Supporting your distribution and sales strategies – Interview


How we can help you supply the best Bearings to your OEM’s and End Users?

Established for over 20 years Oxfordshire based Carter Manufacturing are acknowledged as a leading global supplier of precision bearings and tooling equipment. Being sole distribution agents for several high end specialist Bearing Manufacturers including (Carter Inc., Silverthin Bearings, KMS Bearings and UNASIS Bearings & Tools) underlines our status as being ‘the go to company’ for many clients across the UK, Europe, the America’s and beyond.

Melvin Meader, Carter Manufacturing COO has taken time out to tell us more about the unique process that Carter follow for every sales enquiry through to delivery of the product to the customer.

Who are Carter and how do they work?

As a global supplier of precision bearings and tooling equipment to the aerospace, medical, nuclear and defense industries, Carter has significantly expanded its operation and facilities over the past 5 years. For example, setting up distribution centres in Minnesota USA and Valencia Spain as well as implementing an Engineering team dedicated to supporting customers in their selection of the correct bearing or tool for their application. This dedicated approach to every enquiry we receive starts from the basic question is our ‘standard product’ the best solution for the customer? If the answer is yes, we can progress by quoting a product part number supplied by the distributor / end user and supply accordingly. If the application is more complex we can deliver a more focused approach, which includes helping customers to select a more appropriate bearing to meet the demands of their application and this is where we excel. Why? Because thanks to a very experienced Technical Sales team backed up by industry specialists within our engineering resources, we can work with customers to define exactly which type of bearing or Aerospace tool they require.

What does a typical Carter enquiry look like and how do you approach it?

Francesca Kotulski (Business Development Manager) explains.

Typically we receive several sales enquiry types, some of which is where the customer knows what they want, for example a Carter Cam Follower. We keep stock of the entire imperial and metric ranges, so it’s purely a case of quoting the part and (hopefully) converting the order to be shipped on the same day.

Some need further support and on most occasions our experienced Technical Sales staff can assist. However, with others (recently we’ve seen a high influx of enquiries for our Silverthin Thin section Bearings required for Space applications) is where we can engage our in-house Engineering team.

Ben Roberts, Senior Engineer for Carter Manufacturing explains how we respond to these more challenging sales enquiries. So, how does a ‘typical’ Silverthin Thin Section bearing enquiry for a space application present and how do you progress such an enquiry from infancy, through to recommending an appropriate bearing solution? Enquires can vary significantly in how fully the specification is defined, but despite these complexities, Carter is able to work with customers that have an initial concept, right through to customers that already have a fully defined bearings specification.

Meeting the Challenges of supplying Bearings for Space Applications

Space Applications present varying challenges for our Silverthin Thin Section 26 Bearing News bearings. This is why Carter prefer involvement at these early stages of design as it enables us to impart our expertise and knowledge, often allowing our customers to reduce design time, risk and cost. Many of the demands we see are similar across many applications and this allows us to advise all our customers based on previous knowledge and experience.

Once our bearings have been qualified through Engineering it’s time for our Quality team to get involved where Mark Thomas heads up Quality and Compliance at Carter. This is what he had to say on how we implement our ISO 9001:2015 & AS9120 accreditation and ensures full traceability for our products.

The Quality and compliance team review the customers quality management system (QMS) at pre-planned intervals to ensure that the bearings being specified continue to match the application. This includes the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness in relation to each customer’s strategic direction and organization, including their individual sites. Senior Management is kept informed of all the key requirements, including all the necessary reviews which are essential in meeting ISO 9001 and AS9120 standards. The motivation and format of the management review has and always will be, to look at the strategies and business plan to ensure it adheres to the company ethos of delivering a quality product to the customer, on time and in full.

The Final Steps

The final step on the journey is getting our product from us to you. As a multi-site international organization, over the years we have honed our knowledge regarding international shipping requirements.

This is crucial as it ensures that our products are delivered to you as quickly as possible, arriving in as good a shape as they left our factory. Trevor Buckell Warehouse Controller explains the process. As Francesca explained Carter Manufacturing keep large stockholdings of Silverthin Thin Section Bearings, Carter Cam Followers and UNASIS Specialist Bearings in multiple warehouse locations, which means transactions can be shipped from stock on the same day as the order is received. We can also ship bearings between companies to be dispatched form your local office within 24 hours and most importantly, having facilities in Valencia, Spain and Minnesota USA, has increased our global supply chain capability, putting us closer to customers.

Trevor adds, with regards to handling the specialist bearings being made to order, the process in some respects is easier. Our Branded partner will send directly to the local office where we have team members who have been thoroughly trained in how to control documentation ensuring traceability is not lost. All documents are sent back to and stored at our Central Operation hub at our HQ in the UK, so if anything is needed further down the line, we don’t have to go too far to reproduce it.

Focusing on our Relationships with our Customers

Mel Meader concludes, our relationships with suppliers, distribution partners and end-users are vital to us and hopefully the journey explained though these interviews explain why we are different.

There is a real culture of care here at Carter which is infectious. We will always strive to go above and beyond and really make the experience of buying bearings through Carter as simple and pleasurable as possible. As we continue to grow I can only see the relationships between the team members and of course our customers, becoming even more established and refined, which ultimately improves the sales cycle and enhances the customer experience.

More info at the link.

For enquiries

UNITED KINGDOM : +44 (0) 1865 821 720
EUROPE : +34 960 130 938
NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA: +1 888 501 5444
E-mail: [email protected]

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