Taking the Long Lead approach on manufacturing

Peter Schmied, President and Chief Operating Officer of Invotek Group

When the world changes, so does manufacturing.

History has revealed that many of the manufacturing constants today were brought in after tumultuous times. For example, just in time manufacturing was brought about by the lean times that followed World War II. The model was so efficient that it became the standard for many contract manufacturing companies. As Peter Schmied, President and Chief Operating Officer of Invotek Group remembers, this model was efficient because it kept costs low and ensured that clients were provided with the products they needed without having to focus on maintaining significant inventory. Not to mention offshore raw materials were just a phone call and a few weeks away.

But the world changed in March of 2020. Within a few weeks, just in time became hurry up and wait. The supply chain was broken as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down operations worldwide. Based on a survey taken in the second half of 2020, over half had reductions of at least 25% and 6% shut down completely. More than 90% felt unprepared.What’s worse is that in a post-pandemic world, the supply chain economy was expected to be as much as 40% lower in the new normal.

When the world began to recover, there was a huge problem in the supply chain. There was no space. Shipping containers were in short supply. Components and raw materials, if they were even available, would take at least double the time to arrive at a facility. As Peter Schmied puts it, “Manufacturing lead times for many products have increased dramatically. I have components that require up to 50 weeks lead time. The only way anyone can get past this problem is to utilize long term forecasts and ensure supply is met in a timely manner.”

Confidence in a long lead supply chain can then ensure components and raw materials are present when needed. Schmied has learned this approach makes a relationship successful. “We needed to develop that long lead.” In contrast to the Just In Time model, Invotek Group has identified that long lead times can ensure clients are making the right decisions to align with the global situation.

“Everyone is experiencing the same problem with delays. We do not want anyone to experience an unnecessary shortage. We want to be sure they have solutions.”

 

That is the benefit he feels Invotek Group can offer:  transparency over time. Instead of being rushed to make a decision in an instant, Schmied feels that using the long lead approach can ensure problems are avoided.  “We work very closely with our customers to make sure they engineer with the right components that are available. Many of our customers think twice when they are developing new products and think about what components are in it so that they are not in short supply. It’s very difficult to change later because you can’t just change components. You have to be clear with them from the start.”

Invotek Group also has a service provider focus that ensures the entire process from cradle to grave is done effectively. As Schmied puts it, “We can help with engineering, procurement, manufacturing, shipping and even product distribution.” He adds that it’s probably why they have been so successful. “We do all of this while supplying customers with great quality on time at competitive pricing in a transparent way.”

But while the company continues to grow at an incredible pace despite the pandemic, they are still looking for ways to improve their service. “We’re always looking to expand and add new value to our customers,” Schmied says. In light of the effects of COVID-19 on the world’s supply chain, Invotek Group has proven to be resilient and adaptive in its approach. They have brought many companies success and would be happy to discuss how to bring your manufacturing goals to reality.

Invotek would be happy to talk with you about your needs and how we can be YOUR factory.

Contact:

Matthew Ruscica
Vice President of Sales and Program Management
905-201-1787 ext 222
matthew@maratech.ca

The Sky’s the Limit

the sky's the limit

Commitment is the Key to Service Factory Success

Invotek has been a blueprint for service factories for over three decades and has learned that building and maintaining a relationship is a key factor in progress and parallel growth. The fundamentals are apparent, such as an open-door policy, cost analysis, and transparency. But to keep that connection strong requires going beyond the obvious to prove that the reliance goes further than a product.

One of our longest relationships – 15 years – has been with a company that most recently awarded Invotek with the Supplier of the Year award for 2021. The Canadian company is one division of a much larger international powerhouse and has needed to be at the top of the global rankings to avoid consolidation. A relationship with Invotek has not only ensured their success but also added to it over the years.

The key to the success of this relationship has been flexibility. It is a need for any manufacturer, despite the bottom-line pressures that tend to push a factory into a one-dimensional approach to product development. Invotek continually has sought to be as flexible as possible with customers to ensure that all resources and capacity are available. This includes de facto mentoring as the customer learned to become a globally competitive company. The transition from small to mid to high volume, which admittedly can be a struggle for many rising operations, was made smoother thanks to the collaborative partnership.

The award is a testament to Invotek’s service factory mission and validates its current direction for future global partnerships.

 

Invotek now has access to two hundred local and international consultants  who are ready to help at a call’s notice. Invotek also has developed internal provisioning, warehousing, distribution and third-party logistics operations with access to both the Canadian and American markets. Its engineering capacities are growing and it is working to accommodate any electronics requirement by advancing at the same pace as technology.

There’s an old adage that the sky’s the limit although the means of getting there differs for almost every company. For Invotek, the blue sky comes in the form of a one stop shop. They are exploring avenues to offer full life cycle care, from cradle to grave – and as a nod to the need for sustainability – rebirth. They are committed to relationships over the long term and this reward is a reflection of those efforts.

Invotek would be happy to talk with you about your needs and how we can be YOUR factory.

