A recent partnership between Team 1 Plastics and a key automotive powertrain customer has resulted in the successful transfer of the manufacturing of one of their key parts from another supplier to our facility. Team 1 is considered a strategic supplier; this business was transferred from a non-strategic one.
Initial discussions with our customer about the transfer approval began in late 2018, and Team 1 was awarded the project in the first quarter of 2019. By that third quarter, the Production Part Approval Process was completed for the transfer of all molds/parts.
A project like this requires transparency and a partnership approach to successfully implement. Because the tools were located at another supplier, access to review the tooling and expedite its transfer was more difficult than if our customer had it in-house. So, Team 1 Plastics established a dedicated, cross-functional Microsoft Teams Transfer group. All communications, documents, and information were saved to this team, including overall project management reports so every team member had real-time project updates. The transfer teams worked closely on coordination and that constant communication from all parties helped ensure a smooth, seamless transition.
Some of the valuable lessons that Team 1 Plastics learned from this endeavor that will be incorporated into our next transfer project include: requesting and obtaining all available tool information upfront, including mold specs, cavitation, cycle times, shot counts, quality history, etc.; reviewing the tooling before finalizing quotations; and creating a dedicated cross-functional team from the start of the project with regularly scheduled customer meetings and strong communication.
From the project’s very beginning, Team 1 appreciated the customer’s partnership approach, which really helped with the successful launch of this program. They, in turn, lauded Team 1’s transparent communication of concerns and flexibility on the tool trials.