Working Smarter Through a Proprietary Systems Strategy

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The mantra of the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry has long been to build products faster, better and cheaper than your customers can do it. That drives a culture of working smarter and forces multiplying resources wherever possible.

From an IT perspective, EMS companies have two choices: Select off-the-shelf systems and deal with support gaps if the systems don’t provide all the tools needed to manage the business, or buy an off-the-shelf core system with the source code and create highly customized solutions to address any support gaps.

TeligentEMS chose the latter route in its systems strategy, building proprietary tools around an Epicor ERP system. The advantages of this approach are threefold. First, developing internal proprietary systems was far less costly than purchasing specialty modules, additional systems or hiring outside consultants to modify the system. Second, the internal development effort ensured that the systems were built around user input in terms of desired features and ease-of-use. Finally, the internal development effort helped ensure that systems could be easily modified as the market requirements changed.

The systems development effort had three key goals:

• Improve real-time management visibility in areas critical to the business

• Provide associates with tools that make it easy to do their jobs

• Automate data collection related to product quality and traceability to support mission critical customer needs

• Make interfaces easy-to-use and collected data easy-to-understand

To fully understand the benefits of this approach, it is important to understand some of the EMS challenges these systems are designed to eliminate. In this case, there were six main areas the company wanted to create proprietary systems to support.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of SMT Magazine.


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