Case Study

Fast Delivery of High Quality Scientific Products

Didn’t want to stock high cost products but wanted to be able to meet sudden orders. The answer was high quality platinum crucibles with 7 business day delivery.

Company C (specialist analytical company) March 2011

PROBLEMPlatinum crucibles are essential for high precision testing, but with business expansion leads inventory risk.

One specialist analytical company, Company C, was ordering in 10-unit lots the platinum crucibles required for preparing samples for component analysis. During one quiet period, Company C’s manufacturer customers slowed down new product development, which reduced the need for analysis. Naturally there was a sudden drop off in work for Company C, which created a desperate situation where it was even difficult to maintain minimum sales. The problem for management therefore was to reduce costs as much as possible, so their target was the platinum crucible. Because they are made of platinum, these crucibles are extremely expensive so it was problematic for Company C to hold a lot of stock. That was when they decided to change policy going forward and hold as little stock as possible.

A few years later…

The economy was gradually improving and Company C’s customers were back developing one new product after the other. Right then, it just so happened that ten manufacturers requested testing at the same time. This resulted in a big jump in frequency of use and wear of the platinum crucibles, but Company C was unable to meet sudden orders because they had decided to drastically reduce their inventories.
They were still having difficulty managing but they really wanted to meet all orders and continue rapid-turnaround, high-precision testing to grow their business. Increasing stock meant mounting costs though, which they absolutely wanted to avoid.

Until that time, the supplier that Company C had been purchasing the platinum crucibles from was taking at least one month to fill orders. They were unable to meet the requested delivery times. Thinking about future business, Company C then started looking for new suppliers who could deliver in a shorter period of time, but whether the faster delivery time was the issue or not, they were unable to find new suppliers.

SOLUTION7 business day delivery hedges against inventory risk

Platinum Crucibles

Platinum Crucibles

Even though Company C wanted to quickly meet their customers’ requests for analysis, they were frustrated by their inability to find new suppliers. By chance, they heard FEATURE of TANAKA through another person in the same trade. They were told that TANAKA was able to meet their need for a 7 business day turnaround from order to delivery.

A TANAKA staff member told them, “Not only can we deliver quickly, but our products are high quality and enable high precision analysis.” Looking at past performance, for over a century TANAKA has been developing precious metal melting technologies, manufacturing technologies and analysis capabilities. Customer delivery times were fast approaching so Company C immediately placed an order.

We delivered the platinum crucibles in 7 days as planned, which enabled Company C to complete its tests by the requested date. The technician who actually used our platinum crucibles for testing was impressed, saying the samples prepared using TANAKA crucibles provided excellent repeatability for measurement results, which he believed was due to the high purity of the platinum used to make the crucibles.

Thanks to the high quality and fast delivery of TANAKA’s platinum crucibles to Company C, it was able to successfully grow its business. And working with TANAKA enabled it to hedge inventory risk during slow business cycles since it no longer needed to keep stocks.
In addition to platinum, TANAKA is able to manufacture scientific products from other precious metals as well, and can manufacture products to a desired shape and dimension. We also understand how to reduce costs and reuse expensive platinum materials by taking end-of-life products and recycling them into new products. Company C now plans to talk to TANAKA when it needs scientific products for new testing and analysis.