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

The Future of Manufacturing: Don’t Just Keep Up – Get Ahead 

Collaboration

Electronics manufacturing supports customers in different industries by handling a vast array of production complexities. It’s what makes working in this sector so interesting according to Kerri Ross, Dorigo’s Manufacturing Manager.

We’re all striving to improve efficiency by embracing the latest technologies but are we simply keeping up or getting ahead?

When reaching out to an electronics manufacturer to assemble your product it’s important to look at the team of people who will be working together to deliver what you want. In 2020, it’s not enough to simply look at the overall quality of EMS providers, because quality is an essential part of being in the industry. What’s more important is to understand the service provided by your EMS provider’s team combined with their quality standards.

Customer Service Teams Need to be Cross-Functional
“This is what we do for you,” says Ms. Ross. “Your product development team needs to be able to pull on the shared strengths of your EMS provider’s customer service team from both an electronics component and industry specific standpoint. Customer services teams have to be cross-functional to be effective for today’s electronics manufacturing.”

A great example of being cross-functional is the design of marine technologies. Not only do you need someone on the customer service team that understands the conditions required for electronics to operate in marine environments, but also what marine protocols are required to operate safely.

Doing the necessary research and investigation in customer designs for Design for Manufacturability is more important than ever due to the rapid pace of innovation. “Being aware of your customers’ journey makes you the better partner over the long term.”

Ms. Ross sees the critical need for cross-functional customer service teams in emerging markets. “Understanding the current state of the market and the associated requirements isn’t enough,” says Kerri. “Allowing our customers to make thorough investigations, take tours of the facility and properly audit processes upstream ensures we can keep costs down while delivering the highest level of quality. Making informed decisions through every step of the manufacturing process is key.”

Walking the manufacturing floor at Dorigo Systems, Kerri points to the automated high speed lines and vastly increased production capabilities of the firm in their new facility.

“Collaborating upfront before a PCB goes into production requires a viewpoint where you make decisions about what is good for everybody involved,” observes Ross. “If you are currently losing one in ten boards and accepting a 90% pass rate, you need to lean into your electronics manufacturing partner to go to 100%. Often it can be done with marginal changes upfront and these changes typically come from your customer service team.”

Ask the Right Questions 
Asking the right questions of your electronics manufacturing teams and how they are grouped by skillsets and specialities can prevent problems.

“Selling the recipe for success isn’t easy,” says Ross. “Preventing problems doesn’t always get you to the best solution, but it is where we need to be heading. In fact, Dorigo Systems is highly regarded for our team’s ability to make things that don’t work – work.”

Dorigo Systems is now delivering a truly seamless and interactive experience for customers based on a digital framework and a core of highly skilled teams to provide a transparent customer experience. Advanced digital technology, supported by Industry 4.0 communications, is interwoven throughout the new facility. Dorigo’s customer service teams use these technologies to share more detailed, reliable and up-to-the-minute information with customers.

“We take pride in having constructive conversations with our customers that build trust and continuity in the manufacturing process,” states Ross. “In most cases, we can commit to lead times based on Manufacturing Service Agreements because everyone involved understands where costs lie and there is a high level of transparency. It’s what will get us ahead for years to come.”

Kerri Ross

Ms. Kerri Ross, Manufacturing Manager
Dorigo Systems