Since 2020, the manufacturing sector has faced a series of unprecedented challenges on both supply and demand side. From rising energy costs to the inability to receive vital raw materials, Pronexos is overcoming recent logistical challenges by taking a fresh look at its supply chain processes.
This response is already paying off. “We have had to become far more adaptable,” admits Bert Apeldoorn, Head of Roller Manufacturing at Pronexos. “Global delays in the delivery of carbon fibre, our key raw material, have driven us to reflect upon every stage of our supply chain, to see where we can become more flexible and creative. In response, we have greatly diversified the materials and suppliers we are using, which enables us to implement more adaptive approaches when key raw material deliveries are delayed.”
As well as a new approach to material applications, Pronexos have now started planning contingencies into projects from the start. “We have learned to expect the unexpected,” comments Karin Timmermans, Roller Purchaser at Pronexos. “For example, we have significantly increased the amount of stock we are holding, to hedge against logistics challenges. For fibre-based materials, we have upped our stock by at least 200%, which has really helped us manage product delivery times.”
Keeping customers engaged
Pronexos’ approach to customer engagement means that any material variances are agreed in advance with the customer, and their positive impact on delivery times is well understood by both sides. Better forecasting of future demand has also helped. “By engaging with the customer, we can focus on getting accurate forecasts of their likely future demand,” says Philipp Kroschner, Head of CFRP Roller Sales. “We have even had one OEM customer share their production forecasts up to mid-2024, which is hugely helpful for our planning.”
In light of this, Pronexos has ramped up its customer service performance. “In troubled times, we think being able to give customers reliable promises lets us stand out from the crowd,” says Kroschner. “We know that other manufacturers can’t give their customers a guaranteed delivery date – often, they don’t even get an order confirmation. At Pronexos, we now make firm delivery promises, and our customers can trust the process, knowing that they will hear from us immediately if there happens to be an unexpected delay for any reason.”
Proving product reliability
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic the importance of the On Time, In-Full (OTIF) delivery metric has been made abundantly clear. “OTIF matters to our customers, because they can’t supply a machine to their customers if a few rollers are still waiting to be delivered,” explains Apeldoorn. “What is also clear is that the quality of the end product cannot be compromised – customers would much rather have a guarantee of product quality even if they have to wait for it.” Year on year, Pronexos has raised its OTIF rate from a respectable 69% to an impressive 85% so far in 2022. “A high OTIF rate means customers immediately know what to expect from Pronexos: a reliable manufacturer that will deliver,” says Apeldoorn.
Another way in which Pronexos is improving quality is through in-house qualification. Incoming materials are inspected closely before they come onto the manufacturing line. “We want to guarantee that products have the correct intended properties before they go to the customer,” says Timmermans. “We find an average deviation of 3% between suppliers’ data sheets and Pronexos’ qualifications, which can be quite significant. Our calculations ensure the properties of the product are much more precise, which means customers can trust Pronexos products to be safe and secure.”
Pronexos will now focus on maintaining these refined processes, while continually reviewing areas for improvement into 2023 and beyond. To find out more about how Pronexos delivers high quality production and great customer service across all our projects, read about our company accreditations or contact us directly.