Plan Ahead to Mitigate Supply Chain Challenges

At Gifford Spring Company, meeting (and exceeding) our customers’ expectations is our top priority. That means making sure we can provide the parts you need today—as well as six months or a year from now. 

It is no secret that supply chain challenges have significantly impacted the manufacturing industry since 2020. While recent indicators show cause for optimism, one takeaway we have from the last few years is that material availability is subject to change at any time. 

We are emerging from this period of uncertainty stronger and smarter, armed with strategies to weather any future disruptions. 

Consider Alternative Materials for Custom Springs and Wire Formssupply chain challenges

At the height of the supply chain chaos, it took up to six months to procure materials we once could get in only a day or two. Spring tempered stainless steel, a go-to material for spring manufacturing, was particularly hard to source. 

Fortunately, several varieties of stainless steel are readily available once again, but our recent experience has prepared us to preempt any gaps in availability going forward.

When time constraints prohibit customers from obtaining their desired material for a project, we often advise them to consider whether a comparable in-stock material would work just as well for their application. 

In some instances, sourcing a wire size or type that deviates only slightly from the customer’s original choice has made it possible to fulfill critical orders for custom spring services within tight timeframes. 

Place Blanket Orders for Essential Springs and Wire Forms 

One of the most effective ways to guard against material shortages is to place blanket orders for custom springs and wire forms you know you will need throughout the year. 

A blanket order is a single order comprising multiple releases of parts at different points during the year. Bundling a full year of orders for small torsion springs, for example, enables us to plan ahead and proactively source the required materials to supply you with the springs you need, when you need them. 

This ordering model also provides a degree of pricing stability in a volatile market. In the case of the small torsion springs, sourcing a year’s worth of materials protects us from the consistent price increases that have impacted manufacturers over the past few years. We can simply purchase the material up front at a single price point—and pass the savings on to you.

Learning from Obstacles

When supply chain breakdowns began to cascade during the pandemic, our customers who had placed blanket orders fared much better. We were able to look ahead and either secure the requested material or find high-quality alternatives that would work equally well for their applications. In contrast, fulfilling customers’ last-minute order requests was much more challenging—though we always did what we could to support them. 

There is a good reason many of our customer relationships have spanned the decades we have been in business. In addition to providing the highest-quality custom springs and wire forms in Texas and beyond, we are always searching for new ways to protect our customers’ interests in a constantly changing market. 

If you are looking for a spring manufacturer who will work hard to support you, give Gifford Spring Company a try. Request a quote today.