In order to thrive in today's economy, electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers should serve multiple industries, including aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, and other markets not historically dominated by much larger-tier EMS competitors. But it takes more than just expanding the reach of a business.
Expanding facility capabilities and product specialization
Providing quality products for each industry will fuel further growth. For example, in the healthcare industry an EMS can provide specialized products for minor emergency care, research-and-development centers, specialized women's services, blood analysis centers, and trauma centers. Having a clear-cut commitment to quality and shipping products that meet customer specifications, on-time and in budget, will surely set an EMS apart from its competitors.
Advanced material planning tools allow the EMS to customize specific supply-chain solutions for each unique customer. This advanced planning can also be tailored to each customer product offering if the constraints on each are different from those on the others. More often than not, multiple solutions are implemented to serve the complex and diverse needs of a single client.
Accountability is paramount to success
Providing superior supply-chain software toolsets will also give an EMS the ability to support a product at any stage during its lifecycle. Bill of Materials (BOM) optimization and expansions, restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) conversion, end-of-life management, and obsolete component parts management will all help an EMS bolster its accountability and value-added support of its customers and ensure a product is properly tracked through any stage of its lifecycle.
Look to the south and be selective
Having resources capable of reaching optimal “scalability” — whether domestic or in a low labor-cost region — is ideal for mid-tier EMS providers. Utilizing a global supply chain purchasing reach and a low-cost manufacturing center enables the EMS to keep customers globally competitive with all of its products.
With manufacturing regionalization beginning to take hold as a viable outsourcing thesis, the Americas regional manufacturing offering keeps customers competitive without sacrificing inventory turns and cash-to-cash cycles, while enhancing service flexibility. Regional facilities operating across the border of Mexico offer customers a substantial risk abatement benefit, when comparing total acquisition costs and Asian manufacturing alternatives. Employee turnover in some areas of central Mexico are extremely low, further reducing OEM risks.
In terms of customer engagements, try to seek out prospects that value the EMS suite of services, as they will be a true differentiator. This up-front investment in collaborative prospective customer diligence and alignment enables long-term customer engagements and allows an OEM and EMS to grow together. A horizontal lifecycle support approach to servicing a customer promotes business growth throughout the entire product lifecycle, so the EMS can enter the OEM relationship at almost any stage of a product's life.