Pivot Point

Case Study

Re-Shoring Your Ball Detent Pins with Pivot Point

As the world woke up to the devastating effects of COVID-19, many things changed—outlooks, perspectives, routines, processes, challenges, and outcomes. For the manufacturing industry, a breakdown in supply chains coupled with physical distancing restrictions, as well as new and highly stringent health and safety standards, have not made things any easier. The glimmer of hope in this scenario is greater demand for USA-made products, pressing original equipment manufacturers to intensify their focus on quality, and availability, through re-shoring. But will domestically manufactured product mean higher costs?

At Pivot Point, we are dedicated to helping you overcome your fastening challenges and provide the appropriate solutions for your application. Using Ball Detent Pins as an example, this case study will focus on how to decrease risks in your supply chain - without incurring extra costs.

  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Processes: Manufacturing: Ball Detent Pins
  • Company Background: A Ball Detent Pin is a fastener that incorporates a spring-loaded ball. The benefit is very fast installation and removal, while the ball affords automatic retention in the application. These quick-release pins are incorporated by manufacturers into tents and shelters (military and commercial), portable equipment for worksites, vehicle-mounted accessories, material handling equipment (carts, reusable shipping crates, aerial lifts), durable medical goods (hospital beds, dental chairs, equipment stands and carts), as well as sporting and recreation equipment such as, exercise equipment, vehicle mounted racks, and portable/collapsible skill training equipment) and food service products (ice machines/dispensers, food processing equipment, grills, service carts, etc…).
  • Challenge: How to mitigate risk and simplify your supply chain through re-shoring, without the increased costs typically associated with domestically manufactured product.
  • Assessment: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the landscape of the global marketplace, many companies are weighing their options in the face of increased risk of supply interruption from overseas. Upon reviewing more closely, some find that bringing their supply chain back to the United States is not the cost-add that it once was, especially when it comes to some products that have been historically imported. Ball Detent Pins are a prime example of this.

Why Now is the Time for Manufacturers to Re-Shore

Many manufacturers are all too familiar with the risks involved with importing products. Shipments traveling across international waters, customs headaches, extreme lead times, language barriers, inconsistent quality and, ultimately, a lack of accountability should worse come to worst - all of these complications of dealing with an overseas supplier add to the level of risk when fulfilling contracts with your own customers. So, why then, are so many parts sourced from overseas? Cost, of course.

Most buyers would prefer to source product domestically, as local suppliers are usually able to offer higher quality goods, faster lead times, and more consistent quality due to greater access to skilled labor. However, due to the higher cost of labor, domestically sourced product is typically more expensive. Still, with the onset of a global pandemic many companies have, at one point or another, found themselves in line-down situations due to a broken global supply chain. Missed opportunities and broken deadlines also incur cost – sometimes to an immeasurable effect. So, it’s no wonder why U.S. manufacturers are reevaluating the risks associated with overseas sources. Especially in difficult economic times, it can be challenging enough to secure business, but worse still to lack components critical to fulfilling a commitment.

Decreasing Your Risk and Minimizing Costs with Domestic Suppliers

Pivot Point proposes that you do not need to increase costs in order to have some peace of mind in your supply chain, at least not where Ball Detent Pins are concerned. Pivot Point’s approach is two-fold:

  1. Fully automated manufacturing in-house - capable of quickly and accurately producing detent pins. This means pins priced competitively with imports, but with quick lead times and extremely consistent quality.
  2. Deep inventory levels of our stocked pins. Pivot Point supplements our stock selection of inventory with imported parts from time-tested overseas sources who manufacture to our strict specifications. This continues to lower the overall cost, while creating a buffer in our stock levels to insulate against influxes in usage and eliminate “line down” situations for our customers. In the rare case that a customer exhausts our on-hand inventory, it’s fast and easy to build inventory on in-house equipment to keep our customers running until stock is replenished.

How to take Advantage of the Paradigm Shift

Manufacturers, as well as consumers, could not have predicted the major supply chain shortages that were brought on by the global pandemic. As consumer awareness grows, purchasing decisions are likely to also change. U.S. suppliers now have the opportunity to take advantage of this paradigm shift and reclaim manufacturing capacity that had been previously off-shored to countries with cheap labor pools.

Want to take the next step in working to decrease risk in your supply chain? Stop working with sources that only import or are lagging behind industry standards because of outdated detent manufacturing processes. Work with a company that drives down cost through expertise and automation. Work with Pivot Point.

Reach out to Pivot Point for a quick quote on your Ball Detent Pin business today.


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