEP Polymet know more about your material and delivery requirements so we can address your immediate needs, and better still, devise the most appropriate long-term plan to get you what you need, when you need it.