Project Description

blog-square-pegIt’s Not a Custom Solution; It Is a Perfect Fit Solution!

Often times I hear customers tell me everything they want their new assembly to do. They want all the bells and whistles. They want it to have a certain footprint and be super quiet etc. Then I inform them that there isn’t anything currently on the market that is off the shelf that does what they want so it would be a solution specific for them. Without fail the reaction is always …….. We don’t want a custom solution! And so begins an uphill challenge of a custom solution versus an off the shelf solution that sacrifices what they need it to do.

In many of these scenarios there are two camps: Engineering and Purchasing. Engineering typically doesn’t care about the cost aspect as long as the solution does exactly what they want it to do and they can get it quickly. Purchasing cares that it works but more importantly that it is cost effective. The interesting thing, especially more so lately, is that a lot of times they both agree they don’t want a custom solution. Is it the word “custom” that has tainted everyone’s point of view or associated it with high dollars and zero returns?

Maybe it’s a curse or maybe it is good fortune but these are the projects that I often find myself involved in. Many of the projects that my team at GMI Solutions  and I are involved  are exactly the scenario above. Since we are a contract manufacturing partner to OEMs we don’t have a product to sell which makes my job a constant balancing act of what can be used off the shelf and what has to be built specific for a customer’s application. We have found that we can be very successful to reduce the overall Total Cost of Ownership for an OEM when they embrace the perfect fit solution.

The Perfect Fit Solution is a solution that uses off the shelf parts but puts them into a package that is specific to your needs. A Perfect Fit Solution is a solution that may blur the lines of using custom boards inside an off the shelf assembly. A Perfect Fit Solution looks at the manufacturing process upstream, downstream and the long term plan of the service organization. A Perfect Fit Solution albeit “customized” for your scenario does not mean it’s expensive, often it’s the opposite if you look at it from a Total Cost of Ownership standpoint. It’s the blend of everything you needed to be and is just what it sounds like… Perfect.

Patrick Froh

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