You have sourced your inspection fixtures to a shop like PJF. What should you expect from your supplier? How do you get everything moving forward quickly and accurately? Let’s talk about some of the milestones on your project and how to achieve them.
Purchase order received
The purchase order for your project has been emailed to the supplier. Once the fixture shop receives the purchase order, they will confirm it matches the quote. They will verify that the price, payment terms, and projected delivery date align. From there, they will send confirmation that they have received and accepted your terms.
One critical item that can get overlooked is including data and prints. It is a good idea that on the day the purchase order is sent, you also send the approved prints and CAD. Early in a project, it is not uncommon for data to change often. Even during the quoting process, multiple rounds of data may have to be sent. Making sure that you and the tool shop work to the same information will save time and frustration.
Who is your contact?
Now that your project terms have been accepted, you should be assigned a primary contact. The project manager will be in charge of your fixture build from this point forward; having this singular point of contact will help streamline communication. The program manager should have an established method of keeping you informed on your project. Whether they call it a “Time Line,” a “Matrix,” or some other term, they should have a process in place for presenting all critical information.
What should you expect in your weekly updates from the project manager?
Just a few things are:
Approved REV. level of data
Critical dates of the project
Any open issues that need to be resolved
Status of the project (In design/In build/Shipping)
If engineering change quotes have been sent
If the project has been put on hold
This is just a sampling of the information that can be included in your weekly updates. This information will keep you on the pulse of your project, ensuring that you can report to your customer with accurate information.
Added-value of a program manager
An experienced program manager is more than just someone to track information; they are a valuable asset, of which you should take full advantage. Explain to them how you are manufacturing your product, what it will be used for, and what portion of the project you are responsible for. With their decades of experience with similar projects, they can provide you with options that have worked well in the past.
You want your project managed by someone that will lead you down the correct path, someone with enough experience to know the best practices for your particular application. Working with someone that has that experience is vital to a successful project.
Working with someone that blindly agrees with you will not produce the best results. You want to work with a manager and company committed to getting you the best product. This should include offering up options to accomplish your goals effectively.
The next step
The fixture shop understands what you are looking for and uses that information to put together a design concept for your fixture. How should the design phase be handled? What can you and the fixture shop do to make this portion of the project a success? Let’s dig into this phase of the project next week.
By Chris McColley