Low volume, high complexity challenges for oil & gas customer

Our customer is a market leader in the design and manufacture of high complexity downhole inspection equipment in the Oil & Gas sector.

We immediately identified the firm’s challenges within its operations;

  • Low volume, high complexity products led to challenges in build consistency
  • Having 727 line items, purchased from over 50 vendors worldwide, led to both over stock and stock-out situations, as well as issues in obsolescence management
  • Varying success in the management of multiple contract manufacturers
  • Common parts purchased by outsourced manufacturers leading to further stock complications
  • Poor feedback from outsourced manufacturing suppliers would see design-led manufacturing defects not being corrected, which led to a lack of confidence from their own R&D team
  • Poor on-time delivery (OTD) and lead time, which reflected on their customer performance
  • Overall distractions in managing suppliers, stores and manufacturing, with their core R&D and sales operations not having enough resources.

We presented a solution by introducing two separate teams, matching the structure at the customer site. Our purchasing team seamlessly reduced all electronic component vendors into one, implementing a dedicated buffer stock of all component line items, enabling our client to meet a six-week delivery from date of call-off.

Our in-house engineering team would liaise directly with the R&D department, arranging visits to our matched network of manufacturing partners, gaining confidence across the whole team. The team arranged regular meetings to provide crucial design and manufacturing feedback, perfecting the build quality in the demanding high-temperature applications.

We then worked on improving build consistency by filtering certain components above and beyond standard specification, designing our own test fixtures. The parts would be tested by our own in-house environmental chamber, conforming to an agreed specification before being re-reeled and transferred to a tested stock location.

We are now responsible for full product testing in-house within our cleanroom EPA, and are continuing to introduce improvements in design, manufacturing and traceability.

The overall project has:

  • Vastly improved build quality and technology
  • The use of just one local vendor with a transparent supply chain
  • Reduced inventory, with the only stock the firm carries being in the final product build
  • Reduced obsolescence, with our smart bill of materials (BOM) management tools creating awareness of upcoming lifecycle issues
  • Improved build quality, with all materials managed through Vanilla’s automated stores so no procurement efforts are replicated in supply chain
  • Regulated technical and commercial review with the relevant teams, so all design for manufacturability (DFM) feedback is correctly communicated and relevant changes are actioned
  • Improved delivery performance by 100%
  • Improved working capital and reliable products, which has led to increased sales and rapid growth without unnecessary expenditure in infrastructure.

Get in touch with one of our dedicated sales team to discuss how we could help your business [email protected]