Contact:

Matthew Ruscica
Vice President of Sales and Program Management
905-201-1787 ext 222
matthew@maratech.ca

Merging Your Factory with Logistics

FROM THIRD TO FIRST – INVOTEK MERGES YOUR FACTORY WITH LOGISTICS

There are several challenges to manufacturing that are outside the scope of a traditional factory. Raw material supply chain, warehousing, and distribution are all issues that can impact manufacturing based on how smoothly they fit into the production stream.

One answer is to increase the brick-and-mortar footprint as well as take on additional financial burdens in the form of human resources, and equipment. The other is to outsource the required elements and operate using third party logistics (3PL).

Invotek offers a third option. They can be both your factory and your third party. Recently, they acquired new infrastructure and have compartmentalized the space to allow for 3PL for a variety of customers. They currently can perform provisioning, clean room testing, packaging, warehousing, and distribution all under the same roof. In addition to the current manufacturing footprint, Invotek has become a customer developer with the capability of overseeing the entire life cycle of any product.

Choosing Invotek for all your 3PL needs can help to increase revenue as this is a significantly more cost-effective option. Based on previous customer experiences, returns on investment can occur in a matter of months. This is far more attractive than assuming significant liability on capital commitments. In addition, any additional costs due to expansion can be reduced through Invotek’s significant international expertise, which is shared with the customer.

That experience also can help reduce the amount of logistical red tape of taking on a separate 3PL group.

 

There is no need to translate information as the entire manufacturing process is covered by umbrella management. This guarantees interoperability and makes expansion straightforward. Invotek also can assume downstream customer service such that any issues can be handled by a single website or phone number.

There is one much larger benefit with choosing Invotek for both manufacturing and logistics. Trust. Invotek is firmly committed to its customers and every relationship is important regardless of the size of the contract. The company ensures every step of the life cycle is treated with the respect and diligence the customer expects. The company appreciates that every customer wants some control over their product and is happy to guarantee both transparency and an open door. The same can be said for its human resources as the company enjoys a high level of satisfaction and low turnover amongst its employees. The customer can be sure that there will be no hidden surprises due to personnel instability.

Invotek strives to be the best electronics manufacturer by giving its customers the one stop shop experience. The company has become a leader as your factory from sketch to SKU and now, thanks to the addition of 3PL, they can be a customer’s partner from cradle to grave and all stages in between. With over three decades of growth, Invotek knows what it is like to take an idea and turn it into a global leader. Let them help you to make your dream a reality.

Contact:

Matthew Ruscica
Vice President of Sales and Program Management
905-201-1787 ext 222
matthew@maratech.ca

 

Invotek: Factory and Service

Invotek Top 10 Electronics Manufacturing Service Companies by Manufacturing Technology Insights

March 2021, the Invotek Group was recognized as one of the Top 10 Electronics Manufacturing Service Companies by Manufacturing Technology Insights, the leading publication on the global state of electronics manufacturing. This global honour highlights Invotek’s commitment to service and collaboration throughout the product lifecycle. To put it succinctly, ‘We are YOUR factory’.

Becoming a service factory is not an easy process. After all, for thousands of years, the factory was compartmentalized into one stage of manufacturing:  production. Craftmanship, quality control, and aftermarket support were all separate entities that required separate resources and capacities. But in the late 1980s, that paradigm shifted. Companies that were destined for success required a factory that did more than make, they also offered services outside the traditional spectrum. The benefits came in the form of lower costs, higher quality, and more reliable delivery.

Invotek was founded at the beginning of the service factory era and has successfully offered highly reliable electronics manufacturing services for three decades. Specializing in full turnkey solutions, the company is able to harness several global facilities to provide cost-effective, flexible, and in-house service to its clients. The range of services span across the product lifestyle including design and development, prototype testing, product validation, launch readiness, supply chain management, advanced manufacturing, distribution, and order fulfillment. They follow the principles of Value Engineering and always ensure the product and the client has a globally competitive edge.

Being a part of the product lifecycle also means being prepared to deal with any changes either in the need for production or the need for engineering services. Design and launch processes are done concurrently such that any alterations in one can be readily managed. Just-in-Time delivery with flexible manufacturing schedules ensures that any changes in product demand can quickly be fulfilled. Supplemental engineering services are a call away and any customer dissatisfaction, should it happen, are collected and resolved.

Invotek has kept up with the times so that the company can offer the latest technological capacity to meet any electronics demand. This includes system design and development, electrical design & PCB layout, embedded software development, Class A form factor and mechanical design to match numerous high speed SMT lines, and AOI to ensure quality. Apart from the factory floor, the company has the capacity to provide full retail distribution and sales representation.

Invotek is proud to be one of the world’s top 10 Electronics Manufacturing Service Companies and thanks Manufacturing Technology Insights for their belief in our process model. We will continue to offer the best in electronics manufacturing across the product lifecycle and strive to meet and beat all client’s expectations. At Invotek, ‘We are YOUR factory’. Let us work with you to make your product and company a success.

Contact:
Matthew Ruscica
Vice President of Sales and Program Management
905-201-1787 ext 222
matthew@maratech.ca