Over the course of our thirty year history, we have worked with companies of every size in the electronics space – from entrepreneurs starting their first company to enterprise organizations whose brands are household names. In those three decades we’ve learned quite a bit; but below are the most noteworthy insights.
- The Electronics Industry Attracts Talent
- Understand Incentive To Ensure Results
- Make A Difference – Think Small
- Discover, Research, Learn
- Patience Is A Virtue
- Keep It Stateside
- Plan For The Next Generation
- Work With A Partner Who Gets It
This industry attracts intelligent, creative, and driven people who work incredibly hard to bring innovative ideas to life. We’ve found that the most successful companies are those that have capable, motivated people in all facets of the organization working toward a common goal – getting a reliable, robust product to market.
Understanding incentive is key when it comes to establishing rewarding strategic partnerships. Does your product have to adhere to strict quality standards? Then partnering with a company whose business model is to export a product at the lowest cost possible may cut corners, putting the viability of the product (and your reputation) at risk. Partner with a company willing to put their reputation on the line with you and you’ll see better results.
We want to make a difference in the lives of the people we do business with, whether as a customer or a vendor. Working with small- to mid-size companies, you will often receive better customer service, develop longer-term relationships, and have a more profound and significant effect on the people working at that company. According to the SBA, of the 28 million business in America, only 18,500 firms have over 500 employees. Next time you’re ready to do business, we recommend you think small.
Everything you need to know about manufacturing is readily researchable and discoverable. By continuously learning and improving on the manufacturing process, successful companies are able to cut costs and improve their products. We recommend reading industry bulletins and attending events like the IPC APEX Expo annually, so you’re able to get, and stay, ahead of the competition.
New designs take time and prototypes are rarely market-ready. The most resilient companies architect each product iteration methodically, improving on the successes of the past with an eye toward future enhancements. Several revisions are typically necessary before a product is ready to go into full-scale production. Because the path to success can be a long and winding road, patience is required.
Many companies send their intellectual property (e.g., designs, CAD files, bill of materials) offshore for bid, but until your product is in the market, patented, or more well-known, it’s best to keep your intellectual property (IP) stateside. Researching possible cost reductions from offshore vendors makes most sense when production scales up and your company is better able to fight counterfeits or tackle IP theft. Utilizing cheap offshore firms too early in the production cycle can be a costly mistake.
Don’t let the creative process prevent you from going to market. New ideas to enhance the original design often present themselves, especially in the prototyping stage. While improving the product is a worthy goal, the most successful companies don’t let these new ideas delay a product launch. Each enhancement can delay the design cycle, putting the product in a vicious “it can be even better” loop. Save some of new enhancements for the next generation of your product, so you get to market faster and have a list of new product features for the next gen.
A manufacturing partner with established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for every aspect of the manufacturing process will have more command and control over the quality of your product. A conscientious manufacturing partner will create work instructions for your specific build, outlining each manufacturing step with built-in quality assurance (QA) checkpoints. This way, quality control measures are integrated into every step rather than at one QA review at the end of your build, when it's too late to make meaningful changes to the manufacturing process. The ideal manufacturing partner will have established SOPs, be ISO 9001:2015 certified, and provide samples of work instructions.
It’s been an exciting and rewarding thirty years helping bring innovative products to market, serving as customer advocates, and helping grow companies across the country. We can’t wait to see what the next thirty have in store!