A vital link in Aggreko’s supply chain

Aggreko

Aggreko leads the way globally in providing power generation and temperature control equipment for rental. Over the 15 years we’ve worked for the business, Nichol McKay has become an essential part of its supply chain.

Flexibility and customer focus

Though traditionally a metal fabrication company, we diversified our offer to produce Aggreko’s sophisticated portable generator set housings. We receive to our site bare containerised housings; they leave Nichol McKay fully fitted out with mechanical and electrical systems, airflow, cooling, emissions and fuel systems even plumbing, ready for installation of the powertrain assembly by Aggreko. 

Nichol McKay’s flexibility is a big attraction for us. Because Aggreko is an internal supplier to our temporary utilities business, we need to ramp production up and down quickly in line with the market opportunity. From our own manufacturing perspective, we are unable to do that without the support, alignment and commitment of our suppliers.

Supply Chain Development Manager, Aggreko

Aggreko was attracted to Nichol McKay by our:

•    Proactive, solutions-based engineering approach
•    Breadth of in-house manufacturing capability
•    Ability to contribute to value improvement opportunities and cost reduction
•    Readiness to adopt new technologies to improve the durability of the product we supply
•    Offer of critical logistics and storage solutions, our just-in-time delivery of the containerised housings in particular substantially reduces client overheads.

Quality and cost-effectiveness

Between the container fit-out activity and the varied range of fabricated metal items it purchases from us, Aggreko calls on Nichol McKay’s expertise on a daily basis. Among the products we manufacture for the business are acoustic enclosures, certified diesel tanks and chassis / base frame assemblies, control panels, certified lifting beams as well as a myriad of brackets and assemblies.

We had previously outsourced the manufacture of our fabricated base frames and fuel tanks to "lower cost" regions such as Eastern Europe and China but over time we found the cost base and transport costs were increasing, and there was also the high possibility of items being damaged in transit and then having to be repaired on arrival.

We wanted to find a supplier who could offer a cost-competitive route for us to source these products within the UK. Nichol McKay’s investment in state-of-the-art cutting, bending and robotic welding equipment meant they were able to compete against lower labour rates in force in in these regions. Essentially they took manual labour out of the equation and showed willingness to take on new and demanding activities to support our manufacturing business. In addition, this reduces the inertia in our supply chain, reducing inventory levels / costs and almost eliminating the risk of obsolescence due to design changes.

Automation and investment allowed Nichol McKay to effectively win back business that had been outsourced to a low-cost economy region – quite a success for any UK company.

Supply Chain Development Manager, Aggreko

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