Strategic Solutions in Action: Relationship Case Studies

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Mainstay partners with a variety of companies in a variety of industries to find specific solutions to alleviate problems and maximize efficiency and growth. We have identified six partner solutions that resonate with companies we serve.  Usually, one or two of these six stand out to be valuable solutions we focus and apply quickly.  Below, you can read specific examples we have pulled together from different relationship case studies to give you some perspective and insight.  We believe some of the experiences we share here could relate to challenges that exist in other organizations and represent opportunities afforded by our commitment to strategic solutions.

Create Scalability

This relationship started in 2006 because the company was looking to add another vendor to satisfy the growth they were experiencing.  We worked together that first year to the volume of about $45,000.  Ten years later, we are producing volumes for them at $650,000.  They have experienced growth over 35% in each of the last two years.  During that ten-year period, Mainstay has planned additional resources to support the growing relationship.  Mainstay strategically evaluates relationships to understand where new or additional human or equipment resources should be added.

As we continue to plan for growth, Mainstay constantly looks for efficiency improvements as well as different production methods.  Technology, skill sets, tools and equipment are always changing.  Our Continuous Improvement Team carved out some space and developed a department to handle the increasing processing this relationship needed.  It was a requirement that we were looking at “part time,” and we needed to step up and commit more resources.  It was decided that we needed a couple more people to focus on this capability, and we needed to invest in some new tools to help us with our throughput. The team designed and built process specific material handling carts.  These carts increase the operator’s ability to finish his or her job and protect the work in between sequences.  As a result, the requirement is more organized and our internal rework has been eliminated.  This is just one example of how we look for simple solutions to make small gains and create huge opportunities.  

Increase Cash Flow

In another relationship, the company was considering adding equipment to perform some of the capabilities they had been outsourcing. After partnering with Mainstay, they realized that they could avoid that unnecessary cost burden and free up their cash flow because they had a complete metal components shop at their disposal. We were able to offer them a cafeteria menu of services at a fixed cost eliminating their need to add equipment and new employees. In doing so, we were able to save them from a variety of burdens, including limited cash flow, variable costs, a learning curve, debt service, human capital headaches and new management requirements.   Additionally, Mainstay has worked to suggest cost efficiencies in the company’s product design to help keep production costs low. The company has taken a lot of welding out of their parts because of Mainstay’s forming capabilities. We are capable of forming an edge much quicker than welding the two pieces together, giving it a much cleaner appearance.

Reduce Delivery Time

In this case, the company had been dealing with other shops whose lead times fluctuated significantly depending on the activity from those vendors’ other customers. When they sourced the work to us, they found that Mainstay could offer consistent lead-times regardless of the circumstances. Later, the company found that they were in need of a 3-day delivery. In their fast-paced market, competition was winning their business when they had to wait 7 or 8 days for deliveries. When they presented this need to us, we offered a few different production and inventory solutions. Now, we inventory their part numbers cut and store them flat. When an order is made, the only remaining process is to form the part numbers and ship. This way, we are able to meet their delivery needs, and the company is able to address the challenges of their market, stave off their competition, grow their business and increase our volumes.

Reduce Vendors

Before we began our partnership with this company, they were struggling with the inadequacies of their other vendors. Their other three vendors were unable to keep up with the company’s growth and meet consistent lead times because of the demands other customers imposed. This client hadn’t been able to partner with bigger, more capable companies because, at that time, their volumes were too low to interest those companies. Mainstay invested in their growth and offered them a primary partnership. When working with us, they found that our throughput was better than those other vendors. While they continue to use two other vendors for parts that are less critical, they have re-sourced most of their parts to Mainstay. We invested in the necessary resources and adopted the necessary strategies to meet consistent lead-times and never compromise on quality or delivery, for them or any of our other relationships. In the rare instances when there has been a hiccup on quality, we accelerated the repair or replacement to keep our partner from missing production requirements. In doing so, we saved the company from the additional costs they were experiencing with other vendors because of poor quality or late delivery. We offer them a complete solution that will grow with them.

Manage Inventory

When we started working with this company, they had been dealing with several inconsistent vendors. They had to keep a lot of inventory on the shelves to absorb the long lead-times or missed delivery dates. This took up their valuable floor space and added to their indirect costs. When they began placing orders with Mainstay, we encouraged them to leverage our capabilities and decrease that inventory. It took them a little while to gain confidence in our efficiency and consistency, but after about 5 deliveries, the company had reduced their excess inventory. They knew that they could count on our delivery promises and reduced those unnecessary costs and inconveniences. After all of the excess inventory was removed, they gained enough space to add four new assembly workstations and increase their finished goods throughput.

Subsidize Capacity

This particular company has some cutting, forming and welding capabilities. However, some of their product components exceed those capabilities. Rather than having to replace or add more capable equipment to meet those needs, they were able to outsource those components to Mainstay. We offer fixed costs and invest in a level of equipment that offers wide capability ranges — state of the art equipment with cutting edge technology. Our partner gained an advantage in sourcing their increased capability needs to us.

As these relationship examples demonstrate, we work specifically to find solutions across all areas to meet the individual needs of our partners. We strategically invest in partnerships to promote leaner, more efficient business. We eliminate excess costs, unnecessary investments and overall inefficiencies to foster long-term growth and continued success. If you are interested in a real partnership centered on strategic solutions, start the conversation now with Mainstay.