Customisation- Meeting Clients’ Needs
Customisation- Meeting Clients’ Needs
How many times have you encountered a situation where a product almost fits the specification perfectly but there is one minor issue that gives you a real headache? Most large companies in the broadcast and A/V markets would just tell you that the product is the product, so you can take it or leave it. Particularly when the industry is still recovering from supply-chain issues, this is an understandable approach but not helpful in finishing a project. It is refreshing to discover that Glensound takes a very different attitude to meeting customer requests.
This is nothing new for Glensound, a company that has had an enviable history over nearly sixty years. Right from the beginning, it was realised that specs needed to be followed carefully when designing products, and being prepared to make some adjustments to make more sales, always made sense. This is not an easy objective to meet for a number of good reasons:
- Even small modifications need engineering and that takes resources. A design engineer will not be waiting for something to arrive but must be able to switch immediately to the custom project. It can mean a delay in any long-term product design to which he is currently assigned.
- If there are non-standard components, these need to be sourced and might have a long lead time.
- There is a need to build more than ordered for warranty stock and re-ordering. If there are no requirements, this becomes dead stock.
- There is always time pressure on any order and with normal production there is usually time to go through prototype stages and fine tune designs. With a custom-build, there is rarely time to do this. It has to be right the first time.
If these are the challenges, Glensound has the answers and is also busting some myths:
- Meeting customer requirements has always been a key element of Glensound’s approach. Additional engineering resource is being recruited to meet the demand.
- Experience has taught Glensound not to rely on a “just in time” supply chain. Despite being a small company, up to £1.5 million worth of components is held. This stock can shorten delivery time significantly.
- Glensound has maintained an in-house design and manufacturing capability so that lead times can be controlled. Only bare circuit boards are outsourced, and these are usually not the main cause of delay in a project. This means that from design, metalwork, surface mount, assembling and testing are 100% under Glensound’s control.
- Being small and self-contained, adapting to small custom product runs is relatively easy and could even be for as few as half a dozen units.
- Modifications that do not need extensive software modifications can usually be achieved in approximately 10 weeks from start to finish.
- Experience has shown that these customisation projects are not as costly as might be imagined.
Customising products can cover a variety of different modifications and the company is happy to discuss the feasibility of any client proposal. At the simpler end of the spectrum, it could be something as seemingly simple as changing connectors on a standard product. It could also be fitting a standard product into a special container or a piece of furniture that cannot be changed. On the other end of the spectrum, it could be custom software to perform a specific function that is new or not part of the original product design. It could even include all three of these. Before agreeing to modify a product, several important questions must be answered:
- Can the product be changed to meet this requirement within a reasonable time?
- If the modification is done, how many will be ordered?
- Are there other customers likely to want the same modifications? Is it justified to make this a standard alternative product?
- What special components would be required and what is the lead time?
- How much engineering/design time is required and what impact will this have on other projects?
- Customer lead time? Is there sufficient time to make these changes and still meet an on-air date or opening deadline?
- Can the modifications be done for an acceptable price? It might be technically possible and deliverable on time but may not make any sense financially.
Assuming the project gets the green light, there are some obvious benefits for the company:
- Extra sales and revenue
- Long-term relationship with the customer and chance of repeat business
- Opportunities created by offering the modification as a standard product.
It is easy to see why this approach makes sense for Glensound and why their team is ready to discuss your proposal.