Dynamic EMS – regional Electronics Manufacturing Service provider, who keeps its customers close
15 May 2017
What is the secret to Dynamic EMS's success, in a geography that other EMS companies are exiting?
In this interview, John Dignan, Managing Director, Dynamic EMS speaks about their stellar results and what it takes to succeed in electronics manufacturing in the U.K.
Q: John, we read with interest your article quoting your 6% rise in revenue with further growth predicted over the next financial year, this is wonderful news, congratulations. Can you tell us, when we are seeing large EMS providers like Jabil exit the U.K. market, what are Dynamic EMS doing, that other EMS companies are not, to remain not only alive but alive and healthy?
John: I started my career within the electronics manufacturing industry (EMS) in the early 1980s. During that time, most of the EMS players were small, certainly smaller than they are now. So, I was taught, at that point, to listen and develop tailored solutions based on our customers’ needs. In the formative years, to be successful, we were encouraged to create and develop mutually beneficial relationships that were centred around trust. We talk a lot about innovation in today’s technologically driven world, however, the 1980s was an incredibly dynamic time in the U.K. for electronics manufacturing. It was the time that contract manufacturing started to embed itself into the OEM’s supply chain decision maker’s DNA. For an OEM to move from in-house manufacturing to outsourcing their manufacturing, establishing a long-term view of that relationship was essential.
I’ve carried this point of view on throughout my career and it’s a philosophy that I have brought into Dynamic EMS that’s become a cornerstone of our company culture. I believe that our long-term view, our commitment to customer relations and the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny, help to differentiate us in the U.K. and are the reasons that we are alive and kicking.
Q: Can you elaborate on that a bit more John, what do you mean by, ‘you are the masters of your own destiny’?
John: Dynamic EMS is one of the UK’s largest EMS companies. Founded more than 30 years ago, the company is still operated as though it is a family business. Because we’re British, we’re fanatical about quality, process and efficiency and we always deliver what we promise.
We deal with small and large brands, delivering everything from innovation to volume, from board assembly to complex mechatronics and much more. Our private ownership means we make decisions based on our customers’ and industry’s needs, rather than the whims of the stock market.
Q: That’s interesting John and gives us some insight into what model works in the U.K. market. Would you say Dynamic EMS has evolved over its 30 years of trading?
John: Dynamic EMS was created as I believed there was a gap in the U.K. market for customised customer solutions, and this remains true to this day. During our 30 years, we have of course evolved as the market shifts, and we will continue to adapt to the environmental and industry trends in which we operate.
We are however witnessing a re-emergence of a market that is not only focused on delivering what that customer needs, but also identifying, anticipating and providing them with supply chain solutions that they don’t yet know that they need.
The demands of the OEM have moved beyond a quote for build-to-print. It is now the responsibility of EMS partners, like Dynamic EMS, to drive an innovative offering that enhances their overall end-customer solution. Our OEM customers’ world has evolved too, they have to address many channels and they need to deliver an exceptional customer experience throughout the entire supply chain. The customer has always been king, but the power of the internet, connected devices, IoT and big data has shown us how influential product reviews can be, therefore we aim for customer delight throughout. The customer experience, through all touchpoints, has to be exceptional.
The level of visibility and drive towards total transparency has driven the need for OEMs to partner with EMS companies that can manage the entire process, to ensure that all the boxes are ticked, certification – tick, quality – tick, environmental responsibility – tick, ethics – tick, compliance – tick, health & safety – tick, industry standards – tick etc.
Q: What other industry influences pertaining to the U.K. marketplace have you had to consider?
John: It seemed from around 2007 – 2014, that there was an industry mandate to move all production off-shore to lower cost geographies. This was a period of uncertainty for U.K. EMS companies, with many Tier I and Tier II global providers selling or closing their production facilities during this time. At Dynamic EMS, known in the industry for the work we carry out in the aviation, communications, energy, industrial and medical markets, we viewed this time differently from other players and focused our energies on markets that all share unique and challenging characteristics, such as high complexity and high-level configurability in a low-to-medium volume production environment.
With a high level of customisation or large form factor, or the need for speed throughout the supply chain, production of these types of products is not suited to off-shore manufacturing.
We have learned from the industry, and those who lived through the pain of not being able to meet the market conditions and the struggle to communicate with overseas suppliers due to time-zone variances, language and culture differences, that there is a need for manufacturing to be in close proximity to the customer and/or the end-user. There’s a need for the supply chain to be as simple, transparent, flexible and as ‘dynamic’ as possible. Speed matters. Product lifecycles are shorter, meaning customers need to maximise their time to market, in the market, to increase their time in profit.
The Tier I and Tier II U.K. EMS providers may promise to regionally service these markets with the best of intentions, but the sheer scale and operational demands ultimately distract them from adequately servicing a smaller line of businesses with complex needs.
Dynamic EMS is large enough to have the right manufacturing resources, combined with the right engineering capabilities with local focus and expertise, to maintain an agile and competitive position.
Q: Dynamic EMS has invested in their U.K. operations and, as per your financial report, you are reaping the benefits of growth from this, what changes have you made to drive this growth?
John: Our facility, based in Dalgety Bay, Scotland, has become a regional Centre of Excellence for design, development, New Product Introduction (NPI), product realisation and final product fulfilment. We geographically sit in a unique position at the intersection of innovation, in close proximity to award winning universities, start-ups, investors, incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurs. The business ethos I spoke of earlier, means that we have established solid relationships and connections throughout this powerful network, harnessing all to accelerate business growth for the future.
When your success is based on your customers’ success, and you define the partnership in that light, all parties bring their best game. Success becomes a shared success. The U.K. market is truly hungry for the technology capable, innovative and flexible manufacturing partner. They are not seeking a quote model; they are seeking a total end-to-end solution that lets them differentiate with innovation. The larger UK EMS players are not ‘dynamic’ enough to address this, they try to bend the customer to their methods. We develop value-based solutions around the customer’s specific needs, not ours. We lead with solutions that enhance their unique business objectives.
Q: Thank you John, it seems that it pays to keep your customers as close as family, becoming the neighbour they wished they had. I’m looking forward to continuing to read about your success in the U.K. electronics manufacturing market.
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