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3 Common Problems Affecting Manufacturing Lead Times

Lead times… One of the most frustrating but crucial parts of any project. Without a solid manufacturing lead time, your whole project is at risk of being delayed. No one likes to wait, whether it be for a coffee at your local coffee shop or manufacturers holding up production times. No one likes to wait.

It happens to the best of us, your production has been delayed and you don’t know why. I’m not sure what’s worse, not knowing what’s going on or the whole project being delayed because of something that could have been easily avoided.

To say delayed lead times puts a spanner in the works is putting it mildly, but instead of pulling together the hundreds of reasons why your lead time has been delayed, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 most common problems which could be affecting your lead time and how to avoid them in future.


1 Your extrusion design doesn’t work

Sometimes designs just don’t work, what was thought to be a brilliant idea might turn out to be more complicated than you had planned. Sometimes issues aren’t found until the last minute which means your lead time has increased and your project has now been delayed.Extrusion Design - Manufacturing Lead Time Common Problems

It’s always best to take your time with designs, it’s better to get the product right first time to avoid increasing your lead time. If you are looking for design support read more here.

One way to get around this is by ordering a 3D printed prototype, this will eliminate possible design flaws that may flag up later in the process.


2 Seasonal trends/shut down times

There are a couple of times throughout the year where factories/manufacturers shut down for maintenance. Orders are back logged and machines are block booked. It’s a nightmare when this hasn’t 

Manufacturing Lead Time - Aluminium Shut Down Times

been taken into consideration.

It’s also a huge factor that could increase your lead time if you manage to get caught up in the backlog of bookings.

This could be avoided by ordering your extrusion before the shutdown period begins and putting it into stock holding, making your product available when you need it.


3 Number of additional extrusion operations

You probably know this already but by adding additional operations to your order will increase your lead time. Whether it’s a type of fabricating or finishing, it’s going to make the process longer.

Manufacturing Lead Time Common Problems Anodised Aluminium

Often, there are several suppliers involved to complete those extra finishes to your profile which usually means a lot of chasing around and not getting any further forward.

Sourcing a supplier who can handle the machining, fabricating, finishing and other additional services will help to reduce lead times.


Finding a reliable supplier

It’s not often you find a reliable supplier who ticks all the boxes.

Bringing your supply chain together and making it a simpler process can reduce lead times dramatically but how do you go about doing that?

Not everyone will want to change suppliers, many will stick to the same supplier they have known for years even though they encounter these delays.

Manufacturing Lead Time - Changing Supplier

There are some suppliers out there that make it super easy for you.

By easy, I mean bringing all your manufacturing needs together and managing all the complexity for you. From 3D design support to fabricating, finishing and stock holding, everything is dealt with in one place. No more having to chase around multiple suppliers to see where your product is.

 Sounds good, right?

 Whether you are looking for technical design support because you’re unsure if your design is extrudable or wanting a reliable supplier to ensure your profile will be ready on time, BWC Group offer a range of services to help get your project underway.

 We've put together a white paper: 5 things to consider when selecting a new supplier, which includes a checklist of questions to ask when sourcing a new supplier.