Indium Achieves Success with Centralizing Warehousing and Purchasing

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New York State manufacturing Extension Partnership Success Story

Originally published on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website with the help of New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP)

About

Indium Corporation® is a premier materials refiner, smelter, manufacturer, and supplier to the global electronics, semiconductor, thin-film, and thermal management markets. Products include solders and fluxes; brazes; thermal interface materials; sputtering targets; indium, gallium, germanium, and tin metals and inorganic compounds; and NanoFoil®. Founded in 1934, the company has global technical support and factories located in China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Challenge

Due to growing sales, Indium’s Upstate New York factories needed additional production space. Valuable space in their factories was occupied by large quantities of packaging materials. Although many of the packaging materials were common to multiple factories, they were replenished by each individual factory, resulting in more inventory than was needed.

This spreadsheet and associated instructions are more tangible, real, and valuable than the combined output of all other consultants I’ve worked with.

— Matt Grove, Business Analyst

MEP’s Role

With assistance from TDO, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, the team developed, piloted, and implemented several new tools and process changes to achieve a number of improvements. A team of Indium subject matter experts evaluated the use of an existing centralized warehouse to receive, inspect, and store materials until they were required for use at the factories. The team also evaluated standardizing replenishment processes across all factories to use safety stocks, re-order points and economic order quantities.

As a result of Indium’s work with TDO, the company now uses a centralized warehouse to receive, inspect and store packaging materials and replenish factories with small quantities as required. Indium has also standardized the tools and methods used to re-order packaging materials so that all sites are consistently ordering in planned quantities in time to avoid stockouts.

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