Since I have been in the injection molding trade, scheduling production runs has changed drastically over the years. When I first started in the injection molding trade, scheduling production runs were very predictable. Companies would forecast what their expected output was going to be and place orders accordingly. Stocking product did not seem to be an issue for companies. It was the same scenario for injection molding companies. We would know what the forecasted orders were going to be so if we were slow or had some open time, we would run an order of parts knowing that the customer would eventually place an order. Material suppliers always seemed to have stock sitting on the floor ready for delivery.
Eventually this all changed as did the economy. Customers not only expected lower prices, they expected very quick lead times on orders. Customers started ordering product as they received orders and on down the line. This made scheduling and running production difficult for all of the injection molding companies. This also meant that nobody was stocking products so when an order did come in, it was a mad rush for everyone. Toth Mold/Die Inc. has had to deal with this issue for a long time and still does. We would have an order placed for let’s say 10,000 parts. We would complete the order and then within a week we would get another order placed for the same amount of parts. In years past, we would have received an order above what was needed and our customers would stock the parts or we would run an extra order and we would stock the parts. This is not an option anymore because of the situation of the economy. It seems all the orders that are placed seem to automatically be a rush. The issue of stock material is not an option as it used to be either. The material manufacturers are not stocking the material as they did in the past.
This scheduling issue is forcing injection molding shops to become more efficient as far as purchasing new equipment and hiring higher qualified employees to be able to produce parts as fast as the customers expect. By not becoming more efficient there is a great risk of losing work. Toth Mold/Die Inc. has had to make the necessary adjustments over the years to survive and continue to flourish.