However, operational excellence is often a misunderstood aspect of the electronics industry, which is why we decided to take a closer look at the top five myths about operational excellence in the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry.
Myth #1 - Operational excellence processes function in the same way for every electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customer
Suppose you have developed processes that embrace problem-solving activities e.g. printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), and you implement them across a multifunctional structure. However, operational excellence is something more than just following a process, as it is the philosophy that we need to follow, with the focus on the mindset and guides rather than rules. Being excellent has its roots in the company culture and the actions that employees take in your business operations. By always seeking to give the best, the electronics contract manufacturing (ECM) team commits to continuous improvement and sustainable development, thus changing how the whole company operates.
Since everyone knows the theory, why do problems appear when it comes to the practice? Many of us forget that one of the key factors behind our decisions is … our humanity. Without empathy, and a good understanding of the need for a third party, we fail to react accurately and effectively. For instance, when the COVID-19 outbreak first affected supply chain management, maintaining the continuity of supplies and the availability of components became a difficult challenge for original equipment manufacturers (OEMS). Without acknowledging the significance of the problem, and the fact the customer also has obligations, many Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers lost both the customer and their business continuity. If they cannot care for the product like it was their own, they are unlikely to be rated as easy-to-do-business-with.
To sum up, the processes will not work in the same way for every customer. Taking good care of the customer goes way beyond operational excellence, which is sometimes considered an organization-centric approach rather than a holistic one, enabling effective decision-making and aligning more with the goals of sales and operations.
What then, as a customer, do you need in your Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) partner? Flexibility, empathy, years (sometimes decades) of experience gained in design and manufacture, and a can-do attitude. If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. What's more, companies that design and manufacture under one roof can nurture any given project at every stage: from the conceptual phase, through designing, management of product certifications, industrialisation, new product introduction (NPI), to serial production of electronic devices.