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Being “Green” and importing can be mutually exclusive.

The ecological buzz word for the past number of years is “Green”.  How “Green” are you, and your company?

We all know domestic manufacturing has a tough time competing with imported products –particularly products from Southeast Asia and Mexico at this time.  As a country or a geographic area’s standard of living rises, wages rise, thus raising manufacturing costs.  In the US, we have earned a high standard of living, thus higher wage rates.

The playing field is not level.

However, we are not only challenged by the lower wages paid in some other countries. There are many other costs that American manufacturers bear that increase the cost of our products – such as; unemployment insurance, employers contribution to Social Security and Medicare withholdings, workman’s compensation insurance, OSHA safety compliance, environmental compliance requirements, and a whole host of other overlapping laws, and regulations.

In the old days, our “Yankee ingenuity” in machine design and other industrial engineering concepts help us to increase our widgets/hour count so we could overcome a significant portion of the cheaper foreign labor.  Our prices were not out of sight in comparison to imported products, especially when quality was considered.  Our quality was far superior to many imported products.  But, today the quality of many imported products is much improved, and considered equal to or sometimes even better than domestically produced items.

How Committed to “Green” are you?

So, back to the point of this blog; can you be truly “Green” if you import products from 2nd or 3rd world countries??

Many 2nd and most 3rd world countries do not have much concern for the environment as they chase the “all mighty” buck (yen, peso, yuan, etc).  Air and water pollution run rampant.  Worker safety standards are lax.  On the one hand you can understand the desire to economically improve the standard of living for their citizens, albeit at the risk of their health and the ruination of the environment.  In my view, it is a sin against humanity and mother earth for these countries to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the volumes of information that has been developed over the past 75-100 years with regard to being good stewards of the earth from an environmental perspective.

So, the next time you consider off-shoring a component part over a domestic manufacturer, you should ask yourself how deep your commitment to being Green” is.  If we all were deeply committed to be environmentally “Green” then the competition that drives us to off-shore lowest cost pricing (and highest pollution pricing) would be reduced.  We would all compete with each other at pricing that reduced the negative impact of manufacturing on our planet.

Automotive Custom Cabinet Marketing Programs

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If your company is in the Automotive Aftermarket Parts business then you know the competition is fierce in getting the installer to stock and use your product. Stocking dealer cabinet programs can be the perfect vehicle for your products growth. Having a custom designed storage cabinet in the installers place of business with your brands logo and message clearly displayed on the cabinet as well as having your product on hand for the installers immediate use is the result of a successful cabinet program. Continuous replenishment of cabinet contents will provide repeat sales for an average of seven years. Bull Metal has a line of stock cabinets that can be finished in any color and can be labeled or screen printed with your company’s logo and message. We are an industry leader specializing in custom cabinet design and will manufacture a high quality cabinet for your products specific needs.

Bull Metal Products offers many options to assist your company in creating and supporting successful cabinet programs. Kan Ban Supply Agreements to our customers as an efficient way to assure on-time delivery and minimize dollars tied up in inventory. Drop ship programs that can ship product directly to jobbers or dealers. In house design, powder coating, screen printing and labeling just to name a few.

Stocking Dealer Cabinet Programs have been an important and successful marketing vehicle for increased product sales, brand awareness and new product introduction for as long as vehicles have been on the road.

Let our company go to work for yours in creating and supporting a cabinet program that will proudly represent your company’s products and image in the marketplace.

Kan Ban Supply Agreements

Bull Metal Products offers Kan Ban Supply Agreements to our customers as an efficient way to assure on-time delivery and minimize dollars tied up in inventory.  The starting premise is essentially a customer vender partnership with the Kan Ban Supply Agreement being the instrument detailing the responsibilities and commitments to each other.  At the core of the agreement is a mutual trust by each party.  The agreement is flexible to accommodate changes, and can be terminated by either party at any time, subject to specific terms of the agreement.

It starts with identifying which products will work well for this type of agreement.  Some things to consider beyond the particular details of the products specifications are; annual requirements, on-going demand, seasonality of demand, inventory space requirements, and dollar value of the product.

Kan Ban is a pull system that we set up within our facility to manufacture your product cost effectively in smaller production lots.  In order to do this we have to make some changes to our procurement and production that include things like an extensive review of and adjustments in our set up costs, and negotiating smaller lot long-term Kan Ban purchase agreements with our venders.  The details are all based on both the customer’s open ended rolling commitment quantity and the previously determined release (pull) quantity.

When the customer releases product for shipment (pulls it), it exerts internal pulls thru each production department in our shop and pulls raw material from our venders.  Some Kan Bans are set up with actual finished safety stock of the customer’s product in our warehouse; others are set up with direct pulls to department’s further back in the production process.  The details of each agreement are tailored to the specific needs of each customer taking into account the specific details of product being manufactured.

The benefits to both the customer and the vender are tremendous.  Our customers have shorter lead times from release of product to delivery, and a very pre-defined delivery window that allows some flexibility to accommodate spikes in demand.  We the vender have an on-going commitment from you our customer, with smaller production/ release quantities which allow us to service more customers per week.  It is a customer/ vender win/win.

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