Though GS3 is known for its engineering and assembly capabilities, our customers are increasingly requesting our advanced manufacturing design services.
We love creating, making and moving things; that’s been our bread and butter for a decade. But we also founded GS3 with a long-term vision of expanded offerings, something that’s always informed our choices. Step by step, we assembled our team and looked closely at our experience. We knew all along we had more to offer than completing projects for our clients. Though they’d experienced historical trends and industry upheaval, our team members all still preferred active pursuit of new ideas to passive order fulfillment.
When you start a company in a recession, not only does it teach you to think “lean,” but it also invites you to be creative, even visionary. Anyone connected to the auto industry understands that economic fortunes are cyclical, customers come and go, designs shift and resources ebb and flow. You learn to be wise stewards of material and human resources, while always developing innovative plans once timing and fortunes allow.
One of our advanced manufacturing design customers sought us out — upon recommendation from an OEM — when they were in need of a prototype lab with advanced materials engineering capabilities. At the same time, the customer also sought an overall cost reduction.
For this customer, capacity was an additional, serious issue. A victim of their current success, the customer was struggling to keep up with current orders. They had begun to in-source and re-route their own higher-level personnel to meet demand. Even their engineering department was conducting assembly work! Soon, the production issues caused by this situation even began to slow down their internal research and development work.
We understood that capacity was, while important, only one aspect of a larger plan the customer needed to consider adopting, even if they didn’t yet see it. They hoped to outsource time-consuming services, but we knew they would benefit from a creative partner far more. A partner who would suggest advanced materials, while providing easy access to a supply base and production capacity that would facilitate easy manufacturability.
Coming to us, they found a diverse knowledge base, a team that was essentially a library of engineering information and ideas. We had either seen it, made it, or knew where to get it. From metalforming applications to mobility experience, we offered decades of experience. Immediately available were creative engineers deeply conversant in tubing, rod forming, stamping and other essential metalform manufacturing processes.
While consulting on this particular project, we also participated in materials development. Our relationship was consultative; we served as a database of sorts, answering questions, sharing knowledge, and bringing advanced materials to the table for future development. Team GS3 brought the company sketch to scale, developing prototypes, offering pre-production models, assisting with cost reduction, and ultimately producing well-made parts for the customer.
Once our partnership was underway, the customer was astounded by our ideas, speed of production and quality of work. They kept coming back, transforming a simple capacity expansion search into creating a contract with us to be their official source for advanced manufacturing and prototyping. This decision helped confirm our plans for moving forward with this client and with this overall direction for our own company.
Since that time, we’ve continued to develop our advanced manufacturing shop, focusing on electronic components and other industries for additional customer development. Some items under development include a variety of electronics-related components that enhance drivers’ experience in the vehicle interior, such as reducing distractions and including mobile health telematics.