Customer value is not just about spend

CML explains how hidden cost savings can emerge when designers, engineers and assembly staff work closely together to share ideas and add value


Companies often prioritise their suppliers based on spend. If spend is high, even small savings can quickly mount up. However, working with a manufacturer can lead to direct savings through innovation or indirect savings by adding value (to further improve future productivity) that may not start with an obvious cost reduction.


By working closely with its customers over recent years, CML has highlighted the mutually beneficial advantages delivered for customer and supplier alike. Typically, customers know what they want but welcome a manufacturer’s experience to make suggestions that save assembly time or remove unnecessary items that perhaps remain only through legacy.


Costs are generally determined during development but it is the manufacturing process and productivity that fully impacts the processing and outcome of true cost over time.


Value-added engineering is often best achieved at point of application, talking to engineers, designers and assembly staff about potential improvements. These are the people who know how to speed or simplify a process or, at minimum, maintain a required function at lowest possible cost. No one person has a monopoly of good ideas, so user experience can be an invaluable addition to hidden cost reduction.


Value analysis constantly pursues: materials with a lower cost and lighter weight; designs requiring less processing and fewer parts; and shapes that are easier to manufacture and result in fewer defects. Purchase costs may increase but render huge savings regarding installation, service and repair. The full picture has to be considered to determine the final result.


Adding value is good for all parties, minimising costs without lowering quality or functionality. Close collaboration helps cement relationships, having a thorough understanding of an application helps support the customer more effectively, adds increased value and ultimately supports longer term loyalty.


The drive to continue adding value for customers is a key long-term strategy of CML, having worked well to date. This, together with a continued program of investment in new product development introduction, will ensure the company can better serve its growing customer base.