APRIL 27, 2017 — Louisiana-based Metal Shark is ramping up production to build an inventory of stock vessels, with the goal of reducing lead times and enhancing its service to customers.
“Evaluating our performance against that of our competitors and against vehicle manufacturers in other sectors, long lead times stand out as a serious shortcoming of our industry,” explained Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. “In other vehicle sectors, customers can reasonably expect immediate or near-immediate delivery, yet customers in our industry must wait. We are significantly reducing this wait time by implementing a rotating inventory into our production mix.”
Under the new program, the lead time for a single 38 Defiant pilothouse vessel could be reduced from 270 days after received order to as little as 30 days, depending on equipment and configuration.
Metal Shark custom-builds each vessel to accommodate the unique mission requirements of its customers. To continue this practice, vessels built as part of the company’s new Stock Boats program will in most cases be built to a stage where they are awaiting final fitout. This will reduce overall wait time while still allowing purchasers the opportunity to specify seating, electronics, fire fighting equipment, or other short lead-time components.
“Our primary goal is to reduce the 240 to 365-day lead times associated with scheduling and the acquisition of engines and other long lead-time components,” explained Allard. “We’ve grown the company to a point where we can now make this investment in materials and labor with an eye to the future, accelerating production cycles while still maintaining the flexibility to accommodate our customers. This move gives Metal Shark a real competitive edge.”
Models currently included in the new program include Metal Shark’s popular Defiant-class pilothouse models in 29, 38, and 45 feet, 28-foot Relentless center console patrol boats, and 7-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) with diesel stern drives, waterjets, or twin outboard engines.
Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement, and commercial entities. Key customers include the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, foreign militaries, law enforcement agencies, passenger vessel operators, pilot associations, fire departments, and other operators worldwide. From its two fully self-contained shipyards in South Louisiana, Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran vessels up to 250 ft.