News & Blog

March 21, 2018

The Fast Eat the Slow!

How has speed to market changed the game? 

By Scott Sanders, President of item West

“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Ferris said it best. The world today is one of instant gratification and fast moving parts. Acquiring knowledge is no longer a delayed endeavor, requiring study and research. The days of slipping a disc as you pull Encyclopedia Brittanica’s off the shelf to find out the capital of Botswana ( Gaborone, btw….I just Googled it) are over. We have the world at our fingertips, quite literally. 

This reality has had a wide impact in both our personal and business lives. The manufacturing sector is no exception.  Speed to market of potentially game-changing products and technologies is vital to long-term economic competitiveness. In fact, being able to design and manufacture high-potential products quickly is critical to revitalizing manufacturing in the United States. 

At item West, we work with some incredible partners. Companies that are quite literally changing the world and how we live in it. The need to design and innovate and produce these world changing products as fast as humanly possible, and sometimes faster, is only growing. The supply chain is tightening and expectation is changing. We call this G.E.C. or Generational Expectation Change. Throughout the manufacturing industry in the Western United States we are seeing young, brilliant leaders emerge. Engineers, designers, executives, all with a passion and intelligence to make serious impacts on our lives and to do it right out of school. No need to wait for 20 years of on-the-job experience. They are hungry to succeed right now. 

As the expectation of these fast moving partners continues to change, we are seeing a pattern develop that has re-shaped our approach at item West. The old adage, “the big eat the small” has been replaced. Today it is “the fast eat the slow.” As a supplier we have learned that providing speed without sacrificing quality is our biggest asset. If the old expectation was 4 weeks lead time, it is now 2 weeks, with a preference for 1 week. 

We have developed a strategy to meet the needs of these fast paced environments and this new expectation of what a supplier should provide. It is the equivalant of recycling the encyclopedia’s and grabbing a smartphone. As we continue to refine the process we will be in a position to flex as the G.E.C. continues to evolve. 

Yes, life does move pretty fast, but if you let us, we will make sure you never have to stop to look around. We will do it for you, so you never miss a thing. 

 

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