Why the Lead Time on an Overwrapping Machine Varies


If you are buying a wrapping machine, you are worrying about delivery time the same way you worry about delivering your product on time. One impacts the other. I was recently discussing a food customer who has high seasonal variability. Their solution is to hire unskilled  temporary workers to operate their machines and use trained supervisors. You don’t know how jealous I was that this worked for them.

new overwrapper getting its guarding

new overwrapper getting its guarding

Last year we saw an increase in our overwrapping machinery business. We added some new overwrapping machine designs and agreed to design a custom wrapping machine that was within our design capacity and a very interesting project. Then we ran into staff changes and had to hire new engineers and augment our assembly staff.

There is a learning curve for new staff plus the loss in productivity for existing staff trying to train new staff. The net result was that we ended way behind where we intended to be. We should have promised longer lead times.

New staff is coming along and we see that we may have more capacity  to be building machines.

Unlike our food customer, we cannot hire temporary staff to design or build our machines. This is skilled work with a learning curve that requires a knowledge base of what has worked in the past plus the ingenuity to apply concepts to different product requirements.

The question becomes one of how we work with customers to get them the overwrapping machine they want in the time frame they need it.  We want everyone to think they are our priority but we know that the physical limits of our skilled employees preclude us from working 24/7 for even a week, much less the length of time to design and build a customized wrapping machine.

So like many who build custom machinery, we currently have egg on our face and a strong desire to be on time with our customers.

Do you have a suggestion?


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