Vendor Managed Inventory: Five Things to Consider When Choosing A Vendor

After research, you’ve decided that vendor managed inventory might be the right solution for your operation. Perhaps the benefits are enticing for your business, or you’ve realized that your equipment is at a place in its lifecycle where regularly managed inventory will increase the lifespan of your machinery.

If you need a refresher on some of the advatanges of a VMI system for your organization., be sure to read Advantages of a Vendor Managed Inventory System.

If you’re unsure what your next steps are to finalize a VMI vendor relationship, here are five things to consider before making your final decision on a vendor:

  Senior Management Support: For both the vendor and buyer, senior management acceptance and support of the program is the first step in a successful and working vendor managed inventory system. Without the support of senior management it will be very difficult for the VMI system to translate through the rest of the organization as a recognized and working program.

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Advantages of a Vendor Managed Inventory System

Vendor Managed Inventory Systems can be a great asset for many types of businesses. For businesses that have equipment maintenance needs and can’t commit to cost prohibitive solutions, VMI might be a great answer. What is the definition of Vendor Managed Inventory? Vendor Managed Inventory (or VMI) is a business model in which the buyer of a product provides certain information to a supplier of that product, and the supplier takes full responsibility for maintaining an agreed upon inventory of the material. For many companies, vendor managed inventory is the next step in supply chain management. There are many benefits to vendor managed inventory.

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A Tour of Radwell Headquarters in Willingboro, NJ

Radwell International is the industry leader in repairing and selling new, used and surplus manufacturing parts and equipment. We started off as Speck Industrial Controls in 1979 and have expanded to nine different locations throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. In 2016 we purchased a 312,000 square foot building in Willingboro, NJ to house our new global headquarters. Our new building is an interesting and functional space designed to accommodate the many facets of our business so we can support our other locations and our customers as much as possible.

Our Willingboro building was formerly an Express Scripts Medco pharmaceutical facility. Over a million dollars worth of packages ran through the conveyor systems, robots, and the automation that was in place in the facility. Radwell International took over the facility with that automation already in place. A lot of it we kept and maintained or we moved parts of it into a new area to reuse and re-engineer. By doing so, we were able to come up with a system that best fit our needs.

You can learn a lot about us by viewing our facility.  Not only are we an industrial automation supply leader, but we are a remarkable and multi-faceted organization with a clear mission statement. At Radwell we work hard, but we also make time for social activities and for giving back to the community. That’s a very important part of our culture here at Radwell. To learn more about our culture, read The Culture of Giving Back

 

Another important part of our culture is quality. Did you know that Radwell International is ISO 9001: 2015 certified? If you’re not sure what that means, Tom Foy, Our Global Training and ISO Manager can explain a little bit more about this designation here ISO Certification.

Now that we've completed that brief overview, let’s take a look at our Willingboro headquarters.

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What to Ask Before Hiring A Surplus Inventory Liquidation Service

There are a lot of companies out there that offer surplus liquidation services. When hiring a surplus inventory liquidation service, there are five questions to ask and have answered before moving forward with the transaction.

1-Are you selling your surplus inventory to a real company?

There are many companies out there that claim to be legitimate surplus inventory liquidation services. Unfortunately, in many instances these companies are small, unscrupulous businesses that represent themselves in ways that may be misleading to customers. Instead of a seamless process, customers may find themselves with a less than desired outcome when it comes to liquidating their surplus inventory.

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How Test Fixtures Streamline the Robotics Repair Process

Robots are a critical part of today’s manufacturing. Keeping them running is a high priority, while minimizing downtime for repairs is essential.

In places like automotive plants, the robots can be massive, so sending them out for repair is not an option. Typically, when something goes wrong with one of these large machines, the problem can be traced back to a single component—a board or drive, a human-machine interface (HMI), a programmable logic controller (PLC) or a touchscreen, for example. Once the customer identifies the component that has failed, the next step is sending it out for repair or replacement.

Radwell International, a leader in industrial repair, distribution and surplus automation, maintains a $2-billion surplus, which is a great cost-effective alternative for a customer with a machine down. This this surplus also allows for their Engineering Department build efficient test fixtures. This huge on-site inventory of parts and robots means technicians can put the part in question through a full-load test in the same model robot as the one the customer uses. As a result, Radwell’s customers have confidence in the repairs and replacements because they know their components have been thoroughly tested. Radwell can also repair or replace teach pendants, control panels and any of the control components, as well as other parts such as servo motors.

This surplus and testing capability sets Radwell apart from its competitors and greatly enhances its capacity to quickly test components and replacement parts, so that its customers are up and running again as soon as possible. The extensive testing enables Radwell to offer its customers a two-year warranty (compared to the industry-standard of 12-18 months), and also keeps the warranty rate very low (4 percent versus the 6 percent industry average).

Watch a short video about the company’s robotic repair and test capabilities featuring the Kawasaki UX120F, a robot that improves production line efficiencies and general industry and automotive applications. The Kawasaki UC120F is just one of the many robots Radwell has available to test components.

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Equipment Overview: KH7050 Laser Engraving Machine

Recently we’ve acquired a new machine at Radwell International headquarters to add additional repair services to our capabilities. Our latest addition is a KH7050 Laser Engraving Machine, which allows us to design and cut new graphic overlays and gaskets for our customers.

The major benefit to having this machine in a production facility is the amount of time it saves on repair turnaround for customers. Currently there is up to a four week turnaround for customer overlays and gaskets to be made when these items are outsourced during our repair process. With this machine, turnaround can be under two hours. With this significant time difference, better service can be provided to customers who need custom items created.

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Standards in Action: An Overview of the ISO Certification Process

ISO Certification is a process that enhances the offerings of a business. By showcasing how an organization meets or exceeds certain defined certification standards, they announce to the world the highest level of quality, safety, and efficiency in their daily methods of operation.

What is ISO? ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, market-relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards.' On February 23rd, 1947 the new organization, ISO, officially began operations. It operates in a similar way to this day.

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Staying Cool: Increasing the Lifespan of Your Electrical Components

Warm temperatures can wreak havoc on electrical components and other manufacturing machinery. Internal heat will cause the temperature of an enclosure to rise to unacceptable levels if it is not removed. High temperatures affect  drives, PLC's and other automation equipment in a very detrimental way. Heat may cause system failure, thermal aging and reduction in thermo-mechanical cycle life. To prevent catastrophic equipment failure,

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Basic Operations: Zebra140XiIII Plus Printer

Recently our Engineering Department completed a new project. They repaired a Zebra 140 XiIII Plus printer from a non-functioning state to fully operational by utilizing existing parts and in-house materials. Not only has this given us some functionality for labeling our own inventory and repair bins, but it has also given us additional repair skills so we can help our clients repair their printers.

Internally we use the Zebra printer to create barcodes which help us accurately track and manage our repairs and inventory bins through our operating system. In working through repairing this machine, our engineering department was able to address three areas that have been helpful in operating this printer: changing the printer ribbon, changing the print head and printing using an existing template.

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Package Printing Made Easy: Markem's Hot Melt Wax Printer

We've recently added a Markem Hot Melt Ink Printer to our engineering department and its an interesting addition. 

How does this printer actually work?

Markem ink jet systems use Markem Touch Dry inks. These inks are instantly drying, non-toxic solid inks that contain no solvents and require no special handling. The printer produces prints that are crisp and do not smudge. It is also suitable for printing on a wide variety of packaging materials.  Code changes and real time updates can be completed without any downtime too. The printer has a user-friendly control panel and easy-to-use screen graphics that allow operators to program the entire day's code changes only once. 

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