Vickers, Inc Essay

2001 words - 8 pages

Company OverviewVickers, Incorporated was at one time considered the manufacturing world-class leader of vane and piston pump products. The company has seen its yearly sales decline from 1990 thu 1994. They have lost their edge in their market due to the lack of research and development and small businesses pirating their product. They are also struggling with union personnel issues. Currently, Vickers is working through the 7th round of negotiations with a contract that will expire in 2 weeks.Facilities OverviewThe plant measures 456,000 square feet that is expressly devoted to the production of hydraulic components. Much of the plant is over forty years old and shows its treatment. There is significant floor space allocated to obsolete machinery and just gathering dust.Omaha should consider restructuring the manufacturing process. This would increase the plant's flexibility, which would lower lead times and meet higher percent of its delivery commitments.The MarketVane Pumps:Sales Capacity for vane pumps has been estimated at 780,000 units. Omaha is currently producing 275,000. Parts sales for vane pumps are increasing. Vane pumps are comprised of 65 parts. The ring, rotor, vanes (3 most critical), cover, inlet support plate, outlet support plate, shaft, and body were all manufactured simultaneously in house.Piston Pumps:Piston pumps comprise over 50% of the world's market. There were 1,085,000 units sold in 1994. Sales have shown a 15% annual growth. Omaha has only captured 9% of the market with sales of 95,000 units. North American sales represent 1/3 (385,000 units) of the world's volume. There are 2 types of piston pumps: A 1) radial pump, which works similar to a vane pump and an 2) axial pump. The axial pump is comprised of 100 parts. The housing, yoke, cylinder block, valve block (4 most critical), shaft, piston, shoe, shoe plate, valve plate, and compensator body were all manufactured simultaneously in house.Sales of a new pump often generated 25 to 35 years of follow-up component sales and remanufacturing services. This long-term relationship outweighs the initial cost of pump and should be incorporated into a new strategy.Remanufacturing ServicesRemanufacturing consisted of servicing and rebuilding post sale and warranty equipment. Since this service was less than purchasing a new piece of equipment, this takes away from additional sales on brand new finished goods.Research & DevelopmentThe Vickers' Product Engineering and Product Management groups have been relocated to the Omaha plant. This required a 30,000 square foot expansion to the current facility. The Engineering Laboratory was to 1) begin developing a series of products to cover the entire vane and piston pump market. Also 2) create distinctive products that would be difficult to copy, thus, creating switching costs for the customer and barrier against competitors. These two strategies would allow Omaha to capture more finished goods and parts sales.If the Engineering...

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