E3.series Helped Two Companies Integrate Their Supply Chain, Saving Time and Money
When companies identify ways of making huge time savings in their supply chain that are then proven in practise, it’s great news all round. I recently heard how David Mullan and the team at High Peak (one of our UK electrical resellers) are working with Emergency One (fire engine manufacturer) and their harness manufacturer, Teepee Electrical.
I’m not sure they’d describe themselves in this way, but the High Peak team are E3.series ninjas. They set themselves the challenge of helping long-term E3.series users Emergency One, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of fire, rescue and emergency vehicles, further reduce their harness turnaround times. They planned to do this by using advanced functionality in the electrical CAD software. But when they probed deeper they realised that they could achieve further huge time savings by solving a process issue with Teepee Electrical. Now Teepee has managed cut their harness quote turnaround time from weeks to seconds by adopting E3.series.
Graham Wong at Emergency One commented that:
Now Teepee also has E3.series we’re working in a real-time, synchronized way with more of a team approach. We’re looking forward to benefiting from the faster response times on changes and fewer iterations. Teepee’s higher capacity could eventually help us increase our own production output.
With figures like this I wanted to know more, so I caught up with Teepee Electrical’s Managing Director, Steve Clarke.
Tell me about your company
Teepee Electrical Limited has 25 years’ experience as a leading supplier of specialist Cable Harnesses, Wiring Looms and Panel Assemblies. We provide a world-class service to a broad range of industry sectors throughout the UK and internationally including: rail, bus and coaches, emergency vehicles and many more. The business has seen turnover treble over the last four years and we are already nearly at capacity in our new facility, which we moved into in 2014.
What led you to consider changing to a digital design flow and adopting E3.series?
We had already been talking to Emergency One to understand how we could work more efficiently together in designing and drawing cable harnesses, but we didn’t really understand the technical benefits of E3.series until High Peak brought us together to talk. We had a problem with our quote turnaround time because we would receive the customer’s data as a viewer file, and then have to spend ages simply redrawing it on our own system. This meant that a new quote could typically take two to three weeks – frustrating both for us and our customers.
Emergency One has been using E3.series for its harness design for a long time and it became clear that if we were also using E3.series we could import their native data straight into our own system bypassing all that time-consuming and tedious redrawing.
Did you know much about E3.series before you made the move?
We’ve seen a big shift in our customers moving over to E3.series over the past three years which made us sit up and take notice. And we’ve noticed a similar story with potential customers making the switch to E3.series, so it made sound business sense to consider using it ourselves.
What’s your design process like now?
The biggest difference is that we can now generate an accurate quote in 30 seconds! Also, because we’re getting native data, we can work more closely with our customers on the harness form-board, positions and dimensions. We can also create bills of materials directly from E3.series – another big time-saver – and quality is improved because we’re not doing manual inputting.
What other business benefits are you expecting?
Being an E3.series user is likely to be a big selling point for us when we’re pitching for new business especially with prospective customers who use it themselves. We’re in a dynamic, fast-moving market where new opportunities come really quickly so having the ability to turn quotes around without the previous delays we used to encounter can only be beneficial to our business.
Using E3.series will give us the ability to provide much more engineering design work for our customers. There’s also the added value in terms of manufacturing having access to a digital database of components that we can pull up on the shop floor. Overall E3.series will give us the platform for closer collaboration with our customers and reduce the time for providing new designs or design changes, in turn reducing lead times and costs.
What’s next for Teepee?
The scope, decision and test process has been extremely fast – a matter of a few months – and we’re now starting implementation and training.
Or to read about how Zuken has helped companies across a range of industries achieve their goals here.