15 - 17 nov 2022

Working with a new plastics supplier: Journey from the proposal to the final product

Working with a new plastics supplier: Journey from the proposal to the final product
Companies looking to develop their first plastic products or find a new plastics supplier and partner to join their ventures in this field often face the same problem: how and where to start?
What are the steps that need to be taken in order to get from initial contact to the final product? How to find the right partner that will embark on this journey with us and help us take our story to a new level? Let’s take a look at how we tackle this process at Skaza and what new partners can expect when first starting to work with us as their new plastics supplier. INITIAL CONTACT WITH A NEW PLASTICS SUPPLIER: FINDING COMMON INTERESTS AND CONDUCTING THE AUDIT PROCESS Establishing a partnership with a new plastics supplier is a process that begins by finding common interests and discussing the potential for cooperation. This is the part where we establish whether we share common values and goals and if our companies are the right fit for each other. If the potential for cooperation is confirmed, the next step usually includes an audit process of the new plastics supplier. Since the pandemic has made audit visits increasingly difficult, if not entirely impossible, Skaza found a way to ensure our potential clients still get all the required information. We have created an online audit protocol that enables us to build trusted partnerships with new clients and provides them with all the information they need to move ahead with the project. We strongly believe that it is important for our clients to have the chance to ask as many questions as they need to make an informed decision about working with us. We want to provide them with an opportunity to do so regardless of the current circumstances. The audit is successfully completed if the client finds us the best fit for their production needs and business cooperation is established. GETTING TO KNOW A NEW PLASTIC SUPPLIER: SENDING THE RFQ AND RECEIVING AN OFFER Once a company establishes that Skaza could be the right partner for the project, it is time for them to prepare an inquiry and request an offer. Let’s take a look at what goes on in this process from the side of a plastics supplier. As soon as an inquiry from a potential business partner is received, it is subject to a thorough review by our sales team and technologists team. The documentation included in the RFQ usually includes 2D and 3D models, plans, yearly quantities and specific characteristics of the products, if any. This is where our valuable knowledge and years of experience come in and help us begin bringing our clients’ projects into reality. At this point, some questions may appear from our side, and our sales representatives contact the potential partner to gather as much information as possible in order to be able to prepare a complete offer. If the need arises, we organize a technical meeting to discuss details, also using this opportunity to suggest options to optimize the product. The technologists team that closely follows the project from the start until the end is therefore always available to offer their support, knowledge and expertise, from the very first step of our journey onward. Once all the details are clear, the sales team and the technologists team work together to carefully review the inquiry and come up with the best, custom-made options for the client. If needed, they also keep in touch with the client throughout this process to offer additional support and ask for missing information. The next step is submitting the offer to the potential buyer. Once the buyer has reviewed the offer and provided us with feedback, we carefully check the feedback and adjust our offer accordingly. After the offer has been confirmed, it is time to define the key account management (KAM) team that will be available to the client throughout the project, always making sure they are in good hands. At Skaza, providing our customers with the best possible customer experience is one of our top priorities, and KAM teams play an important role in that process. The KAM teams are basically an extension of our customers within our company and are responsible for bringing our business relationships to the highest possible level. WORKING TOGETHER WITH A NEW PLASTICS SUPPLIER: PREPARING AND PRODUCING A NEW PRODUCT The first steps of working on a new product are usually also the most demanding ones. First, we prepare the DFM documentation and the construction of the tool. When preparing the 3D/CAD models, we make certain to be as precise as possible in order to prevent any issues in the next steps of the manufacturing process. At this point of the process, the technologists team works closely with the toolmakers and constructors to ensure the tool is made perfectly and on time. At the same time, the sales team is taking care of all sales requests, and the purchasing team is acquiring all important information, including the latest material prices and delivery times. All our teams are working hard to make sure everything goes according to plans. As soon as the buyer confirms the DFM documentation and construction of the tools, it is time to start the manufacturing process. The next important milestone is the FOT, in which the buyer receives the first samples of the product. Once these samples are reviewed and confirmed by the buyer (this process can be repeated more than once until the product meets all of the buyer’s demands), the product is then sent to serial production, which successfully concludes the process. WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY At Skaza, we pride ourselves on combining our skills and experience with our effort and determination to create the best possible products for our clients. All our teams are committed to ensuring that all parts of the process run as smoothly as possible, always ensuring that our clients are in good hands and receiving the results they expected when they first chose us as their plastics supplier.

Adriana Znidar

adriana.znidar@skaza.com