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Overcoming the Fear of Transitions

Fasteners remind me of that kid at camp who does all of the work: puts out the fire, makes sure there’s plenty bug spray packed for the hike, and patches holes in the canoe. This kid carries the load and is happy to get up every day and do it… matter of fact, she likes it! But, for whatever reason, this kid gets ZERO recognition. All of it goes to the popular, fun kid… until she’s not there. Then all of the sudden, the canoe is taking on water, there’s a runaway prairie fire that started after lights out, and the kids are pin cushions for the mosquitos because the Deet is on the shelf, back in the mess hall.

When a production line goes down due to the underappreciated fastener, it’s a significant problem. Everyone becomes a firefighter. They frantically work to keep production going while procurement searches for that penny part, like their missing car keys 15 minutes before an important meeting.

I’ve been working in the fastener industry for a lot of years and have seen purchasing professionals struggle with frequent fastener outages, and generally poor performance, but feel stuck in the current situation. They would love to make a change if they could be sure the onboarding process would be a smooth transition from a costly to a productive supplier relationship, and would not consume all of their time and company resources.

Well, today is your lucky day if you are a procurement professional who has greater expectations than your current supplier has proven they will deliver. Here are the key components of a smooth transition to a more productive partnership and a better quality of work life:


FIELD has implemented over 200 unique supplier-managed inventory systems since 1990. Because we believe in, and practice continuous improvement, our experiences and mistakes along the way, have resulted in processes that address all of the potential pitfalls of a complex transition. You don’t have to have 28 years of experience, we do, and you’ll know it as soon as you begin the process with our team

Dedicated Team

We believe in specialists throughout the organization. Because the transition process is complex and requires a whole lot of work, we have a team of people to do implementations only. The result is a highly qualified group of experts who will do the majority of the heavy lifting and manage the project, so you can continue to manage all of the other aspects of what you are responsible for day to day…and still have a life!!

Repeatable Processes with proven results:


The plan for every part is exactly what the name implies. If you have 1500 components that need to be transitioned, then the PFEP will contain the specific details, every step of the way, for each of the 1500 items. This ensures that all of the potential pitfalls in this complex process are accounted for and planned for.

Gap Analysis

The gap analysis is a full view of everything in the supply chain for the purposes of planning and prioritization. This visibility ensures we have parts in-house, ready to ship when we go live, regardless of the complexity, quantity, requirements and other factors.

Last piece inspection

The last piece inspection is the process of comparing the physical part to the prints, descriptions and other key characteristics. Often times what is being used on the assembly line is not what is on the bill of materials, prints and other documents. This process ensures that every item added to the scope will be ordered and shipped consistently with what is required.

Risk Assessment

When it comes to fasteners, c-commodities and machined components, there can be a large variation between low and high-risk parts. The risk assessment categorizes each item based on certain characteristics. The level of risk assigned to an item determines the level of scrutiny the part, prints and application receive. This process ensures the proper level of scrutiny and keeps the process moving forward efficiently.

2019 is wide open and if you need your suppliers to do more of the work for you, bring more to the table, and be a better partner, don’t let the concerns regarding transitions get in your way. We have the experience, team, and processes in place to smoothly transition to a more productive 2019. It’s kind of like losing weight without the dieting!