Glenview, IL – A survey of 260 global supply chain leaders last year found 25% had regionalized or localized manufacturing, to be closer to demand. The survey, conducted in February and March 2020 by Gartner, Inc., was done before the full impact of COVID-19 shutdowns were known.
Optimas Solutions, a global supplier of cold-formed fasteners and manufacturer/distributor services, says that trend has only intensified. As a result, the Glenview, IL firm has seen its standing elevated in the fastener supply chain, especially with its new onshore custom and collaborative design engineering capabilities in the United States.
“We have always worked closely with our customers, but we are finding they want more of our direct involvement in improving product design and their manufacturing processes,” says Marc Strandquist, CEO of Optimas Solutions. “Our engineers have years of hands-on experience specifically within the fastener application and manufacturing arenas. This allows our team to quickly understand U.S. and U.K. customer challenges and work with them onshore to develop solutions that improve product design and manufacturing processes.”
In August of 2020, it announced a strategy to emphasize its manufacturing services. As part of the plan, Optimas is investing in custom engineering solutions designed to reduce time, cost, and waste in fastener manufacturing to help manufacturers more easily regionalize or re-shore to the United States.
The move allows Optimas to play a role in transforming the way manufacturers improve product design, streamline production, and increase efficiency. Optimas says it is the only fastener company in the United States and the United Kingdom that offers advanced cold forming manufacturing and global supply chain distribution offerings.
Optimas Solutions has invested more than $10 million in its U.S. cold forming manufacturing capabilities over the last few years, principally at its Wood Dale, IL facility, to further elevate its onshore manufacturing solutions. Advancements within its engineering solutions (3D printing with plastic, carbon and steel, rapid prototyping, design software and state-of-the-art cold forming equipment) have allowed Optimas to better leverage its manufacturing capacity for supply chain, operations, and procurement professionals responsible for fastener acquisition and usage.
Strandquist listed a number of factors that have contributed to re-positioning Optimas as a custom engineering manufacturer that works collaboratively with its customers:
- In-house application and manufacturing engineers to design and produce the right fasteners
- Offering specialty engineered cold form products others are unwilling to produce
- Cold form engineered services offer custom large-scale product production in diameters from M2 to M22
- 106 dedicated machines—43 cold headers, 42 thread rollers plus shavers, trimmers, pointing, slotting, and drilling
- Strategic local partners for heat treating, plating, coating, patching and other secondary processes
- Partnerships with 11 licensed brands of innovative thread-forming and drive solutions
- Highly skilled tool and die makers in-house with immediate access to engineers and machine operators
- ISO-and IATF-certified quality lab
“Late last summer, we announced our plans to transform Optimas Solutions into the most advanced fastener manufacturer and distributor in the industry,” Strandquist said. “These advancements in our engineering capabilities and the fact we are delivering results that customers want are examples of our overall strategy coming to life.”
Another factor: Optimas added more than $2 million in steel wire (up from $250,000) at its Wood Dale plant to guard against a lack of availability in the future. Many firms are pursuing this strategy, counting on being able to recover the cost of added inventory with increased sales. “That’s going to give us an edge,” Strandquist told the Wall St. Journal. “The supply chains everywhere are running ragged right now. We can smother our customers with service.”