With an increase in their customer base and production output, JW Kane needed to improve their business operations to support their development, and needed a supplier who could respond to their ambitious growth plans. In growing the business, JW Kane experienced challenges associated with inventory management which had the potential to affect productivity and efficiency.

As JW Kane and MSC have enjoyed a working relationship for over 10 years, they turned to MSC for advice to further investigate and solve the initial difficulties with inventory management.

By working in collaboration, MSC and JW Kane highlighted a combination of; too many suppliers with limited reporting which caused an overlap of stock ordering and associated high admin costs; an inefficient amount of unnecessary and unidentified dead stock; and engineer downtime caused by sourcing non-stocked products creating a risk to production. JW Kane was managing too many suppliers. This challenge caused numerous individual time-wasting occurrences on following up quotes, the inconsistency of deliverability and availability of products.

Additionally, aligned with their strategic development, there was a drive to achieve data-inspired insights across the business, such as; understanding tooling usage, managing stock levels, and improving productivity. Understanding these would create new sources of value and smarter revenue generating opportunities. Controlling cost and having the ability to report and project on inventory, production, and other business areas would enable JW Kane to build on their business growth and better understand the challenging inventory areas to optimise. This included the control and reporting of inventory. With a significant value of items held up in dead stock, JW Kane had an opportunity to streamline their supply chain. They were concerned with tool availability, stock-outs and ensuring nothing halted their customer’s deadlines and quality expectations.

After stakeholder consultation and identifying strategic priorities, MSC analysed the challenges and sought data to validate all the concerns JW Kane had raised. MSC’s Application Engineers worked with JW Kane to plan, record and implement all projects to overcome their difficulties. Over and above the challenges identified, MSC provided engineering support to their team to up-skill their knowledge of new product development as well as legacy projects.

Firstly, to tackle the challenge of too many suppliers, MSC gathered usage data to analyse stock holding and investigate current and future project needs. This approach ensured the right supply and demand of consumables were in the supply chain. MSC Application Engineers recognised the unidentified stock and catalogued all tooling to understand the current inventory in operation. MSC also worked on; the tooling consolidation, trailing and implementing better performing tools, cost saving exercises and improving production efficiency to create operational excellence for JW Kane. To further enhance their productivity, MSC implemented a regrind process to extend tool life and reduce overall cost.

Finally, MSC recommended ControlPoint, an inventory management solution aimed at gaining visibility, saving time and driving profitability. MSC implemented the vending solution tailored to meet the current tooling needs of JW Kane, but expandable to handle future plans. It consisted of two stock optimised locations on the shop floor, based on production requirements, being able to dispense over 300 products and scope for expansion.

MSC worked tirelessly and was committed to helping JW Kane achieve their supplier consolidation objectives. MSC’s breadth of additional Metalworking and MRO categories meant that JW Kane could source their industrial consumables from a dependable supplier. In doing so, they benefited from a combined reduction in the administration function and quotes from multiple suppliers. Individual time-wasting occurrences such as these can be collated together in achieving a significant time and cost saving.

JW Kane has greater control over their tooling and spend. Each month they now receive a suite of reports highlighting their purchasing breakdown by; product category, department, role and individual. In doing so, JW Kane has a data-driven insight into spending trends to understand how they can further optimise their supply chain, which directly impacts their productivity.

High tool availability limits risks to production and saves time previously wasted looking for tooling on-site or waiting for the delivery of stock. By using the ControlPoint inventory management solution, JW Kane has the right products, which are specific to a user’s application and role. Moreover, due to MSC’s dedicated inventory specialists, the machines are automatically restocked so JW Kane can rest assure their Inventory is always there.

MSC implemented a regrind process to extend tool life and reduce overall cost. To further support this cost-saving exercise an additional vending bay, dedicated to regrind stock, was installed.

MSC’s Application Engineers have invested time into new product development which means JW Kane is using the best tool for the job from the start, rather than making tooling improvements once the products are into production.