Case Study of the C & F Group

EngMek Ltd commenced trading with a Galway-based manufacturer of sheet metal products a number of years ago. Initially EngMek supplied a small number of self clinching parts which delivered significant cost downs to the company. As the business relationship grew, it became obvious that the company had serious supply chain management issues which resulted in the following problems occurring on a regular basis.

  • Excess stock of some products giving rise to storage and cash flow problems
  • Stock outs leading to costly down times on factory floor
  • Multiple suppliers of similar products leading to administrative problems with multiple invoices and payments
  • Management spending excessive time co-ordinating multiple suppliers with production runs.

EngMek in co-operation with senior management in the manufacturing company reviewed their whole inventory management system for fastener hardware and class c components. The solution which EngMek  proposed to the company was simple but effective.

  • A single supplier for all fastener hardware and class C components.
  • A contract price to be agreed for a year on all products.
  • A blanket order to be given for the year for all hardware
  • A Kan-ban system be introduced that EngMek would manage on a weekly basis

This Inventory Management system was introduced  and it’s successful implementation has delivered the following efficiencies for the company.

  • Eliminated excess stock and stock out problems
  • Produced significant cost downs on hardware
  • Allowed management concentrate on manufacturing issues rather than co-ordinating multiple suppliers to meet a busy production schedule
  • One invoice per month, one payment per month rather than multiple invoices and payments

Initially this system was successfully introduced and implemented to the Galway, Ireland plant and the company’s plant in the Czech Republic.

In 2009 EngMek  was given full responsibility for managing all the hardware requirements of C & F’s new factory in China. This involved setting up a separate stores location in the factory and installing a web-based stock management system called ‘Genesis’ that allows EngMek manage the stock of the plant on a day-to-day, real-time basis.

Management in C & F in China have stated that this system has given them a competitive advantage in China as it allows them concentrate on their core business which is the production of computer racks and not having to worry about dealing with multiple suppliers.

In 2010, senior management in C & F having seen how efficient and cost-effective the stock system operates in China, gave over the management of all hardware in the company’s plant in the Philippines to EngMek.