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Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Archive >  October 2008 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

Worldwide Locations Drive Success at Elcoteq
Product inspection is an all-important part of the successful production process.  

Logistics, both inbound and outbound, can be a tremendous variable in the total cost of any contract manufacturing operation. Decisions made can result in extra savings or additional costs. Handling logistics on a global scale for similar products or similar markets provides many benefits. This is especially true for companies with manufacturing plants all over the world.
Worldwide locations allow tapping into suppliers, manufacturing, and operations where and when they are optimal. The result is flexibility in production and delivery schedules and getting things to customers faster. Elcoteq works with customers to determine the best location for designing and manufacturing their
products. Logistics personnel understand the customs, duties, and tariffs involved, the paperwork required, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method of transporting goods.
The company's vision is to be the leading integrated electronics manufacturing services (IEMS) provider to communications technology customers. Having such a focused approach is unusual for a top tier EMS company such as Elcoteq, whose consolidated net sales for 2007 totaled 4 billion Euros ($5.7 billion US), employs some 24,000 people, operates in 15 countries on four continents, and is the largest European EMS company.
The company's main goals are to drive shareholder value on a par with competition and beyond and to create superior value to communications technology customers. Strategic concepts include expanding its service offering, operational excellence, and focused growth while aligning talent, structure, and people processes with the needs of the business. The company also diligently pursues with mergers and acquisitions arrangements as well as various forms of collaboration with other companies in the same industry.
Communications Technology
Focus is the key to success at Elcoteq. By focusing on customers and their needs in one particular discipline, communications technology, a greater degree of competence is achieved. Concentrating knowledge and resources in one area demonstrates a commitment to sharing this industry's future with long-term partnerships. The company can evolve with the market and can expand to provide services in the geographical areas where the communications technology industry, and its customers and potential customers, are located.
Elcoteq has three business areas to cover the diversity of communications technology: Personal Communications, Home Communications, and Communications Networks. Personal
Communications covers mobile phones and handheld devices and their parts and accessories. Home Communications includes home communications products such as set-top boxes and electronics for flat-screen televisions, while Communications Networks consists of wireless and wireline infrastructure products and enterprise networks.
The company's service offering anticipates future customer and market demand and emerging technologies, integrates end-to-end services for the products' whole life-cycle, and encompasses horizontal integration from product development to after-sales services. Elcoteq's operational model combines consistent manufacturing processes and services that are integrated globally, with a focus that results in consistency, flexibility, and speed. Starting with design and development services, a common technology, product, and market focus enables the company to be in touch with the technologies that are needed and those that are driving the market. There is familiarity with platforms, software, hardware, and all phases of manufacturing as well as disassembly, rework, and repair, and a realistic understanding of the timetables involved from design to market and all phases of the supply chain.
Sourcing involves what, where, when, and how much to buy. The focused model enables the company to better answer these questions while meeting the needs of its customers. It results in a familiarity with suppliers for communications technology products who can produce the quantities needed and deliver them on time to the multiple locations where the product might be built. Elcoteq can look at its customers' products and product life cycles and determine the components presently available, those heading for obsolescence, and recommend products that might be better in the customer's design. Focusing on one specialized product area provides flexibility with inventory and in accessing parts so deadlines can be met.
Manufacturing Advantages
Manufacturing derives a huge advantage from the focused model. Elcoteq manufacturing plants are set up with the same equipment, procedures, and processes. Commonalities in all Elcoteq plants include business control, human resources, manufacturing technology, product development, quality, information systems, materials, and logistics, creating efficiency, consistency, flexibility, reduced time-to-market, and cost savings. A product can be developed in a new product introduction (NPI) center close to the customer, then transferred to the most beneficial production site. The process transitions smoothly because of the company's consistent manufacturing solutions worldwide, and plant personnel can adapt more quickly to the requirements of the new technology. The company's NPI team can audit the facilities in the NPI center and duplicate the process in another geographical location for lower-cost volume manufacturing.   
Economies of Scale
The focused model enables economies of scale. Purchasing similar equipment for all facilities reduces the cost of equipment and parts, training, setup, and down time as equipment can be transferred from one plant to another or one line to another. Quality control can be assured through duplication of processes and services. Although standards and environmental restrictions and regulations may vary around the world, Elcoteq maintains the highest standards, which, along with its skilled workers, ensures that all plants meet the most stringent guidelines.
After-sales service is an integral part of the focused business model. From the beginning, there is involvement in the
environmental life cycle considerations of the products. The aim is to avoid or minimize significant environmental impacts at all stages of the life cycle including end-of-life disposal. Service, support, warranties and repairs are faster, more flexible, more consistent, and more reliable when conducted on a universal basis.
A focused business model provides customers with the lowest total cost of ownership. This is made possible by processes that are integrated globally, proximity to end markets and skilled labor, expertise in the industry's designs, development, products, and technologies, along with volume manufacturing in cost-competitive locations, optimization of the supply chain, and high standards for quality that result in higher yield and faster time-to-market. Focusing on communications technology means the company has an innate understanding of growing and continuously changing end-user needs, future technologies, and customer business models — allowing it to anticipate market movements and to respond to them. It is the EMS provider's responsibility to be a good partner, and to protect its customers.
Contact: Elcoteq Inc., 1700 International Pkwy., Suite 200, Richardson, TX 75081 972-560-1003 E-mail: Web:

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