What does it take to compete in the defense electronics industry? Time. More precisely stated, it is the lack of time. One of the most important success factors for product sales in today’s market is the speed at which a company can deliver product to the customer. The market does not tolerate long lead times for RF products, where in-stock and immediate delivery are the expectations. Time-to-delivery may even trump cost and performance when the customer needs an immediate solution.
The easy solution for manufacturers is to simply ensure adequate stock of their products. Building up inventory comes at a cost of course, but it allows the manufacturer to offer immediate delivery. For standard products, inventory is a must.
Offering accelerated lead times for custom products takes a special business system and a dedicated staff. Here at NuWaves, our Product Solutions team is building a business system to deliver customized standard products and custom cavity filters in as little as one week. Additionally, we are working toward a two month lead time on custom power amplifier developments.
Our business system starts with a Customer Response Team (CRT). The CRT is responsible for quick response to customer inquiries, including after business hours and weekends – customers should not have to wait a day or more for quotes, technical assistance, or to order a product. The goal of the CRT is to respond to the customer faster than the competition, and to provide a complete solution. Chances are good that if you respond quickly and provide a proper solution at a reasonable cost, the customer will stop searching and give you the job. Further, CRT also determines the effort and cost associated with custom orders. The team reviews the customer’s requirements and determines whether the end product will be a modification to a standard product, or a redesign of a standard product, or an entirely new development.
Figure 1. We will customize any product to meet our customer’s requirements, with most custom products shipped within two weeks.
Modifications to standard product sales are relatively straight-forward, and can easily be accomplished in a week after receipt of the order (ARO). For more involved redesigns and new designs, achieving a two month or less lead time on the product takes careful planning and a cross-domain team dedicated to achieving results. If we treated these projects in a serial fashion – complete the design, then schematic capture and PCB layout, then order parts, and finally manufacture and test – the two month cycle cannot be achieved. Rather, these tasks must occur in parallel. The design engineer continually feeds information to the layout engineer and mechanical engineer throughout the design process. Meanwhile, components are ordered as they are selected to ensure that the parts are in house in time for the product build (remember, parts are cheap, but the time lost waiting for the perfect component is expensive). Additionally, manufacturing is involved throughout the process to prepare for the build and ensure the manufacturability of the product. Only through this high level of cross-domain teamwork can the quick-turn schedules be realized.
At NuWaves, our purpose is to provide the U.S. Military with one-of-a-kind RF solutions. Fast delivery times, even for custom products, is table stakes for competing in today’s military electronics market. To achieve this, we are building a business system based on quick-turn mastery. At the core of this business system are dedicated people who communicate with each other ad nauseam to ensure the success and quick delivery of every product we sell and this allows for us to achieve a quick turn around on all of our product sales. NuWaves…Trusted RF Solutions™. Learn more about us and how we work to achieve quick-turn mastery. Don’t forget to check out our full lineup of Power Amplifiers, any in stock will ship same day if the order is received before 3 p.m. EST.