Case Studies

Creating Competitive Advantage

GPC Electronics works with its customers to add value and create more competitiveness for them.

The traditional Contract Manufacturing model is to simply improve efficiency and screw cost out of the manufacturing portion of the supply chain. GPC Electronics does that as well, but tries to move beyond this simple model by creating new business models that create far more value than the few dollars saved in manufacturing.

The following are some examples of how GPC has helped its customers.

A different approach saves millions in inventory

By building to order rather than forecast, GPC helped a US customer to eliminate over $10M of finished goods inventory. To achieve this on a highly complex, highly customized product, GPC created a manufacturing process to suit that customer.

Best product reliability

GPC produces products for many large OEMs and is therefore regularly rated against other CMs from around the world. Products produced by GPC consistently achieve the lowest field failure rates, best product return figures and lowest MTBF. One large customer reported that products from GPC's facilities had one quarter of the average field failures of all their CMs.

Automated test system takes the skill (and cost) out of testing

The customer manufactured a complex product in-house but needed skilled (expensive) engineers to carry out the tests in production. GPC's team of test engineers developed automated test software and hardware to test these complex systems. The result was significantly reduced test time and no need for engineers to work in production.

Custom Configuration of System allows Great Flexibility

A leading US communications equipment OEM has hundreds of different modules for their system which allows their customers to tailor a system to meet their exact needs. However this creates great complexity in manufacturing because each system must be configured individually for each end customer. GPC implemented a system where the final customer can order with only a 4 week lead time and have the system configured to their specification. Because GPC's customer can offer this to their customer, they are able to capture a greater market share.

Many factors besides just price create a lower cost

A large European customer had many quality and delivery issues with other CMs around the world. GPC Electronics discovered that these were due to design issues - especially with plastics. GPCs team of mechanical engineers worked with the customer to quickly resolve the design problems (especially with plastics).

Other electronic design issues were also corrected and implemented during the product ramp-up phase. Yield issues that previously cost a fortune were eliminated. On a recent audit from their overseas parent, they confirmed that GPC had the best quality and best delivery performance of all their other suppliers. They have since asked GPC Electronics to take on more of their products.

Manufacturing Management helped a customer through a difficult period

A large European communications equipment supplier closed down their manufacturing line and were changing to an ERP system that didn't have a manufacturing module. In addition most of the manufacturing staff were laid off. GPC successfully integrated seamlessly into the customer's supply chain by managing their manufacturing facilities, and procurement and planning functions. During this period the customer accessed GPC's ERP system for reports and system integration requirements. GPC also supplied board assembly services for the customer. GPC also carefully managed during this ramp-down phase to ensure that there was no excess.

Sophisticated Project Management gets products to market on time or millions of dollars are lost

A leading Japanese customer has worked with GPC Electronics for over 8 years to produce computer peripherals. This particular global product had to be released to market on time or lose large market share and millions of dollars. From project inception, the customer only has 6 months to design, debug, fill a supply pipeline and ramp to full production. This includes creating all plastic and metal tooling, and verifying that they are production-worthy. GPC's team of engineers work with the customer to ensure that all mechanical tooling is developed to specification, and all electronics work correctly.

GPC Electronics has developed a sophisticated project management approach to ensure that these tight deadlines are met. Every one of these products has been ramped to full production on schedule.

It is then a case of managing the product through the life cycle from rapid ramp-up to tailing off production. Each part of the cycle requires a different approach to management of inventory and other issues. Products are then drop-shipped around the world.

Products are drop-shipped to almost 40 countries

GPC builds many products to final customer order and ships directly to site in almost 40 countries. In many cases, this eliminates double handling of products, freight costs and gets the product to site on time. The added benefit is that cash is not tied up in finished goods inventory waiting for the prior infrastructure work to be completed at the installation site.

Product improvements saves costs with few customer resources

GPC has skilled technical staff that understand the product. On many occasions they have given design improvement ideas to customers, that when implemented save cost on the production line. In every case GPC seeks to add value to customers.

Your Company
What issues are you facing now?

• Do you have to baby-sit your contract manufacturer?
• Do you need to send engineers over there every time there's a problem?
• Poor yielding product? Is it difficult to produce?
• Excess inventory because forecasts vary wildly?
• Short time to market with lots of engineering changes?
• Other issues?
The actual manufacturing is often the easiest part.
The management of business complexity is usually the more difficult part.

Contact GPC Electronics to see if we can help you solve your outsourcing issues.