3 Contributing Factors to McCrometer’s Low Lead Times
McCrometer maintains low lead times during the current supply chain crisis when many manufacturers are encountering issues acquiring raw materials resulting in delayed shipments. The capability to manufacture and ship out flow meters in a timely manner is crucial for customers with municipal water, wastewater, and industrial flow projects, whose daily operations depend upon uninterrupted flow data to make informed decisions.
The key to McCrometer’s low lead times is no “secret sauce.” It’s ultimately a combination of 3 factors that contribute to the delivery of necessary flow measurement devices to our customers – despite the current supply chain predicament.
Lean Manufacturing for High-Quality Output
McCrometer employs lean manufacturing methods to build quality into factory processes and improve productivity. The main objective is for the factory to get more shipments out the door while improving and protecting our product lead times. Although agile production processes allow McCrometer to respond to changes in the supply chain, it’s our strategic inventory buffers that are the main driver behind our ability to meet or beat expected lead times. Our lean manufacturing methods are designed to absorb a high level of demand fluctuation so upstream and downstream operations can continue to operate at a steady throughput. Lean manufacturing has also allowed McCrometer to recognize potential process improvements and eliminate future supplier roadblocks. This strategy is what led McCrometer to bring previously outsourced meter components in-house, such as the ProComm™ converter, the electronics featured on the FPI Mag®, the SPI Mag®, and the Ultra Mag®.
These three mag meters accompanied by the ProComm converter are available for the below lead times:
- Ultra Mag: leads times as low as 1 – 2 weeks for meters 2” – 12” nominal pipe size, and 3 – 8 weeks for 14” – 48” or non-standard lengths
- FPI Mag: 2 – 8 weeks for meters less than 48” nominal pipe size, and 6 – 12 weeks for custom orders of line size larger than 54”
- SPI Mag: 3 – 5 weeks for standard models
Lead times may vary depending on quantity, line size, and configuration.
Our Inventory Management System
McCrometer’s optimized lead times are affected greatly by a workflow management method that allows for McCrometer’s efficient inventory system. Transparency, communication, and visual management as well as standard work within factory operations ensure a steady flow of raw materials and components on-hand for production.
McCrometer’s procurement team is responsible for managing suppliers and maintaining the factory’s raw materials. They’re constantly negotiating prices, quantities, and deliveries to ensure quality and availability. McCrometer has multiple suppliers for each product line, and even sources directly from mills for certain raw metals. McCrometer avoids sourcing from a single geography, allowing the team to be nimble despite a precarious supply chain environment.
While foundational procurement processes are based on standard work guidelines, McCrometer also utilizes proprietary software created to manage the many variables that affect inventory management. This software tool takes into consideration vendor lead times, procurement schedules, customer demand on product, existing material stock, material usage, and seasonality, and triggers the buying process. It also includes red flag notifications when vendor lead times have increased, new suppliers or products must be procured, and when to communicate to cross-functional teams (such as engineering) that a supply workaround must occur. This inventory management tool and the overall procurement process allow McCrometer to manufacture flow meters without lead time delays in a supply chain crisis.
Additionally, McCrometer practices lean manufacturing methods involving scheduling tools for smooth operations. For the McCrometer factory, this pillar has cultivated into a practice of manufacturing certain meter components prior to orders being placed. Popular product configurations with a high monthly manufacturing volume are partially manufactured or pre-assembled to lessen overall lead times for customers. Activities such as dipping sensor bodies into the epoxy coating are done pre-order, leaving only the final assembly and electronics installation and configuration to be completed once an official order is placed.
Made in the USA
Part of McCrometer’s inventory sourcing methods include prioritizing American-sourced raw materials. McCrometer’s factory is headquartered in Southern California, so all flow meters are manufactured in the USA. Sourcing domestic materials and suppliers removes the reliance on overseas shipments and possible delays in customers or deliveries being stuck in ports. Additionally, relying on domestic suppliers eliminates potential issues with trade sanctions or restrictions sourcing from certain countries.
The low lead times for the FPI Mag, Ultra Mag, and the SPI Mag can be attributed to raw materials and components being sourced locally, the meters themselves being manufactured at headquarters, and the flow lab also being on-site.
Every one of our mag meters is wet-calibrated in our on-site, NIST-traceable flow lab in Hemet, California. Each meter comes with a calibration certificate of quality and accuracy, and the fact that our flow lab is just a step away from our manufacturing shop floor ensures timeliness as well.
Lead Times May Vary
It’s important to mention that although McCrometer’s lead times are low, certain project timelines may be extensive. McCrometer offers a certain level of customization to our product lines to provide solutions to our customers’ toughest flow projects. Meters requiring the involvement of our engineering teams, the need to procure specialized materials, additional non-destructive testing, and other custom requests will augment our standard lead times. It’s best to contact the factory to get a quote on turnaround times for your desired flow project.
Ready to receive a quote on an Ultra Mag, FPI Mag, or SPI Mag for your next flow project? Reach out to the McCrometer team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting your local authorized McCrometer representative.
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