One of your customers just informed you that they need a manufacturing presence overseas because their customers are demanding it. What do you do?
About 7 years ago, a mid-size Sweden-based contract manufacturer, Note AB, faced that exact situation. One of its key customers wanted better access to end markets in the United States. Rather than build a new factory or buy an existing site, Note sought a third option: ally with a manufacturer in the U.S.
The idea is modeled the idea after the airline industry, where national carriers ally with other countries’ carriers to transport passengers. By forming a network of like-minded partners, Note could provide manufacturing services around the globe without risking customer defections.
The result is the ems-ALLIANCE, which has partners in Europe, India, China and North and South America. Collectively, the ems-ALLIANCE members have a total of 14,800 employees; 164,060 sq. meters of production area; 4 million component placement per hour; and 125 SMT lines. In short, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Arranging the transfer of business from partner to partner is a complex process–but so is going out of business. If you are at risk of losing customers because you can’t be everywhere they want you to be, think about an alliance. The ems-ALLIANCE has so far managed to make this work on a global basis. Maybe aligning with another business in your state, region or country can work for you.
For more information on the ems-ALLIANCE, see www. firstname.lastname@example.org