Editor’s comment for September 2023

Dave Tudor, Editorial Director of PES
Dave Tudor, Editorial Director of PES

Many companies describe themselves as ‘solution providers’ these days but far from being just another meaningless buzzword, these businesses provide essential products and services to the marketplace.

Without wishing to state the obvious, solution providers, rather than being simple product shifters, look at things altogether more holistically. While the ‘solution’ usually involves the provision of products at some point, it’s only part of the equation. Solution providers look at the whole process in its entirety and use that as a starting point. In many cases they act as consultants.

In the manufacturing industry, in terms of the supply chain, the holistic approach is common. Skills (or more specifically the lack of them in some cases), has played a significant role in its evolution. Many companies simply don’t always have the in-house expertise, capabilities or indeed time to be able to fully evaluate potential investment options. These businesses need help from their respective supply chains.

It’s why cutting tool suppliers for example often have their own application centres adorned with modern machine tools to help evaluate their customers’ processes before suggesting the right solution. Depending on the complexity of the job, these suppliers will conduct trials (often many) on their customers’ actual parts to 100% prove the process is right.

For the client it provides invaluable assurances that the ‘solution’ will work. By consulting with an expert in the field, much of the legwork and uncertainty is removed. The value of this can’t be underestimated.

For the supplier, it can be a risky undertaking, particularly with turnkey projects where a whole shedload of work (and expense) can be incurred at the front end without any guarantee of an order. Conversely, the rewards can be significant.

It’s the same deal with subcontractors. Those worth their salt will advise their customers on the best – and most efficient – way to manufacture a component. Design for manufacture is all part of the service.

So why am I talking about this? Well, providing solutions is not just the exclusive domain of machine tool companies, subcontractors and cutting tool manufacturers. Recently I visited Optimax based in Market Harborough who describe themselves as a metrology solutions provider and as you’ll learn by reading the article on pages 30-31, that’s exactly what they are.

Optimax has its own Applications Suite and, as I state in the article, it’s a real Aladdin’s Cave of metrology magnificence, packed to the gunnels with cutting edge inspection equipment and technology from a select band of tried, trusted and valued partners.  

But it’s not just a showroom. The clue’s in the name. This is also where Optimax’s highly skilled, experienced staff can help solve your metrology conundrums through proven, holistic solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. 

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