At Firstronic, we focus on adding value for the customer with systems and methodologies to support their success and profitability. Once our role in the customer’s value stream has been identified, we implement our mistake-proof proprietary process. This includes a new product launch plan and requirements database, an engineering change notice database, an action register repository, a corrective action report, and a serialized barcode tracking system. After all, understanding what our customers value and knowing how this should be measured is part of our culture and integral to how we conduct business. Here are a few examples of solutions we are providing for customers:
Challenge: A manufacturer of consumer engine-driven products was having difficulty coordinating product development and production launch with its Asian contract manufacturer.
Solution: Firstronic was added as a second source for PCBAs. When cost, lead-time and quality improvements were added up, it became obvious that moving production back to North America was the more cost effective option.
Results: The customer’s Michigan-based product development team has a local partner focused on meeting their goals for speed, quality and competitive cost. FiIrstronic has been awarded additional projects including the assembly of an electronic fuel control module used in scooters shipped globally.
Challenge: A Michigan-based utility company wanted to reduce cost while increasing Michigan-based content.
Solution: Firstronics’ team helped them company re-engineer an automated meter reading (AMR) product to reduce cost.
Results: The product had previously been produced in China and was re-shored as part of a corporate initiative to increase sourcing in the state of Michigan.
Maximize Economies of Scale
Challenge: An automotive controls manufacturer wanted to reduce tooling and test costs.
Solution: Firstronic worked with them to develop optimized tooling and a test platform.
Results: Production that was previously destined for China and India was consolidated at Firstronic so that all production could utilize the same tooling and test platform at Firstronic.
Proximity to Product Development Team
Challenge: A manufacturer of automotive controls wanted a supplier that was located closer to its product development team who could provide responsive, cost competitive production.
Solution: Firstronic provided the right mix of engineering, production and logistics support.
Results: The control subassemblies are shipped to several locations in Mexico for integration in final products.
Supporting Hard-to-Predict Demand
Challenge: An automotive customer was launching a new product. The marketing department over forecasted demand due to concerns about material allocation.
Solution: Firstronic’s program manager was aware that this customer had a historical pattern of large ramps, followed by decreases in orders once demand was clearly established. Firstronic’s materials department also saw that the material availability situation was improving, which would likely drive lead-times and pricing down over time. Program management recommended placing orders to cover a much smaller quantity than the customer’s marketing team had originally asked for, with adjustments as demand and material allocation trends were better understood.
Results: Over the first few months, it became obvious that typical demand was in the range of Firstronic’s recommened ordering quantity. Had Firstronics’ team gone with the customer’s original request, there would have been significant excess inventory and concomitant non-value added costs, including broker premiums to secure the initial volume requirement.