Frequently Asked Questions

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Global Sourcing FAQs

Below you will find answers to common questions related to global sourcing services, our processes and products we offer.

What is sourcing in supply chain management?

We use sourcing and procurement interchangeably.  Supply Chain Management includes the entire process from identifying a customer requirement to delivery of that customer part on time, every time, of the quality that they require.  

Sourcing or Procurement is a piece of Supply Chain Management and is primarily dedicated to identifying the right factory source that can make the product to the customer’s specifications.  Once the right vendor is “sourced”, Mechanical Power “procures” the product for the customer.

What is the importance of global sourcing?

Since the “world is flat”, most manufacturers around the world compete against worldwide companies that are all trying to sell to a worldwide market of customers.  

Global sourcing is critical in identifying the right product at the right price regardless of geography.  Companies that excel at sourcing products globally are more competitive in the global marketplace.

What are the advantages of global sourcing?

Global sourcing is a crucial tool for a domestic manufacturer to be price competitive in a global market.

What Industries do you source parts and components for?

Mechanical Power Inc., sources components and parts for industries such as: Agriculture, Conveyor Systems, Packaging, and many other industries.

What types of components can Mechanical Power source?

We globally source components for various industries throughout the United States such as: bearings, castings, sprockets & many more mechanical components and parts.

Where do you offer your global sourcing services? Will you ship to my state?

To find your specific state’s territory manager contact us and we will help you take hassle out of global sourcing.

Don’t you only source product Internationally?
Our expertise has been built on sourcing product internationally but we also have long and deep rooted relationships with local sources.  We believe that maintaining a balance between local and global sources is the best way to service our long time customers who depend on Mechanical Power to keep their production lines up and running.
Why can’t you just give me a quote?

Our specialty and a key to our success involves advising our customers on many aspects of sourcing the inventory they need. Because of this, we are extra diligent to gather all information from freight, after market customization, application, and much more about what you require which can all have an effect on your quoted price.  It would be simple to give you a fast quote.  

However, we have been trained to diligently review the prints and testing requirements of the product that our customer is considering.  We have engineers who ask good questions and look for ways to save our customers money while providing proven solutions.

Can you provide us with a sample for testing?

Nothing would please us more to provide you with a sample for testing. True to our advising nature we will ask you for your test protocol and test duration before we deliver your sample and ask for feedback once your testing is complete.  

There are costs associated with providing a sample for testing so we want to make sure we ask all the right questions to assure mutual success.  Many of our factories will ask for a Purchase Order for the production quantity subject to receipt and approval of samples that are “to print”.  

This allows our customer to cancel the PO if the parts are not to print or fail the established testing protocol specified by the customer.

Why do I have to give you a price target?

Providing us with price targets allows us the ability to better identify the supply source who will best meet your needs and provide you with the quality you deserve.  This also confirms for us if we are providing the correct specific part and if we are truly a good match for what you need.  

Our experience has shown us that we do not need to pursue factories that are twice the customer’s current price- similarly, factories that are half the price are also not good sources.  We find that a tighter range around the customer’s current price yields a much more comparable product to what the customer is currently using.  

Plus or minus 35% around the customer’s current target price generates the best options and does not waste the customer’s valuable time.

How can you decrease my inventory cost?

We have plenty of space at our warehouse facility to maintain your inventory.  As you are managing your Just-In-Time production requirements, you can rest assured that your production parts are one to two days away and can be on your floor with minimal notice. 

This eliminates your lead time considerably. We also work in tandem with your purchasing department to obtain projected usage and needs and allow for flexibility in your stated nominations to be ready for actual usage fluctuations.

Why does it take so long to initially get products?

There is a lot that goes into globally sourcing international products for domestic use.  If the products come from Asia, it can take 3-4 weeks for door-to-door transportation to Wauconda, IL.  Depending on the quantity and complexity of products being produced, machine time can be 1-4 weeks.  

Depending on the world-wide demand for products, we can sometimes wait up to 8 weeks just waiting to be scheduled for machine time to open up.  That means that sometimes half of the total lead time we are quoting is waiting to be scheduled by the factory.  Frustrating, but a natural result of being part of the global manufacturing complex.

Mechanical Power uses our Account Managers to communicate lead times and suggest reorders so that we maintain 3-6 months in the pipeline for our customers so we can minimize the long lead times associated with Global Sourcing.

Why does Mechanical Power ask for blanket orders want to know my annual usage for my parts?

Great question!  This takes into account everything we do for our customers at Mechanical Power.  

We take the hassle out of global sourcing and one of the biggest headache is balancing: 
1) having the parts you need, when you need them
2) long lead times.  

We balance these two things by thoroughly understanding the customer’s production schedules and forecasts.  This allows the customer’s Account Manager to see when we have 3-6 months of inventory on hand and ask if the customer wants us to place another order with the factory.  

We pay attention so that there are no surprises in the future.

What do you mean you can help me manage my inventory?

Every month your dedicated Account Manager will perform a Customer Inventory Analysis (CIA) which compares your provided forecast with your actual usage.

The disparities in these numbers will be discussed with you and your purchasing team, especially if your usage is increasing at a higher rate than projected to make sure we have inventory ready to accommodate for your increased need.

What can you do to ensure my stock while I transition to you as my new supplier?

We will work with you and your purchasing team to review your existing stock and your immediate needs. If you will need replenishing, we have many domestic resources we utilize to keep you up and running during the transition.

We will make your switch to us so easy you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.