Turnkey Solutions – Experience & Approach
There are two distinct stages in every turnkey solution handled by Mills CNC – and both are of equal importance.
Stage 1: Pre-order process
As in all engineering projects, the devil is in the detail.
It is vital from the start that customer requirements are fully understood because any misunderstandings at this stage can waste valuable time and effort further down the line.
To ensure that this occurs Mills employs a Pre-Sales engineering team, consisting of four multi-skilled and multi-disciplined engineers with over 90 years combined experience in the CNC machine tool industry. The team carries out complex machining trials in house, and prepares detailed time estimates and production solutions for customers.
This Pre-Sales resource also means that Mills is always in a position to respond effectively and efficiently to customer’s demands.
In straightforward cases, the first solution proposal presented is accepted by the customer and the project goes forward. However, with more complex projects, there can be several iterations before the final solution is agreed.
(It is important to note here that the process of reaching the solution can also involve concurrent meetings taking place with various tooling, work-holding and ancillary equipment suppliers who may also be involved in the project).
Prior to any work taking place – it’s often the case that a final presentation of the recommended solution is given to the customer – where the ‘i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed’. These meetings can typically include customer’s production, design, quality, H&S staff etc., as well as those from senior management.
In all turnkey solutions proposed, Mills will underwrite the project according to clear and agreed parameters concerning the scope and scale of supply, thereby removing the element of risk from the customer.
Stage 2: Post-order process
The most successful projects are delivered when a close working relationship between Mills and the customer is formed early on and continues right through to completion. It is fair to say that in many cases, the customer has a high level of local knowledge of the product and can therefore make a significant contribution to the success of the turnkey.
Agreement and consensus are therefore both critical – as are clear lines of communication and responsibility, as well as working to defined time frames. To bring all these elements together, a project plan supported by regular, on-going and strategic meetings (involving all parties) is recommended.
These meetings, occurring at regular intervals in the project’s life, will review project milestones (and whether they have been reached or not), and provide the opportunity to implement required changes. This ensures that the project is delivered on time and in budget.
Mills’ Project Management and Applications Engineering team is responsible for making this happen and manages the process from order confirmation to completion (including proving-out and pass-off).
With more complex installations, Mills will coordinate site preparation (i.e. ground foundations, system layout and logistics). The Mills Service Engineering team will then oversee delivery, off-load and positioning of all elements, followed by installation and commissioning of the machines and equipment.
The Applications Engineering teams remain on-site to ensure the successful repeat pass-off, and to deliver the agreed training schedule.
Throughout both pre- and post-order stages Mills’ committed and integrated team approach is vital to the success of the project.
It’s also why more and more manufacturers are selecting Mills as their preferred ‘turnkey solutions provider.’