By Janet Preus
Vintex Inc. is a company of about 100 employees located in Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada. It is a custom extrusion coater of textiles used in a variety of health care, industrial, and commercial applications. Products include high-strength coated textiles for banner, display, billboard, and signage applications. Frank Loeffler, Vintex materials manager, says the company bases its inventory on history, and minimum and maximum levels. Vintex also has some vendors that will keep materials it needs on hand. “Not a lot, but enough to get us through normal demands,” he says.
Many of the raw materials the company uses are petroleum based and Loeffler says, “it’s been a wild year.” Since they are mostly a custom shop, it makes predicting inventory needs a special challenge. They will keep fabric on hand, but some chemicals expire after about six months so they watch chemical purchases carefully, especially with price increases as high as 30 percent.
“All of a sudden you’re bringing in product that’s worth a lot more than it was before, so you’re reaching your credit limit a lot sooner than you did before,” he says. “But you can’t afford to run out and give the customer a longer lead time. They might go somewhere else. You want to be able to keep the sale. You have to stay on top of it and monitor it constantly.”