More Than a Supplier, Thogus’ Engineering and Quality Teams Anticipate Customers’ Needs
When products change or demand increases for a manufacturer, it becomes critical that a company’s supply-chain partners can deliver components at the quantity needed while maintaining the quality that is expected to avoid financial repercussions.
A long-time medial supplier partner located in Avon Lake, Ohio is one of those companies that relies on manufacturers like Thogus to help meet the needs of customers quickly and efficiently. Despite the 15-year history between the two partners, Thogus does not rest on its laurels when it comes to providing exemplary service.
Thogus works with this company to produce smaller disposal medical products like medical cups used in hospitals. The company produces 3 million components annually and relies on Thogus to deliver twice a week to meet the continuous demand.
Choosing a Partner
Prior to mass-producing medical cups, Thogus had been their go-to when it came to tooling and transfer mold services. However, when the medical supplier was faced with the tasks of manufacturing the cups, they needed an experienced custom injection molding manufacturer to mold the cups.
With 60-years of experience and an array of key differences, selecting Thogus as their manufacturer of choice was a no brainer. “We chose Thogus over other molders for a couple of reasons,” said a sourcing engineer for the sterilization products company. “They have really good customer service. And their quality and engineering teams worked closely with us as we put this into development to help us create a product that was moldable and was repeatable. We are not injection molding experts, so we relied on Thogus for their expertise. We got the design 95 percent of the way there, and they helped us to get it the rest of the way.”
It is Thogus’ DNA to ensure its customers have the best part possible that fits their needs, and its engineering team will often give recommendations for part changes when they feel the part may be difficult to mold. For the sterilization product manufacturer, this input is appreciated and valued. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and It is always good to have someone, such as
Thogus, to say you are going to put yourself in a difficult position if you don’t make changes,” said the company’s sourcing engineer. “I work with Brad Krupa; he and I are always having conversations about how to make the best part with the best value for both of us. It’s a very collaborative relationship.” Brad Krupa is the director of sales at Thogus.
Working Through Challenges
The project started out small using an 8-cavity mold. As demand increased, they needed to increase production and move to a 16-cavity mold. Doubling capacity decreased cost per component for the company and helped them to meet the increased need. However, the transition wasn’t as smooth as both companies had hoped. During the first run of the larger mold, it cracked in half. The tool goes through a hardening process, and the steel became overheated, making it brittle. When put under pressure, it cracked. Although Thogus couldn’t have anticipated this, they knew they needed to do what they could to get the project on track. They worked closely with both the toolmaker and the steel vendor to expedite remaking of the plates. The mishap slowed the ramp-up process, but production with the 8-cavity mold continued, so parts continued to be made in the interim.
“We were happy with how they handled it,” said the sourcing engineer. “I’m sure it was a nightmare for them, but it was invisible to us. Sometimes those things happen in life. The tool has been running fine for a few years now.”
Going the Extra Mile
One of Thogus’ marketing messages is, “We are more than just another supplier. We are true partners in the sense that our customers’ satisfaction is what defines ours.” For this particular component, Thogus has gone beyond just ensuring that quality metrics and demand is met.
“We order a lot of products twice a week, and they come in cardboard boxes. We were throwing the boxes away,” said the sourcing engineer. “Karen Novotny, our Thogus account manager, suggested that we move to reusable corrugated box, so we aren’t putting cardboard boxes in the landfill, and it saved us money.”
It has not gone unnoticed that Thogus takes the initiative to anticipate the manufacturer’s needs and has been a collaborative partner. “They are very easy to work with, and they don’t nickel and dime the customer. They do a lot of things forward-looking to keep ahead of our needs. It’s really a very collaborative relationship. They are well-capitalized from a resource standpoint to be able to think ahead to what we may be asking for.”
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