The process of on-boarding a new customer takes time and investment on both sides, particularly if the partnership is to work long-term, explains commercial director of Texcel, Peter Shawyer.
In an industry where competition is fierce and margins slim, Texcel Technology’s 15 per cent year-on-year sales growth over the last three years is notable. Having been in the contract electronics manufacturing business for over 40 years in total, the company attributes its long-term success to maintaining good relationships with customers and suppliers alike.
Peter explained: “Due to the nature of our business, which focuses on building finished products for customers, a good working relationship is imperative to a long-term partnership. The process of on-boarding a new customer and starting to build their product takes time and considerable investment on both sides, so for both the customer and the supplier, there needs to be a sense that the relationship is going to work from the outset. Texcel encourages peer-to-peer relations so our personnel are talking to their ‘opposite number’ at the customer organisation. This, combined with transparency about the information we share with clients, speeds up processes and decision making.”
Customer service and communication are key to this relationship and Texcel is continuously investing in technologies to improve it.
Peter continued: “We have recently invested in new estimating software that integrates with our enterprise resource planning software, allowing us to provide faster quotations. It also allows us to dynamically select the best option for each individual customer, such as shortest delivery or lowest cost. We are currently demonstrating this software to our existing customers and they really appreciate having visibility of these different ‘what if’ scenarios as part of the decision-making process.”
Supplier relationships are equally important to a CEM and it is imperative to develop long-term partnerships. Over the years, Texcel has developed partnerships with suppliers that are not purely based on price, but on a wider range of attributes including: technical support, flexibility, engagement and proactivity.
Peter explained: “With our longstanding suppliers, we actively encourage interaction with our customers where needed, as this speeds up problem-solving and decision making. Our close relationship with suppliers allows us to offer information promptly and assist with buffer stocks, currency arrangements and component obsolescence issues.”
Behind every good supplier there is a rigorous selection process and regular review meetings that build trust and confidence. The days of transactional relationships are long gone, as Peter explained, and Texcel is focussed on building long-term collaborative partnerships, that ultimately provide excellent service to customers.
In summary, good relationships are crucial for a CEM, both with customers and suppliers and it is important to nurture these relationship as they are key to being successful over the long term.