Application of vendor rationalization strategy for manufacturing cycle time reduction in engineer to order (ETO) environment: A case study
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the application of vendor rationalization strategy for streamlining the supplies and manufacturing cycle time reduction in an Indian engineer-to-order (ETO) company. ETO firms are known for a large number of vendors, co-ordination hassles, rework problems and its impact on cycle time and operational excellence. Design/methodology/approach: The research demonstrates the case-based application of Kraljic's matrix for supply and leverages items, on-the-job observations, field visits, discussions and analysis of supplies reports. Findings: The study guides on the rationalization of supplies and the necessary strategic alignments that can significantly reduce supply risk, costs, manufacturing and delivery cycle time along with co-ordination hassles. The study depicts the challenges of ETO environment with respect to supplies, and demonstrates the effectiveness of vendor rationalization application for the case company and weaknesses of commonly practiced vendor management approaches. Practical implications: To be competitive, companies should rationalize supply items and vendors based on the nature of items and their subsequent usage by applying Kraljic's matrix-based classification. The immediate implication of vendor rationalization is misunderstood as reducing supply base, but it does much more and includes review of supplies, nature of items and strategic alignments, leading to win-win situation for company and suppliers. Originality/value: For the rationalization of supplies, while procuring and dealing with vendors, executives should envisage engineering nature of components, considering cross-functional requirements and integration of components in context to ETO products/projects environments. There is a dearth of studies focusing on vendor rationalization aspects in ETO setups in fast-developing country context.
- Mechanical & Industrial Systems Engineering [406 items ]