Delivery Schedules

The heavy demands for the rearmament program of the United States and our allies have given us at General Radio a real job to do. As most of our readers know, it takes time to produce precision equipment. The process of manufacturing it is not the kind that can be speeded up quickly to meet increased demand — rather, the production growth is a slow and careful process if quality, accuracy, and satisfactory long-life performance are not to be impaired.

The problem is further complicated by the extensive line of equipment that we manufacture. General Radio makes over 400 different products, ranging in complexity from banana plugs to frequency standards and, in price, from a few cents to several thousand dollars. With few exceptions (Variacs, for one example), instruments are produced not on a continuous production line, but in lots which are carefully scheduled so as to have, in normal times, all four-hundred-plus products always available from stock. A production cycle for a typical instrument, including the time required for delivery to us of outside purchased components, is now from six to ten months.

When new orders outrun manufacture, production lots are sometimes entirely sold before they can be completed. At all times we try to forecast, product by product, based upon experience, what the probable demand will be, so that no item will ever be oversold, or at least for only a short time. That is, production is scheduled "on spec" in anticipation of orders. Some factors influencing demand are, however, unpredictable. Procurement of a single instrument, in considerable quantity, by one of the military services, if immediate delivery is desired, is one example. Another is the specification of an instrument for making required tests on military equipment made in large quantities by other manufacturers. When this happens, there is little we can do but wait for the next production lot, since all production time is scheduled for many months ahead. Everything possible is done, however, to expedite the next lot.

Add to these the technical difficulties that can arise during manufacture, especially on new products, and the failure of outside purchased material to arrive on schedule or, when it does arrive, to meet specifications, and the result is that our delivery schedules suffer.

Sometimes our delivei'y promises are not as good as we would like to see them, but we think you, our customers, would rather wait a little longer than in normal times and be sure of getting the quality of product you are accustomed to expect from General Radio.

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