16 Dec CASE STUDY: NAI Creates Dual Capacity to Offset Customer’s Delivery Issues During the Pandemic
One of NAI‘s customers was unable to meet delivery promises to its customer, because a number of key suppliers were literally shut down due to a variety of issues associated with Covid-19. This abruptly interrupted the customer’s supply chain and they turned to NAI for help.
NAI was able to continue its operations, since NAI’s global footprint provided a hedge against production supply risks. The company was able to provide its customer with several critical solutions:
- NAI mirrored the operation of existing part-specific production lines in Mexico by building the same operations in China, effectively doubling capacity to build customer interconnect products quickly for the customer, in order to mitigate the delivery issues that put them behind.
- This dual production operation was set up in a different global region to offset any risk related to current pandemic conditions that might occur where the initial production
was located. When NAI Mexico was hit by the initial wave of Covid-19 virus, NAI China had already reopened after going through their initial wave and could therefore take on the additional production projects. NAI was able to leverage its global footprint to create the best possible situation to address customer supply needs during this crisis.
- Dual capacity operations were up and running in China within a matter of just a few weeks, helping customers get back on track with their deliveries very quickly.
The immediate benefit of this project was to provide NAI’s customer with the extra insurance needed to meet critical production and delivery schedules during the problems and uncertainties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This dual capacity initiative essentially doubled the capacity to manufacture assemblies for the customer by establishing the same part production operations at NAI plants in both Mexico and China. NAI’s unique ability also mitigated risk with current and future production issues associated with pandemic slow downs. In this case, the NAI customer transferred its custom interconnect project business away from its incumbent supplier, who had closed their operations because of Covid-19.
Having worked with NAI before, the customer had trust and confidence in NAI, knowing this interconnect solutions provider would be able to meet the stringent deadlines for this dual capacity initiative. They knew NAI would be able to resume production in a short period of time, so the customer could keep on track to meet delivery commitments to their customers.
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Initial production line dedicated to a customer part-specific operation in Hermosillo, Mexico.
This new part-specific operation established in Suzhou, China mirrored the Hermosillo operation to create dual capacity and mitigate regional pandemic risk.
This project exemplifies NAI’s ability to allocate, split or duplicate customer production requirements among its various facilities utilizing its global manufacturing footprint…and do it extremely fast! This footprint, coupled with an experienced global supply management team, allows NAI to optimize production, add flexibility and employ alternative materials and processes for their customers’ projects, while ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of finished goods with enhanced value.
Jon Jensen, President and CEO at NAI, stated “There were many elements to plan and coordinate to accomplish this duplication of manufacturing capability in another part of the globe. We had language and time zone obstacles, although we turned these into an advantage as the plants in Mexico and China now each work alternate shifts to produce these parts around the clock for our customer. We needed to transfer all our well-documented production and test data from Mexico to China, as well as much of the material inventory.”
Mr. Jensen continued “Our teams at both facilities worked tirelessly to meet, and exceed, the target deadline. Our dedicated teams in Mexico and China worked quickly and diligently on this transition project, so that NAI was able to complete it within a few weeks, which can normally take a company up to a year to accomplish.”
Speed was of the essence for the customer, and the project team was able to shave off an entire month from the original target deadline.
A local supply chain was established for Suzhou, and additional materials, supplies and equipment were procured. NAI also calibrated and conducted the appropriate maintenance checks on all production equipment related to this initiative.
NAI’s global footprint provides a definite advantage for interconnect customers looking for extra insurance and to mitigate risk, so they can remain focused on providing continuity of supply to their customers
NAI designs and manufactures custom rugged cable assemblies and harnesses for a variety of industrial applications for mining machinery, construction and agricultural equipment, robotics, machine tools, material handling equipment, instrumentation & control, and other industrial technologies with demanding requirements. The company also produces custom interconnect solutions for the medical industry, manufacturing high-reliability assemblies for critical-to-life surgical devices and medical equipment. In addition, NAI produces interconnects for the telecommunications industry for wireless applications on cell towers and in base stations, as well as for data connections in computer centers.
Broad design capabilities, a global manufacturing footprint, rigorous Quality Management Systems, along with the ability to make things happen very quickly, combine to make NAI a totally unique and attractive supplier for interconnect solutions.