Every customer wants efficient service and good prices. Once in a while, they also discover a true collaborative partner like GS3, one they can trust to consistently deliver creative ideas, responsiveness, and engineering experience. That’s what one of our customers found after approaching us to onshore their parts production while also reducing costs. A challenge to accomplish both objectives? Yes, but we did it, even reengineering and improving the part in the process.
Onshoring, or reshoring, refers to manufacturers choosing to move their facilities back from international operations to the U.S. For decades, the promise of lower labor and production costs has offered a strong incentive to move factories outside the country. Yet the movement for businesses to return their production home, to employ American workers and enjoy far easier access to quality control, continues to advance. As GS3 is itself a homegrown community employer, we are thrilled to support companies choosing to bring their business back to the U.S.
We did it, even reengineering and improving the part in the process.
Our customer didn’t just want a U.S.-based manufacturer — though we immediately filled that role — they also needed an experienced engineering team who could solve an ongoing part performance issue while reducing costs. Specifically, the parts, which are used in various assemblies, were not designed for their current use, therefore compromising performance. As they were integral to both operations and safety, a permanent design solution was essential for production to continue.
In the end, we didn’t just refine the parts, we made them better. When this project was initially sourced to GS3, the parts were delicate and required some assembly by hand. While part design often carries through multiple generations, usability and functionality may decrease over time. This was the case here, and our customer had unsuccessfully worked to solve these inefficiencies for some time. However, GS3’s experienced team closely examined the design, reengineered and thoroughly tested the part, and created a winning solution.
But how did we do it? What made GS3 the standout problem-solver for this customer? Our deeply experienced team. When you intentionally cluster a mix of ages, backgrounds and over a century of combined automotive experience around the thinking table, each voice equally welcomed and respected, you’ve created the right conditions for breakthrough ideas to emerge.
After we gather our crew in one room, we intentionally move through several steps, including defining the customer’s original problem, recreating the surrounding environment, describing the intended function of the part, brainstorming and developing sketches. Before we return to the client, we review our process, and, if at all possible, refine the design even further.
Our customer was elated with what we produced. They’d struggled to find a solution for years, encountering issues with their end client, an automotive manufacturer. Further, this OE had strongly urged our customer to do whatever they needed to do to solve the problem. Thus when we presented the refined part, solving the design issue while also offering a 75% cost reduction, they were both pleased and surprised.
This was the beginning of what has already proven to be a growing, potentially long-term collaboration. After experiencing first-hand the advanced manufacturing and creative engineering capabilities GS3 offers, the customer has already asked for prototypes for additional parts. When you are nimble and accurate, focus on relevance and responsiveness, and offer diverse experience, as GS3 does, these partnerships are possible.