Department Profile – Purchasing / Planning Department
Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ teams – its Departments. Meet the Purchasing / Planning Department.
Name of Department: Purchasing / Planning Department
The Purchasing / Planning Department at Team 1 Plastics consists of one Team Member, Marcus Battin, whose job title is Purchasing Manager / Planner. As his title indicates, Battin’s job is two-fold. He is responsible for scheduling the plant’s production schedule for all of the injection molding presses. He is also tasked with procuring the majority of the material and supplies used by the company.
How does your Department support Team 1’s Customers? In his role as Planner, Battin ensures that every customer’s order is completed in a timely manner. He uses scheduling software to assist him in planning out the production schedule for each injection molding press. “I have a two-week window on my scheduling program, and we try to keep anywhere from 14 to 21 days of inventory in the Warehouse.” Maintaining this level of inventory makes unplanned events, such as customer’s drop-in orders, much easier to manage.
As Purchasing Manager, Battin is tasked with procuring the components that are needed for value-added assemblies. (Team 1 Plastics produces at least one part of the assembly. The rest of the parts for the assembly are purchased from suppliers.) Sometimes, the customers specify the supplier that they want to use for the purchased components. Other times, Battin must hunt for a vendor who can supply the component that meet the specifications required by the customer.
How does your Department support Team 1? Battin orders all materials and supplies used by the company other than office supplies and “nuts and bolts” for the Maintenance Department. He creates all Purchase Orders and sets the production schedule. He routinely communicates with Team Members about the production schedule and their material and supply needs. And, he is constantly communicating with vendors, ensuring that supplies are on hand when needed and working to get the best pricing possible.
Describe a typical work day in your Department. Checking the status on open Purchase Orders and calculating material inventory are tasks that Battin does each work day. Other typical tasks include supplying the Sales Department with material prices for their RFQs (Request for Quotations) and working with the Engineering Department in scheduling trial runs for new parts without interrupting with the production schedule. He also works with the Maintenance Department in scheduling downtime for the presses so they can perform preventative maintenance or resolve issues.
Share an example of a problem/challenge that your Department encountered and how you solved it. “Our material inventory calculation was off, and we realized that we only had about two days of inventory,” Battin said. “I reached out to our vendor, and they were able to work with us in moving up our next order with them. It arrived in time to keep production running.”
What is One Noteworthy Accomplishment by your Department in the recent? Providing Team 1 with energy cost savings of more than $10,000 per year is the noteworthy accomplishment that Battin shared. There were two significant events that created this savings. The first was the switch to LED lighting throughout the plant. The second involved a utility bill audit conducted by Tenurgy, “a Michigan-based telecom and utility expense management firm.” Following the audit, Team 1 Plastics adjusted its utility package with its local electric company. According to Battin, the new utility package “fits us better on how we run the plant and saves us roughly $11,000 per year in energy costs.”
What are the Current Goals for your Department? There are two current goals for the Purchasing / Planning Department: keeping purchasing costs down and maintaining at least a 95% on-time shipping percentage. Battin said, “Because the market is so volatile, you’ve got to stay on top of your suppliers to try and keep costs down.” He has been working with vendors in doing things like combining materials weight-wise to get a lower cost. “It’s an on-going thing that you have to follow up with every day.”
What does your Department take pride in? Maintaining a high shipping percentage is something of which Battin is particularly proud. He explained that his work in production scheduling directly impacts the shipping percentage. When the production schedule keeps the Warehouse inventory at an optimum level, on-time shipments occur.
Department’s Random Poll: Is Elvis the King? “Of course,” replied Battin emphatically. “I’ve always been a fan. He could sure sing,” although he admitted, laughing, “I didn’t like him as an actor.”
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