been saved by others with similar tool-tracking issues,” said Griffes. Shape, which has been a multiple winner of General Motors’ coveted Supplier-of-the-Year award, requested demonstrations and quotes from leading vending providers, and after a lengthy review process made its choice. “We went with MSC Industrial Supply (Melville, NY) because their dispenser was so easy to learn and operate. It’s simply intuitive in so many ways, including its automatic tool-reorder feature and its ability to limit access to certain costly tools to only those who actually require those tools,” said Griffes. But there was more to the MSC package than just a new piece of tool-repository equipment. “Installation and implementation were painless because there was extensive pre- planning by both companies,” said Griffes. “MSC was with us every step of the way to fully train us and to ensure that ideal transfer of what was within our cabinets into our new single-bay machine, and our high-dollar items were given priority space.” Overall savings came quickly. “Within nine months, we realized a reduction of $55,000 in disposable tool costs. This was a direct result of our dispenser that showed me, in its highly detailed daily reports, exactly who took what to do what and our total tooling cost. These docu- ments also proved that we had been so focused on not running out of key tools that we sim- ply over-ordered on most occasions creating excess inventory and the need for someone to regularly super- vise our toolroom,” said Griffes. But Shape did
more than improve its bottom line. It enhanced its workforce, too. After seeing the reports that showed how much tooling was actually needed versus what was thought to be needed at any given point, Griffes began to use the vending dispenser as a training tool for shop leaders to teach machine operators how to produce their work more efficiently. “We showed our machinists how the vending unit was a drastic improvement
Shape manufactures components for vehicle energy management systems including high-energy efficiency bumpers and bumper energy absorbers for passenger vehicles and light trucks, pedestrian impact energy absorber systems and lightweight bumper beams, among other systems found on cars.
over our previous tool-replenishment methods and how it helped make everyone constantly aware of our corporate goal to run a leaner plant,” said Griffes. “Since the MSC vending machine has literally become my eyes of tool management, I now have