Industries worldwide suffer from component shortage. The shortage extends delivery times and stretches project schedules. Jani Katajamäki, Escarmat’s Supervisor of Customed Projects, says that schedules are planned with the project manager and the designer in the start of every project and the schedules are updated throughout the project.
– At first, we go through the schedule and check the availability of the needed components. We do a thorough research of any obstacles that could delay the project. By doing this we can promise a very realistic schedule to the customer. We update the schedule as we go and constantly inform the customer of possible changes.
According to Katajamäki, the products are delivered in approximately 10 weeks. To make sure that delivery times hold, Escarmat has come up with new ways for saving time. Katajamäki shares five different ways for keeping projects on schedule even during a component shortage.
Escarmat is engaging in custom projects more and more because customers trust that they deliver what is promised. If the components needed for the product are not available or the delivery time is too long, Escarmat suggests using alternative components. The components are never changed to alternatives before consulting the customer.
– We always ask the designer for their opinion on changing the components. Designers also provide good ideas for how to stick to the schedule.
According to Katajamäki, Escarmat is very aware of the obligations the customer has for the end customers. If challenges come up in the wiring it is openly communicated to the customer and the schedule is updated together.
– We operate beside the customer during the process. They have the knowledge of the products and the power to decide, how the end products turn out.
In some cases, Escarmat saves time by ordering the needed components before receiving the official order.
– For example, last week a customer said that they need an extra part for a switchgear. The part was needed as soon as possible, so we ordered the components and made the extra part before the order was confirmed. Escarmat took a slight risk on this, but we have collaborated with our customers for decades. Therefore, we trust each other and can proceed before receiving official orders.
One way to save time is to install the missing components afterwards. Cabinets are made as ready as possible and delivered to the customer. The missing components are installed immediately after their arrival.
– Some cabinets can be delivered to the customer even if they are a bit incomplete if the missing components can be easily installed afterwards. For example, meters and plug relays are components that can be installed afterwards.
In some cases, a substitute component can be used in the product, and it can be replaced with the original one afterwards.
– We have replaced FX relays with substitute relays during testing. The substitute relays cannot withstand real use but can be used during the testing period and in early stages. This is an example of how we have stayed on schedule during the component shortage.
Katajamäki hints that 1-2 days can be taken off the delivery time by giving Escarmat the possibility to take care of the deliveries also outside the Vaasa region. Escarmat has agreed with its key customers that the company can use their contract number and to order deliveries.
Katajamäki confirms that the quality of Escarmat is outstanding despite the component shortage. Long experience helps to readapt to changing situations.
– Our personnel are highly competent, and they can adapt their work methods and help customers in any situations they might face. We go to great lengths to ensure that our mechanics can proudly say: “I made this”.