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Case Studies

EQI Delivers Sourcing and Freight Savings for Major OEM

Challenge

One of the world’s leading construction, forestry, and agricultural machinery OEMs has been an EQI customer for years. When the Fortune 100 manufacturer found that their existing supply chain wasn’t keeping up with demands for three parts, they turned to EQI for the solution. Ultimately, EQI was able to meet the OEM’s customer demand while lowering its total cost of ownership.

Tailored Solution

Working multiple steps of the 360 Approach in parallel, EQI quickly ramped up the program, putting key elements in place even before a purchase order was signed. Given the close working relationship between EQI and the customer, the EQI account manager recognized another challenge the OEM faced — the exorbitant cost of air freight to get parts delivered on time. 

EQI found capacity for the new program within its one-of-a-kind global foundry network. Today, EQI mitigates risk for the OEM by producing the three different part numbers at four foundries in two countries.

With EQI personnel on the ground in partner foundries worldwide, EQI gets parts qualified quickly. Ongoing quality is assured by having team members positioned onsite.  The EQI account manager suggested a private terminal fast vessel alternative at a much lower cost than air shipping while saving time compared to ocean freight. With the multiple-country approach, EQI can adjust for supply chain disruptions, including holidays, tariffs, strikes, and other unforeseen obstacles.

EQI manages all aspects of the value chain, ensuring the right part arrives at the right place at the right time.  Product is available within a day of the customer’s location, providing demand flexibility and predictability. 

Results

EQI’s new sourcing and logistics program provided the customer with a consistent flow of parts and $330,000 in savings. Utilizing four foundries in two countries mitigates risk for the customer, while EQI onsite staff ensures quality and provides risk mitigation the OEM had previously lacked.

EQI’s flexible, common-sense approach enabled the team to avoid process hurdles and act quickly to meet the customer’s needs. Using the 360 Approach, EQI account managers recognize unmet needs and provide solutions for every aspect of the customer’s supply chain.

Case Studies

EQI Earns Supplier of the Year Recognition for Annual Freight Savings

Challenge

One of the world’s leading lift truck manufacturers has long relied on EQI for on-time delivery of high-quality counterweights. Through collaborative dialogue, the partners found a more effective means of distribution, saving the publicly traded Fortune 500 company more than $500,000 annually.

 

Tailored Solution

The EQI team is always looking for ways to add value and reduce costs for its customers. Since the program’s launch more than ten years ago, the counterweights had been received and inventoried in Chesapeake, Virginia, and distributed via flatbed truck to one of the customer’s manufacturing facilities in central Kentucky. Even though the program was well-established and continued to deliver excellent results, the EQI account manager proactively examined the logistics part of the program looking for potential cost savings. 

EQI developed and quoted a cost-savings plan to receive containers and manage inventory at a Cincinnati warehouse and ship inventory via flatbed truck to the Kentucky facility.

A few years later, EQI analyzed the customer’s warehousing and fulfillment costs and proposed opening an EQI-managed warehouse just a few miles from the manufacturer’s Kentucky facility.  This facility allows the OEM to decrease inventory while increasing overall order flexibility.

 

Results

The new logistics program enabled EQI to provide the customer with $500,000 in annual savings (and even greater annual savings as shipments increased in subsequent years). EQI earned the OEM’s coveted Supplier of the Year award in recognition of substantial savings.

EQI staff are onsite at the warehouse and are able to deliver the right part at the right time. Thanks to the quick response time provided by the EQI warehouse, the customer is able to reduce working capital by keeping less inventory on hand. 

The opening of the EQI warehouse coincided with increased demand, which caused annual shipments to more than double. EQI had no trouble providing for the increased capacity, which resulted in the customer yielding even higher-than-forecasted warehousing and fulfillment savings of $200,000-$300,000 annually.

Case Studies

How EQI evolved into a center-of-gravity supplier for Hyster-Yale

For nearly two decades, EQI has been creating supply chain certainty for global companies. Since its inception in Spring Lake, MI, in 2004, EQI has become a leading provider of line-ready metal components. One of the most significant reasons for the company’s growth is the relationship it established with Hyster in 2006. Today, the company that’s now called Hyster-Yale partners with EQI to source components for a wide range of lift trucks and aftermarket parts.

