We interviewed Kerri Ross, Dorigo’s manufacturing manager, to see the future of manufacturing through her eyes. This is the first in a series of three articles conveying her vision as she sees it today.

The Future of Manufacturing: Is Your EMS Partner Curious Enough?

Curious lighter

The search for a contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) can be an angst-filled process for start ups, OEMs and new product developers. Asking key questions to determine which company you should outsource your next project to can be filled with pitfalls.

How CEMs work with their customers has changed significantly. It’s not enough to provide speed, flexibility and dependability to customer builds. Progressive CEMs embrace a process-based structure that focuses on integrating, aligning and linking processes and organizational functions effectively to achieve your goals.

“We get the privilege of seeing so many new product innovations before investors or the market,” says Kerri Ross. “Bringing these products successfully to market requires a shared vision and a lot of up front collaboration.”

How do you measure collaboration in 2020 and beyond?
It’s not as easy as it used to be. Today’s engineers, designers and innovators have a blended education. Consider all the new specialties that have emerged in recent years in engineering alone. For example, Biological engineering, a blend of biology and engineering, brings the best critical thinking of those two niche areas to find solutions to problems. It makes collaborating even more challenging as many viewpoints are being brought to product design that are broader in knowledge according to Ms. Ross.

The same holds true with CEMs today, it’s important that departments overlap in the electronics manufacturing process so everyone can speak the same language and understand the shared vision. It’s the core principle for delivering Dorigo’s Seamless Customer Experience.

“Dorigo Systems’ continued success in electronics manufacturing relies on bringing the best products to market working with our customers and asking the right questions,” comments Kerri Ross. Dorigo’s customer service team, which consists of a Customer Experience Manager, Product Engineer and Customer Experience Specialist, gives constructive feedback to customers on the reliability and reproducibility of product designs from many viewpoints. “We are always engaged and encouraged to be curious at every stage of the manufacturing process.”

So is there a curiosity meter for measuring your EMS provider?
In fact, there is. Being able to show how ‘we’re in it together’ is key. For an EMS provider, it goes beyond showing their facility and capabilities it leans into the processes that ensure the highest quality finished products are manufactured in a timely manner. The questions that every member of the team ask during the production process determine whether a product is good or great and if it can be efficiently reproduced.

“Today’s designers, engineers and idea creators journey isn’t easy,” says Ross. “It’s our job to effectively work through the innovation process together starting with discovery and then refining a prototype so it can be pushed across the finish line. We encourage every member in our customer service team to ask questions that reach beyond our meeting rooms to the manufacturing floor.” Dorigo Systems customer-centric approach to electronics manufacturing focuses on bringing together teams that have diverse skills and mindsets to meet customers’ changing needs as markets evolve.

A true EMS partner does far more than simply solder components to circuit boards. They bring the highest quality of products to market under some of the most demanding timelines. From consigned products that require assembly to turnkey manufacturing, where the EMS provider handles everything from start to finish, requires curiosity about the design, manufacture and use of the products.

If you are seeking to find an EMS partner or transition from your current provider, ensure you’re asking the right questions beyond the usual. “Don’t just ask who they have worked with,” states Ms. Ross, “Ask how their teams work together. Be certain that your CEM hears you and is clearly presenting the changes they are going to make to support your growth.”

Kerri Ross

Ms. Kerri Ross, Manufacturing Manager
Dorigo Systems