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PART 2. The triangle of synergy: OEM - Supplier - Toolmaker relations

Updated: Jun 19


"OEMs need to be laser-focused on improving their supplier relations in order to best leverage their supply base” - Dave Andrea, Principal in Plante Moran's Strategy and Automotive/Mobility Consulting Practice

We Talked About the OEM and the Supplier...


Last week, we established that working relations between OEMs and suppliers were generally poor.


Representatives on both sides of the fence should have a clear understanding of how the other side works. At minimum, everyone should understand key processes like PPAP. Production data should be verified regularly and -- with IT/IoT data-tracking applications -- automatically. Communication should be efficient, ideally taking place through an integrated channel for alerts and notifications that can be verified by tracked data.



...Why Not Bring in the Toolmaker?


But as long as we’re talking about collaboration, why not also bring in the toolmaker?


In the larger picture, manufacturing is possible through the work of three key players. The toolmaker that builds parts-producing toolings. The supplier that operates said toolings to produce necessary parts. And the OEM that brings these parts together, ships the assembled final product, and sells them under their value-added brand.


The principles that should improve OEM-supplier relations apply just as much to OEM-supplier-toolmaker relations.


As a start, each should know how production affects the others. OEMs should work with high-functioning, qualified, preferred suppliers and toolmakers who justify their costs. Suppliers should be in lock-step with OEMs through simplified, integrated communication. Toolmakers can benefit from better understanding their clients’ tooling demands, and can demonstrate their value through optimal tooling performance.


The key to unlocking this three-way synergy is data. Real-time production data, monitored directly from the factory floor.



Unlock Synergy Through Digitalization


Think of a solution that bases itself on the tooling level. It monitors data regarding tooling conditions and performance, and transmits it to all three actors: OEMs, suppliers, and toolmakers.


This solution isn’t just a mere tracking device; it is a comprehensive IIoT corporate digitalization solution. It crunches the data it monitors through AI and machine learning, and shows the results to the three actors in the form of analytics and useful KPIs. OEMs, suppliers, and toolmakers now have the tools to benchmark one another in all the areas each are respectively interested in.


Here are some ideas as to how the solution could impact each of the three actors:


  • Toolmaker side Toolmakers provide the necessary basic technical tooling information: how to do maintenance, the toolings’ designed parameters, etc. Toolmakers will know if suppliers have done maintenance; if a tooling has broken down, the toolmaker will know if the breakdown was a maintenance issue or a design issue.

  • Supplier side Suppliers could reaffirm delivery dates, identify how much they’ve already produced. Information and visibility will help them catch due dates, locate toolings for streamlined tooling allocation. Integrated communication via the solution, in particular, will be invaluable for OEMs and suppliers who need to communicate important information and resolve challenges quickly and efficiently.

  • OEM side OEMs may find themselves optimizing costs and efficiency through checking their suppliers’ compliance and accountability and their toolmakers’ quality. For example, OEMs could check if their suppliers are complying to designed tooling parameters; if their current rates of production will meet deliveries on time or if they will be late; if tooling breakdowns are the result of lacklustre maintenance on the suppliers’ part or poor tooling quality on the toolmakers’ part; etc.


More than just a data analytics solution, the solution is a shared communications platform between all three parties. Analytics are but the tools that allow the three actors to better understand each others’ limitations and interests, helping them align their goals and become collaborators.



A Triangle of Synergy


eMoldino provides just this solution. Our intent is to help OEMs, suppliers, and toolmakers leverage the innovations of industrial digitalization so that they may work together in a triangle of synergy.


How do you appraise your own partners? How do your working relations with your clients, suppliers, or toolmakers factor in the way you do business? 10 years down the line, once Industry 4.0 has been fully realized, these relationships will be altered completely. Start now and transform your own relations with your partners through digitalization and real-time data today.

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