 

Due to its extensive global network, EQI is the perfect partner for Hyster-Yale. The company has a strong international presence with manufacturing facilities and regional product development centers in the US, China, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, India, and Japan. EQI also has an extensive global network, with headquarters in the US, Canada, Vietnam, China, and India. In addition, EQI has 11 warehouses and finish painting locations across three continents and 30 customer fulfillment locations on six continents.

Because EQI sources products offshore, it’s well-equipped to be cost-competitive, meet quality requirements, store products near customers, and always have a team ready to serve. These capabilities were beneficial during the supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

 

Solving Supply-Chain Challenges During the Pandemic

Over the past few years, COVID-19, unprecedented inflation, and material shortages have been incredibly disruptive for companies such as Hyster-Yale. Shortages across Tier 1,2 and 3 parts and components required significant changes in the company’s ordinarily steady supply chain. To address these challenges, Hyster-Yale turned to its core suppliers for help securing parts when and where they needed them.

As a key supplier for Hyster-Yale, EQI set the standard for overcoming supply chain challenges and meeting delivery dates in a crisis. First, EQI offered Hyster-Yale use of its freight forwarder, containers, and shipping contacts. EQI also found alternative sources for materials, mitigating risk by supplying parts that can be produced at multiple locations. 

For years, EQI has had multiple regional sources across China. So, when certain Chinese regions closed during the pandemic, EQI had other resources to turn to in China. EQI also became the first and largest customer of a foundry in India that produces cast iron counterweights. EQI’s strategic approach to sourcing materials in new regions set an industry precedent and helped them fulfill clients’ needs during the shutdown. 

 

Becoming a Center-of-Gravity Supplier

EQI has grown exponentially since 2004. Initially, the company focused on gray iron counterweights for forklift trucks and other large mobile equipment. Over the next decade, it entered new markets in construction, forestry, CNC machine tool manufacturing, and more. It’s also become a pivotal partner to several large-scale manufacturers by launching strategic initiatives to expand sourcing operations and offer value-added services.

For example, in late 2021, EQI acquired Industrial Paint Solutions in North Ireland, fueling EQI’s penetration in warehousing and finish painting services. The facility is also strategically close to Hyster-Yale’s plant in Ireland, allowing EQI to help them reduce working capital and warehouse production-ready parts according to Hyster-Yale’s line sequence and manufacturing schedule. EQI provides a similar value-added service in the US with a warehouse near Hyster-Yale’s largest manufacturing facility in Kentucky. The warehouse allows Hyster-Yale to keep fewer goods on hand while keeping line-ready components nearby. 

This is just the beginning of a long and successful partnership between EQI and Hyster-Yale. In the years ahead, the team at EQI will continue to uncover and solve problems for Hyster-Yale, helping them mitigate risk through tailored solutions, hassle-free logistics, and cost-effective quality. 

If you’d like to learn more about how EQI can solve your supply chain challenges, please contact:

Phone: (616) 850-2630
E-mail: info@eqiltd.com

 

 

Case Studies

EQI Saves the Day for Forestry Equipment OEM

Challenge

When a local foundry announced its imminent closing, it created a major headache for a large forestry equipment manufacturer. For more than a decade, the OEM had relied on a single domestic foundry for the production of the feed wheels needed for its signature forestry heads. The manufacturer bought a stockpile of parts, and based on a recommendation from its parent company (a Fortune 500, U.S.-based OEM and long-time EQI customer), contacted EQI to take over the program.

Over the years, the manufacturer’s long-time supplier had developed a proprietary material for the parts and changed the product specifications, so the original product drawings provided to EQI were no longer accurate.

 

Tailored Solution

EQI needed to develop an entire start-to-finish program for the new customer quickly.. EQI professionals went to work applying its 360º  Approach.

With no time to spare, EQI staff metallurgists successfully analyzed the product material characteristics. They identified what material would meet the exact high-strength and wear-resistance requirements of the part. EQI engineers completed process solidification modeling to design a robust production process. Drawings were updated to reflect the actual materials and specifications needed to replicate the parts the customer had received.

EQI looked to its one-of-a-kind global foundry network, determining the most capable and competitive fit within its network, and then assured product conformance with our team on the ground at the foundry.

 

Results

EQI not only restored the OEM’s supply of critical parts after the closing of its long-time supplier, but the new program has saved the customer approximately 30% in total landed costs in the first year.

With an unparalleled global foundry network, EQI provides dual-source risk mitigation the OEM had previously lacked.  EQI is also able to expedite shipping as necessary to manage an unprecedented post-pandemic increase in demand for the customer’s products.