Reducing Lead Times on Aluminium Windows

A window fabricator was recently highlighted in the news for working to reduce aluminium lead times. It began carrying extra stock to address the longer lead times in the sector, when compared to PVCu. The goal was to work on the same schedule while producing aluminium windows. In fact, there have been improvements to the supply chain, as other companies have worked to bring down the lead times and satisfy more customers.

While carrying extra stock has been a proven solution, there are still questions to answer. More stock, however, raises the questions of whether to carry more of one color or finish over another. Should painting and powder coating be outsourced? Stocking more popular colors of doors and bifolding doors has been beneficial. Windows, however, have more options, add-ons, cill sections, adapters, and other variables. What to keep in stock therefore can present a challenge. Some companies are resorting to a PVCu Service in these situations, particularly when non-standard colors are used.

Established aluminium fabricators can offer a two week lead time. Businesses need to consider how specific color requests, powder coating, variable ancillary sections, and add more time to delivery. They can integrate a PVCu Service, but must identify which products it applies to. Manufacturers often compete to offer the best service. Certain color requests, for example, can extend lead times, especially if the customer wants a dual color product. Painting the inner and outer extrusions first and then rolling the extrusions will take longer as third party companies and additional processes are needed.

While some companies have relied on systems companies to manage the supply chain, putting new systems and procedures into place is the way to offer better lead times. This move positions a company to provide better service, expand, and support additional orders. Any window and door manufacturer is better off when they take measures to improve lead times, whether selling bifolding doors or a product with specialized sections and produced with the aid of a trade supplier.

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