Finding a written guarantee by a mold shop on its molds is about as rare as cheap resin. But at least one mold shop decided it's time the industry began offering just that and now supplies a written delivery guarantee on its molds. Richard Beringer, president of Accura Tool & Mold Inc. of Crystal Lake, Ill., spent several months researching the feasibility of offering guarantees on mold deliveries.
``We looked at how many jobs we were late on and what that did to our company and to our customers,'' Beringer said.
Accura, which has 42 employees, began offering the writ-ten delivery guarantee to a limited number of its customers to test the waters and find out just what sort of impact the guarantee would have. Results have benefitted both parties, he said.
``It's the best way to send a message to our people just how important on-time deliveries are,'' Beringer said.
He pointed out that sometimes mold makers hear repeatedly how critical every job is so that they almost become immune to the importance of each individual mold.
A second part of the contract guarantees the mold itself.
``As long as we're guaranteeing the delivery, we felt we need to guarantee what we're delivering,'' Beringer said.
Accura guarantees the ``critical molding dimensions certified in steel to customer-supplied shrinkage where quoted; certified steel and heat-treat on molding components; cavities fully interchangeable where quoted; and as-built drawings provided.''
If Accura fails to deliver on time, the company will impose a penalty on itself of one-half percent of the total quoted price per workday.
The same penalty will be imposed on the company ``in the event of a return to Accura due solely to our mistake'' from receipt of the mold/inserts and necessary inspection information, to be offset by the number of workdays of early delivery.
Additionally, Beringer said the guarantee forces the customer to take responsibility for getting Accura all the necessary information in a timely manner. It eliminates foot-dragging on the part of the customer with the expectation the mold maker can somehow make up the time lost and still deliver a mold on time.
George Tripina, general manager for Schiffmayer Plastics Inc., a custom molder in Elk Grove, Ill., said that despite Accura's ``almost impeccable'' track record for on-time delivery for his company, the guarantee is ``a novel approach to prove they're serious'' about their business.
To aid in ensuring on-time delivery, Accura is completing installation of a shop-floor, computer-aided tracking and scheduling system.