Contract Electronics Manufacturer (CEM) Speedboard Assembly Services was named ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ at the 2016 Elektra European Electronics Industry Award ceremony in London on 1st December. The prestigious award was given in recognition of the level of support Speedboard provides its customers under engagements that are becoming increasingly collaborative. In addition, Speedboard’s impressive growth, as demonstrated by an almost 49% increase in turnover during the CEM’s most recent two financial years, impressed the independent panel of Elektra judges.
“We’re delighted to have been named Manufacturer of the Year by Elektra,” comments Nick Fairhead, Speedboard’s Sales and Marketing Director. “This is a huge honour, as the award celebrates the achievements of companies and individuals across Europe and recognises best-practice within our fast-paced electronics industry.”
Under Speedboard’s collaborative engagement model the CEM acts like a virtual shop floor for its customers plus plays a far greater role in Design for Manufacture and Design for Test than is the case under a traditional, transactional outsourcing arrangement. Collaborative engagements are particularly productive during New Product Introductions, and Elektra judges took into consideration how, in 2015, Speedboard rose to both technical and logistical challenges leading up to and during the launch of a range of high-tech cameras for its customer Vicon Motion Systems Ltd.
Key to Speedboard’s collaborative CEM-customer engagements model is its formation of customer teams. Each team has a Senior Account Manager, an Account Manager, a Production Engineer and a Buyer. Each customer also has an Account Director. Fairhead notes: “This involvement of myself and Speedboard’s other directors in customer accounts is reflective of our commitment to the success and strategic growth of our customers. If they do well, we do well. It’s a perfect partnership.”
Speedboard is a financially stable company and its owners were previously customers, which has instilled an extremely customer-focused approach to business and is reflected in the CEM’s high customer retention rate. Speedboard’s longest standing customer has now been working with the CEM for more than 24 years. In addition, Speedboard is performing more and more final assembly work for its customers, managing complex supply chains and seeking to add value to every engagement.
Fairhead concludes: “Few if any other UK-based CEMs can claim to have almost doubled their turnover – through shop floor work alone I might add – and for having such an innovative approach to supporting their customers.”