Understanding Supply Chain Tiers

When choosing your metal stamping suppliers, it’s important to understand the three tiers within the supply chain, as well as how they interact and intersect with each other. OEM companies (original equipment manufacturers) are typically who customers work directly with for final products and assemblies, but numerous tiers make up the OEM supply chain, with each tier’s numerical value referring to their relationship with the OEM.

Tier 3 Suppliers

The supply chain typically starts with a tier 3 supplier that sells raw materials to tier 2. In the metal stamping industry, tier 3 suppliers are those that sell sheets of metal that are then turned into brackets, braces, and plates later in the manufacturing process.

Tier 2 Suppliers

Next in the supply chain are tier 2 suppliers that buy from tier 3 and sell to tier 1. This in-between phase in the chain uses the raw materials from tier 3 to create smaller pieces and products that are used to make larger or more complex products in tier 1. For example, in the metal stamping industry, tier 2 suppliers might use sheets of metal to create automotive panels that will then be used to create full vehicles later in the metal stamping process.

Tier 1 Suppliers

Tier 1 suppliers buy from both tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers to produce more complex products, often with numerous different parts. This tier is closest to the manufacturer itself and has the most direct relationship.

The value of breaking a manufacturing project down into these tiers is that each phase brings its own respective expertise when chosen carefully. For example, tier 3 suppliers are extremely knowledgeable about raw materials and gauging their quality, while tier 1 companies are able to expertly use those materials to create more complex products using smaller parts created in tier 2.

All of these tiers working in tandem is essential for the manufacturing supply chain to run smoothly. Because of this, it’s essential to choose top notch suppliers in all three tiers, as poor quality in any phase can severely impact the overall integrity of the final product.

Choosing a trusted supplier, such as Bopp Busch, ensures that each tier of the manufacturing supply chain flows seamlessly with high quality products and materials at every stage. Utilizing industry knowledge and relationships built over decades with partner suppliers, Bopp Busch guarantees top quality products and superior client-manufacturer interactions. To learn more about Bopp Busch and our capabilities, contact us today.