Various programs that provide inventory to customers based upon their manufacturing “push to production” versus “pull through orders” maximizes our customers’ cash flow. Just-in-time programs are commonplace with electronic distributors these days. Less common are just-in-time programs covering custom products, based upon lower-volumes and higher-mixes of product. M-Wave offers a variety of programs – all related to some degree – but each with its own attributes and applications.
Consignment – Products are held for sale to customers based upon their usage. While the products are provided on a “take-or-pay” basis, they are held off the customer’s balance sheet – in other words with the title retained until the customer agrees to take the product. Normally these programs do require a minimum turnover requirement and goods may or not be located on the customer’s premises. M-Wave normally does not manage the consignments directly.
Demand Pull – In demand pull, M-Wave collaborates with its customers that share information on their forecasts so to formulate a program to stage product nearest its consumption point in sufficient quantity to satisfy demand plus safety stocks. It usually goes hand-in-hand with quarterly, semi-annual or annual forecast sourcing agreements. It is a “take-or-pay” program and minimum periodic turnover is based upon forecasts. Goods are normally staged at the customer’s premises. M-Wave may or not manage the through-put depending upon volume requirements.
In-Plant-Stores – Very similar to consignment; however, the goods are usually located in customer storage areas (with other components or sub-assemblies) and an M-Wave or a customer employee mans this area to release product as it is required. Different than consignment, this may provide for M-Wave to not only manage its products but also other vendors as well. The service is provided at a slight increment over hard cost and is meant for larger volume customers.
Kanban stocking – Originally a Japanese JIT method (Toyota best known adherent) of signaling for production supply, it has been used extensively in electronics – but less-so with fully custom products. M-Wave has its own version of Kanban that utilizes binning or other discreet containerization of products that feed a production activity where it occurs. Goods are pulled to the “bins” from a larger consignment pool either on site or within M-Wave’s facilities. The customer supports this with forecasting and M-Wave manages that adequate stock is always in the “bins.” The customer is invoiced by bin turnover during a targeted period of time. In effect, Kanban is a two-stage In-Plant-Store whereby the added step is providing product more closely tied with production.