Aside from the specific requirements of your casting job and consistent high quality, we know what else you look for in your casting partner:
- Uncompromising quality
- Competitive pricing
- Advanced technology and automation
- On-time dependability
- Casting design and VA/VE support
For our customers, especially those who have not engaged our services before, it is useful to understand how we work. Through collaboration and close consultation, we strive to make the entire process from your initial purchase order to tool build as stress-free, efficient and timely as possible.
Here’s How We Work with You: A Brief Overview of Our Process
—Simple, Efficient and Completely Transparent
1. Initial Customer Contact: A designated buyer or another member of your purchasing team contacts us at Waupaca Foundry. If you are a new customer, (existing customers know their account manager) your newly assigned account manager will spend time with you making sure you become aware of the depth and breadth of our offerings, production capacities, casting capabilities, certifications, etc. We want you to feel confident in the skills and expertise of our team and help you make an informed decision.
2. Request for Quotation: Once you have had the opportunity to evaluate our capabilities, you can Request a Quote (RFQ) on our website ensuring that your submission goes to the right person at Waupaca Foundry.
3. Quotation: Depending on the terms of your RFQ, Waupaca Foundry will either submit a quote or seek additional details and clarification. Our goal is always to ensure that you fully understand and carefully evaluate our offering before requesting a quote. This will avoid disappointment in a situation where we may have to deny your request with a ‘no quote’.
- How to Evaluate a Quote from Waupaca Foundry: When we submit a quote, it is important to note that:
- Any samples you may request before placing a final order are not free and will be included in your order invoice.
- Timelines are tentative and based on the initial expected delivery dates mentioned. These may change if the delivery dates are altered by you. These changes may also occur due to unavailability of raw material or internal plant schedules.
- Any change in design after a quote will result in changes to delivery timelines.
- We will aim to meet your request for change in timelines as best as we can.
4. Purchase Order (PO) Issued: You approve Waupaca Foundry’s quote and issue a Purchase Order (PO) for tooling and casting of your sample order.
5. Credit Approval: An internal credit approval process is initiated and completed in consultation with and approved by Waupaca Foundry’s accounting team.
6. Tooling Selection: The internal vendor selection process is finalized between Waupaca Foundry’s engineering and purchasing departments.
7. Casting Specifications: Engineers at Waupaca Foundry will review the casting design, specifications and then share it with you for review and feedback. In a majority of cases, your purchasing team interfaces with our sales and program management team who then go back and communicate with their engineering team. Often, there is a communication gap at this stage and we highly recommend to our customers that they make sure their engineering team is brought into the review process early rather than later. By doing so, we can ensure clarity in communication and avoid any confusion or misinterpretations that may hamper the entire tool build.
The next set of process steps are internal to Waupaca Foundry and do not require any customer contact. However, we want you to be aware and understand what happens next. Any modification in the casting specifications will delay your final delivery because all these steps will have to be repeated. These steps are what make up the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP).
8. Casting Program Launch: Once you approve the casting specifications, Waupaca Foundry program managers take over to initiate production of your sample order.
9. Order Review & Scheduling: This part of our process is similar to any production process that includes casting PO, packaging, bar coding requirements and a production schedule. At this stage, your program is finalized for implementation by our program management team.
10. Tooling Inspection: This step is required to check readiness for casting production launch and involves inspection of tools, gates and rig.
11. Casting Sample: This is the “first cut” for your order and is used to verify the sample against the specifications of your initial purchase order. This process is followed by quality assurance using magna, x-rays, etc. and results in the actual production of castings.
In our experience, we have seen that sometimes customers award programs to Waupaca Foundry far ahead of their product launch. This may lead to engineering design changes after the PO was issued. If your design is already in the build process, these changes will reset the clock. All paperwork will require revisiting and redoing, as the entire process must contain the accepted and final design. Your PO itself will have to be changed and reissued.
12. Shipment of Casting: The PPAP test findings are then shared with you (via e-mail or updated within a secure login area on your website) and the castings are then shipped to you.
13. Post-Shipment Quality Assurance: Shipment is followed by multiple visits to your manufacturing plant by the Waupaca Foundry team for reviewing casting performance. This allows us to proactively address any issues and/or concerns you may have. This is the litmus test for the entire project—positive PPAP customer review is what results in a final purchase order.
14. Purchase Order: Based on the PPAP review and your feedback on the casting sample, you may issue the next PO which kicks off another order for Waupaca Foundry. Your project then moves to the final order review and scheduling stage.
The major concern we have in this step is the delay caused while issuing the PO. Waupaca Foundry is required to update quotes and PPAP on customer websites. Each customer has a different format and various restrictions that may need to be clarified by their IT team. A direct helpline from Waupaca Foundry to your IT team will help accelerate the process. We want you to understand that any delay in issuing the purchase order could alter the submitted delivery timelines as the scheduling is specific to the PO dates. While internal plant schedules and raw material deliveries do impact timelines, these are easier for Waupaca Foundry to manage and predict, so delays are not typically caused by these factors too frequently.
We are hopeful that this overview gives you a clear picture of our workflow and how we can work together to optimize production schedules. Reduced time to market gives your operations a competitive edge and we will do all we can to ensure you are able to gain this advantage.
As the largest supplier of gray iron and ductile iron castings in the world, Waupaca Foundry Inc. (WFI) serves the needs of customers in a range of industries including automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets. With 6 foundries employing close to 4,000 people, it is imperative that we continuously review and refine our work processes. While this helps to keep our operations cost-effective and profitable, the bigger and more important outcome is a positive customer experience. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at +1 715-258-6611 or contact us online.