How to Plan Your Fastener Purchases to Avoid Supply Chain Disruptions
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While the congestion at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA starts to ease, many are wondering if their supply chain worries are over. Unfortunately, the supply chain disruptions we’ve seen affect almost every industry imaginable have been a result of causes beyond port congestion, like COVID-related production decreases and increased overall demand. While some factors are out of any individual buyer’s control, there are a few factors a fastener buyer can control in order to avoid supply chain disruptions.
The first step to avoiding supply chain disruptions is to clearly plan out your needs ahead of time. Planning to rely on “just-in-time” inventory may not cut it with current market conditions. When it comes to fasteners, it would be wise to plan your purchases at least six months at a time, especially if you’re running an assembly line where fasteners are being used in products on a daily basis. Because fasteners usually consume a very small portion of a project’s or product’s overall budget, this is one area where you can stock up ahead of time without much impact to cash flow. If your production line runs out of an essential fastener and you have to pay a 50% premium to get it back in stock quickly, that cost more than outweighs the cost of overbuying fasteners by 10%.
The next step in avoiding supply chain disruptions with fasteners is to choose a reputable, reliable supplier. Mudge Fasteners has been in business for almost 50 years, and sells over 65,000 products. Mudge also has longstanding relationships with all of the top manufacturers, meaning our orders are sizable and usually prioritized by our vendors. Additionally, we can help you plan your annual fastener purchases ahead of time, resulting in a consistent supply of your parts, and at the best cost and delivery schedule possible.
Lastly, Mudge Fasteners has always been a proponent of limiting the design and engineering of fasteners in any given product or project, focusing on readily available, standard fasteners, instead of costly and harder to come by custom designs. Last year, Fastener Engineering Magazine interviewed our own Marisa Mudge about this concept; “The idea of designing with limited, standard parts is absolutely brilliant because of the significant time and cost-savings it, ultimately, provides,” she said. Custom fasteners often cost up to double the price of standard ones, but the lead times are even more atrocious, ranging from two to twenty weeks, or even longer at time. Standard fasteners can be attained quickly, often over night if necessary.
If you’re having supply chain troubles when sourcing fasteners, contact Mudge at (800) 634-0406 for assistance.