July 01, 2020

7 Reasons Screens Production Causes Headaches (and one way to fix it)

by Guest Blogger

 Every manufacturing company has that one troublesome process. The one they hold lean events around and even hire consultants to help with. They map and remap the process only to achieve marginal results. When profits, on-time delivery and customer satisfaction are at stake, acceptance is not an option – so they keep trying.
For window manufacturers, I bet the problem process that comes to mind is screens production.
Why is screens production such a headache? Let me count the ways:

  1. You are carrying a lot of inventory. You must purchase and warehouse frame material, screen material, corner keys, latches, pins, springs, plungers, clips and more.
  1. The equipment you must have and maintain. You need frame saws, screening tables, notching equipment, punches and assembly tables to complete each part of the process, and then you need carts for storage and packing material. Like all equipment, you must maintain it, which takes valuable time and resources away from higher-value tasks.
  1. The space that equipment occupies. In most window production facilities, raw material storage and screens production equipment can occupy up to 20% of usable space – even more in some cases. And that space is at a premium. Imagine what else you could do with it, including adding new automated equipment that will help you produce more of your core products, faster and with higher quality and fewer touchpoints.
  1. The skilled people it takes to do it right. This is a big one. The efficiency and quality of factory screening processes is dependent upon the skill and efficiency of the person doing it. In the grand scheme of the business, screens are a low-value process that requires the highest degree of skill. Add in the labor shortage and this is a recipe for quality and efficiency issues, among others.
  1. Order (and payment) delays. For most companies, the window screen is the last part added to complete the window. If a screen is incomplete or damaged, it can hold the entire order up and delay shipping. Also, the resources allocated to solving these issues could be used for something else more productive (see #4).
  1. Warranty claims. The bane of window producers is paying out warranty claims, and oftentimes screens can be an annoying culprit. Issues with screens usually occur at install if a screen is ripped, bent or doesn’t fit properly. There are also seasonal upticks, particularly in spring or fall when homeowners want to open their windows. Regardless of when it happens, a faulty or misfit screen often results in a rush situation to satisfy the end user and that can mean disrupting normal production flows and orders to settle the claim.
  1. Customer complaints. Related to #6 is the threat of the online complaint when the screen issue is noticed or if a claim isn’t settled in a satisfactory time frame. Not only is this a black eye to the window company, it can also be a drain on human capital to deal with the issue, from taking the call to scheduling production to ensuring fulfillment and ultimate satisfaction.
One solution
As many of you read this, I know you are either nodding along or shaking your head. Screens production is a problem process, but it doesn’t have to be – and you don’t have to keep investing in something that will never quite fit into your efficiency plan.
The answer? Get rid of the headache by eliminating the source. Outsourcing your window and patio door screens production can enable you to reduce your inventory, free up floor space, reallocate your most skilled workers to other areas of the business, ensure quality and on-time delivery and reduce the stress and manpower associated with fulfillment of warranty claims.
Quanex offers screens outsourcing solutions with multiple dedicated screens production facilities operating throughout the U.S. Since screens production is all we do at these locations, quality is assured, along with custom packaging and delivery options to meet the needs of any manufacturer.
Interested in learning more? Check out www.Quanex.com/Screens, or contact me directly at Brian.Ludwig@Quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: July 01, 2020 by Guest Blogger Filed under: customer, manufacturing, screens