Boston Centerless - Precision Matters Magazine Boston Centerless Precision Matters Fall 2019 | Page 5
CASE STUDY: VMI KANBAN
PROGRAM WITH SPECIAL
A fluid control manufacturer in the
Midwest was having difficulty receiving and
unloading large shipments of bar material.
The oversized bars were very heavy, and
the customer did not have an overhead
crane at its facility, requiring deliveries to
be made with a flatbed truck. They were
also experiencing a large spike in material
usage, and as a result, they were having
difficulty procuring material fast enough to
keep up with their customer’s demand. The
usage got to a point where they could no
longer accurately forecast when they would
need Boston Centerless to deliver the
material. They could only tell us they would
need more—at a moment’s notice.
Boston Centerless arranged a Kanban
program to hold finished goods inventory
in our Minneapolis distribution center (DC).
We then contracted with a local flatbed
company that would work on an on-call
basis to make same-day deliveries from our
DC to the customer.
To solve the issue with the spike in
material demand, we installed a short-term
solution to get them back on track and long-
term solutions to keep material flowing
optimally for the months and years ahead.
“A VMI program will not only reduce cost but it
will also increase speed to market by eliminating
additional time needed to move the material from
vendor to vendor.”
• We contacted our suppliers and
procured as much material as possible.
• After grinding the material, we held
it in our finished goods inventory in
• We contracted with an LTL carrier that
would pick up in Woburn and deliver the
product within miles of the customer
where it would be transferred to a
flatbed delivery truck for “final mile”
delivery to our customer. The LTL
carrier also furnished the flatbed and
final mile service, allowing for faster
delivery by eliminating the need for a
• Boston Centerless pre-produces a
quantity equal to multiple months of
their annual usage for that part.
• We hold the multiple releases in our
Minneapolis DC, guaranteeing 24-hour
delivery from the request for delivery.
• To manage the future flow of product,
our Field Sales Manager meets with
our customer’s planners to review raw
material and finished good inventory
levels versus current and future
demand for the product. This allows us
to make adjustments where required
and ensure that supply and demand
are in sync, preventing stock outs and
excess inventory situations.
Benefits to the Customer:
• Transportation costs were reduced
by 75 percent.
• Procurement of larger volume of
material generated cost savings.
• Finished product is available locally
with same-day delivery via a flatbed
logistics and ensures that receiving
material deliveries would not be
an issue at their facility, saving the
customer time and headaches in
managing the process.
VMI programs can be arranged for
round bar, precision flats, precision
shapes, precision wire, precision tube,
and cannulated bar. To better serve
our customers, Boston Centerless
has distribution centers strategically
located across the country in Woburn,
Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; and
Minneapolis, Minnesota. This enables rapid
shipment of material to customer facilities
and reduces lead times and freight costs.
Let us put our experience with designing
inventory management programs to work
for you. We look forward to helping you with