By Kim Dykman, Apex Purchasing/Supplier Development, Apex Spring & Stamping
There is a lot to be said when a company uses a local manufacturer for parts, but there are also many benefits a company can absorb if they choose to do assembly locally as well.
Superior Local Manufacturing
West Michigan is known for its superior local manufacturing. From plastic parts to tooling and springs at Apex, these components make up some of the nation’s most valued consumer, automotive, furniture products. But there is more to working with a local manufacturer and it is a major benefit for OEM’s and purchasing managers.
In 2015, we were approached by a variety of Apex customers. These customers were facing a barrier and knew that Apex could deliver a valuable solution: local assembly.
The manufacturing process does not go from concept to distribution overnight. After many steps of planning, developing, and creating components, the last thing an OEM or purchasing manager wants to face is assembly issues.
This was motivation enough for Apex to invest in a 16,000 square foot facility in Howard City, Michigan. This building was modified specifically to meet the special needs of our customers and execute assembly efficiently and effectively.
Save Time and Money
The big question is, why does it matter? Well, there are four reasons, and they are eye-openers that may have you rethinking your approach to the assembly process.
Before we dig into these reasons, there is an obvious overall benefit for using local assembly; it will save you time and money. Working with a local business has many misconceptions, and one of them is that the cost of working locally is significantly larger than working internationally.
Over the eighteen months, this narrative has shifted as supply chains have crumbled due to COVID-19. Local manufacturing and assembly have become a vital lifeline in the US and industries like Automotive and EV are seeing the benefits of this trend and making some major shifts.
4 Benefits of Local Assembly
Since Apex has added the Howard City assembly location, we have experienced substantial growth. Although much of this growth is due to the fact that clients are seeing a seamless process for their completed projects, there are four additional benefits that truly make the difference when working with local assembly.
#1. Inventory Management
Bring assembly in-house, Apex has been able to significantly reduce the amount of time you spend tracking, managing and coordinating components for a finished product. Special areas called ‘cells” are even created to ensure special projects are handled so you don’t have to keep track of every part and manage a multitude of numbers.
#2. Save Labor Costs
Let’s talk about labor. Hiring for assembly is not an easy task in this post COVID world. There isn’t a shortage of work, but there is a shortage of laborers. That’s where working with a local assembler has its perks. Apex takes on the labor of all assembly allowing you to utilize your team for their core competencies. Our qualified team is trained on proven procedures that ensure your product is assembled correctly, quickly, and effectively.
#3. Take Risk Out of the Equation
When working with a local assembler like Apex, you mitigate the risk of something going wrong. For example, coordination parts that didn’t arrive on time, defective parts due to assembly issues, etc. Apex absorbs this responsibility eliminating risk from the equation. You get to have peace of mind that you will receive a finished product or part that meets your quality requirements.
#4. Production Time
One size does not fit all, and that is true for assembly. Facility space is crucial for a part or project to be assembled efficiently. Apex’s 16,000 square foot facility in Howard City is equipped with the adequate space and infrastructure to assemble components for projects of a multitude of sizes.
The benefits of local manufacturing and assembly are becoming increasingly popular because of the value and quality that is experienced with the final result. Apex Spring and Stamping is proud to support Michigan’s OEMs through our manufacturing and assembly solutions. To learn more about our process or to get a quote, contact our team of expert engineers today!