From R&D to Inventory Solutions: Improving Product and Supply Chain Performance for Analytical Instruments



Over the last several years, Ross Optical has worked closely with the engineering and purchasing team at Microtrac to provide custom optics that support their particle analysis instruments.

A reliable and collaborative partner in medical device and life sciences is key given the need for consistency, traceability, and regulatory approvals that can make for unpredictable timelines. Microtrac Buyer/Planner Gwen Smith supports both of Microtrac's facilities; she switched vendors to work with Ross Optical because:

"Ross Optical is extremely receptive to our needs. Their engineering group and ours work very well together. They've always offered reasonable cost and lead times, and are a delight. Our engineers speak the same language, and Ross goes out of its way to ensure clear communications.”

Microtrac buys simple optics, such as lenses and prisms, as well as full lens assemblies and illumination systems. Ross has also provided optical coating services. Recently, Ross developed one coating for two different laser applications so that Microtrac did not have to buy separate optics for each individual laser system.

In another recent project, Ross worked with Microtrac engineers to source materials that were unavailable anywhere else, and to develop the process to manufacture with those materials.

As Ross Optical works with Microtrac on several new optical designs for new products, they continue to add value on long-standing product lines.

"We've established an optics consignment program with Ross Optical, and wish all our suppliers would offer one. Ross Optical is, without a doubt, the easiest supplier to manage. The optics consignment program trims inventory cost and allows us to take advantage of volume pricing. We're looking for ways to go lean without being short-sighted, and this is a tremendous win for us. Ross has helped us to reduce inventory and improve repeatability.”

Quality processes are shared between Microtrac and Ross, and customized to meet the needs of each of Microtrac's product lines.

"Ross Optical has a friendly approach and a commitment to getting it right. Our quality department does inspection in-house a couple different ways, and Ross handles inspection in some lines. Over and over, Ross Optical has proven to be one of our favorite suppliers, and with new product lines on the horizon, we're so appreciative of their optical and opto-mechanical engineering skills, customer-focused approach, and willingness to design programs that meet our supply chain needs."

To learn more about improving supply chain performance with Ross Optical, download our free guide.

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