GoWesty: A Lead Time Waiting Game

Meet GoWesty

GoWesty is an innovative company in Los Osos, California, specializing in high-quality aftermarket parts for VW vans. Working mainly with Vanagons and Eurovans, GoWesty prides themselves on providing innovative solutions to keep the vintage vehicles on the road, “In better shape than when they came off the factory line.” Owned by Segismundo “Lucas” Valdes since 2001, the company has gone through several iterations, starting with repairing and refurbishing VW vehicles and then transitioning fully into engineering — designing aftermarket parts for a widespread community dedicated to vintage vehicle restoration. Fueled by the “van life” lifestyle and social media phenomenon, GoWesty has become a widely known symbol for personal freedom and environmental responsibility. 

GoWesty takes pride in supplying its market with affordable, quality parts that address the myriad needs and intricacies of refurbishing a vintage vehicle. They remain eco-friendly and American-made when possible. “So we have full control of the quality from start to nish,” explains Valdes. The company maintains a high volume of both conceptualized and nished part designs — aiming to provide technical solutions and engineer unique part designs that improve on the original, o -market designs. Focusing on mechanical engineering instead of just buying and selling parts is the niche that sets the company far apart from competitors. 

meet-gowesty

To achieve such a high output of distinct part designs, the engineering team requires swift machining turnaround time, especially for initial prototypes and iterations, in order to move the parts to market as efficiently as possible. Like many companies, GoWesty sees the value in keeping their inventory footprint small, to reduce their capital and operational expenses, but like many companies, GoWesty found that traditional manufacturing does not support a consistent inventory turnover ratio. 

A Lead Time Waiting Game

gowesty-triangles

After a primary supplier pushed lead times on a valuable project from 6 weeks to 2 1⁄2 months, Jack Baker, R&D Department Manager at GoWesty, needed to replace his inventory and maintain revenue. Access to a reliable supply source that could produce their parts inside of a month was a priority, but, given that supplier vetting and negotiation can take months, it was unlikely to find. 

In his search, Baker found MakeTime online and took a chance — setting up an account quickly and receiving a quote back within a day. MakeTime turned the order around “from initial quote to parts in hand in three weeks,” he noted, at a lower price per part, at quality and with a shorter shipping time than GoWesty’s previous suppliers had been able to consistently promise or achieve. “If I hadn’t discovered MakeTime,” Baker continued, “we probably still wouldn’t have those parts and it would’ve been a long process trying to nd other machine shops and validate their quality. You guys got us the parts for less money in less time.” 

Partnering With MakeTime

gowesty-partnering-with-maketime

GoWesty now routinely uses MakeTime for CNC machining production, because, “The parts cost less, and they get here sooner,” as Baker puts it. “It makes me look like I’m doing my job better,” he joked. MakeTime’s consistency, quality, and ease of use allows the company to focus their energy on their main pro t center — engineering original part ideas — and letting already established part sales practically manage themselves. Responding to the company’s need for a consistent inventory turnover, MakeTime was even able to source a supplier with the capacity to manage GoWesty’s inventory needs, setting up a defacto “on-demand” system. The company can keep quality parts, in quantity and in hand at all times, purchasing high volume part orders which are then shipped quarterly in smaller increments. This way, they can reduce capex and focus more on direct expenditures over time. 

In addition to gaining a reliable, fully vetted supply chain, Baker appreciates managing just one point of contact for his procurement, and maintaining quality, while knowing the company is supporting U.S. machine shops. “Even having stuff made in the United States, having consistent quality [has always been] the challenge,” he admits. But with MakeTime’s thorough, continuous vetting system, the company is able to rely on quality production every time, while also benefftting from a lower cost per part and a shorter time-to-market. 

The company has also beneffitted from the MakeTime Parts Library, which allows the entire engineering team to store part files, iterations, assemblies and order history all in one secure online space. Since GoWesty has full-time mechanical engineers constantly working on new part designs, “MakeTime helps us by getting us quotes quicker and assisting with the design process,” Baker points out, “Say we make something and they say, ‘Ya know, change this feature right here and you could make it quicker and cheaper, and maintain [the] quality and the function of the part.’ We’re all about it, then.” Getting insight into design manufacturability allows GoWesty engineers to go through fewer iterations, getting the product to market more quickly, while MakeTime’s data-driven pricing model and distributed supply chain ensure that lead times don’t disrupt company productivity. 

Overall, partnering with MakeTime has allowed GoWesty to focus on the most important aspect of its business model — designing a high number of quality, original aftermarket parts — while also maintaining integrity by keeping their machining as local as possible. 

Key Takeaway

GoWesty is an innovative, engineering- focused company, partnering with MakeTime for more consistent lead times, swift turnaround times and a quality guarantee for their original, aftermarket parts. 

About GoWesty

GoWesty is an innovative, engineering-focused company, specializing in high-quality, original aftermarket parts for VW vans, taking pride in providing innovative solutions to keep the vintage vehicles on the road. 

About MakeTime

MakeTime is a tech company streamlining the production of CNC machined parts. Powered by data and the nation’s largest network of qualified and connected suppliers, we focus on reducing the manufacturing timeline, simplifying the production process and harnessing the power of U.S. manufacturing. The result is a reliable path to prototyping, production and aftermarket CNC machining that is fast, intuitive and cost- competitive. MakeTime is located in Lexington, KY in the heart of American manufacturing country.