Embracing agile in electronics manufacturing

Written by Graeme Robertson

07 May 2021

When working in an unpredictable market, agile manufacturing allows you to adapt quickly and maintain efficiency. But certain measures should be put in place so that it can work to its full potential.

What is agile manufacturing?
Agile manufacturing is a strategy manufacturers use to be able to respond quickly to changes in market demands and customer needs. All without quality being affected.

How does agile work in electronics manufacturing?
To adopt an agile way of working, electronics manufacturers need to think about:

In this fast-paced digital age, we’re presented with new technologies every day. Manufacturers need to use digitally integrated production platforms to keep up.

Using data to make decisions
Using analytics to influence choices is key to an effective agile approach. The data is a vital part of understanding changing market conditions.

Putting customers at the centre
It’s not only markets and technology that are evolving, customers are too. They expect high quality results, low cost production, and superior customisation. Systems need to be flexible in response.

Supply chain management
De-risking the supply chain is vital. Part of this involves being prepared for changing demand. There should always be some flexibility around demand, with solid planning tools and tech support in place.

Partnering with a contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) allows businesses to focus on their core capabilities. The right CEM will support their partner’s long-term growth, and design a supply chain system that can flex when needed, ultimately reducing risk.

Open communication
Keeping an open conversation with the CEM or any supply chain partners is crucial in agile manufacturing.

The benefits of an agile approach
Agility allows manufacturers to always be prepared for unpredictability and when done right, to stay profitable.

Agile lets manufacturers keep a competitive edge by maintaining focus on the quality of their work. Due to the delivery cycle working so efficiently, there’s also room for innovation. In fact, innovation is encouraged. This is key in electronics manufacturing, where competitive pressure and time constraints can sometimes limit design possibilities. With an agile approach, engineers at all levels can work on different concepts together.

Agility covers the entire lifecycle of a product, from design to development. Information is gathered along the way, and in turn, the manufacturing process becomes stronger. With such a robust system in place, projects can also be scaled up or down with ease.

Agility at CB Technology
We act as an extension of our client’s team, so when the market changes, we can act fast. Our clients have a single point of contact, ensuring a high level of focus and responsiveness.

In addition, our outsourcing capability is kept flexible. This means that if demand shoots up, we can deploy a highly skilled and committed workforce – quickly.

Clear communication is fundamental. Our teams hold regular meetings to process any production changes or requests. Meanwhile, our Technical Support Team address any technical issues or customer problems.

The first class customer service we provide at CB Technology is the perfect accompaniment to agile manufacturing, which is all about connecting an organisation’s people, supply chain partners and customers.

The world is forever-changing. Make sure your business is prepared to change with it.