At Bex, we understand the importance of swift lead times for our customers. Often, printed labels and overlays are the final piece of the jigsaw for customer builds, so swiftly turning around these orders is key.
To do this, we do what we call material holding. That means keeping raw materials in stock so we have what we need to start working on orders right away.
Keeping a consistent stock of raw materials
It has always been best practice for us to keep materials in stock, but amid the recent economic uncertainty, it has become even more important. We have increased our stock levels and we keep an emergency supply to safeguard against global supply chain issues.
Delivery for some of our raw materials, which previously took around three days, can now take four weeks or even longer. We therefore keep a good stock of materials such as Macdermid Autotype polyester, Staufen PVC, Lexan polycarbonate and 3M adhesives on our shelves to make sure we’re ready and able to meet any request.
Trigger levels alert us when stock reaches a certain level so we can order more, and we have scheduled orders of materials that we use regularly. We plan over a six month period and stock comes in each month, meaning we never run low. These bulk orders also help us to keep our prices competitive.
Buying pre-cut to reduce waste and ensure quality
Where possible, we buy pre-cut materials in certain sizes to cut back on waste, helping us to become more environmentally friendly.
Doing this also means we don’t need to manually handle those materials, ensuring there is no damage or contamination, with clean, pristine materials being used every time.
Where materials do need to be cut, they can be cut by our guillotine operator directly into plastic totes, again making sure that they don’t need to be handled and potentially damaged or degraded.
Reliably swift lead times
Generally, we offer lead times of between 10 and 15 days. Stock holding means that when customers come to us, chances are we have the materials they need already in stock so we can reliably honour those lead times instead of waiting weeks for the materials to be delivered.
Material holding also means that we can be reactive to urgent requests. We take the stress away from customers as they know that they can rely on us to turn their orders around quickly. Those labels and last minute orders to complete their products are one thing they don’t have to worry about.
This is one reason why our customers return to us time and time again.