Finding Potential Together
At Kautex, we place a high value on building relationships with our suppliers. Creating a common understanding of product quality as well as optimized process flows is important to us, as is sharing our experience with our business partners. We have launched “partner programs” that help us in this goal:
Integration into the development process as soon as possible
The quality of the parts we buy from our suppliers is crucial to the quality of our end products. We therefore integrate our suppliers into product development right from the start and we coordinate with them as we develop features and determine how to install them in our products.
Value Analysis / Value Engineering
Many of the components we purchase from suppliers are too complex in functionality and design for our requirements. That’s where Value Analysis/Value Engineering comes in as, together with our suppliers, we look for ways to simplify those products, so that we can identify potential cost reductions and also reduce possible errors.
We review the process flow from our supplier’s production plant to the assembly of our Kautex product through value stream mapping. The optimization of processes and interfaces as well as the increase of the processes’ value-added component is the ultimate goal. Any potential for improvement discovered through value stream mapping will immediately be implemented at our suppliers location through Kaizen events.
Cost reduction vs. reduction of profits
Cost pressure is a day-to-day part of our business. Continuous improvement helps us meet this cost pressure with cost reduction instead of reduced profits. But we also want to help our suppliers. We offer them the opportunity to participate in our Six Sigma Green Belt training, during which they can learn to reduce their project costs, improve quality, and optimize processes while getting the support of our Six Sigma Black Belts. The goal is the discovery of potential cost reductions so that we can all remain competitive for the long-term.