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Quick Turnaround Bespoke Connectors
Manufacturers product obsolecsence and product change notification programmes generally are designed to give customers some advance warning of any intention to discontinue products or change their specifications, and in most cases they lead to more practical and cost effective long term benefits. However one global connector manufacturer (who will remain un-named for obvious reasons) pulled the plug (sorry about the pun) on a range of battery connectors without notifying one of its major direct UK customers.
Luck would have it that this company was also one of Gateway's major trading accounts and had prior experience of the Gateway CanDo culture. A phone call by the customer to the Technical Sales Manager at Gateway was quickly followed by a copy of the customers product specification, and within minutes the Technical Sales Manager had determined which of its franchises would be able to offer a solution. Five days later the customer received a drawing from the E-tec Connector factory in Taiwan with a proposed design, which received some minor modification prior to tentative approval. Tooling was made and three weeks later the first samples arrived with the customer for approval. Approval was received with only one further request; they must be supplied on tape suitable for SMD pick and place processing. Four weeks later the first production run was completed in Taiwan and shipped to the customer just two weeks before the customer stock of the original part was to run out.
Tooling costs were amortised into the first three batches of product supplied, and now the customer pays less than half the price it was paying for the original component. From notification of the original problem to supplying the first batch of production ready parts took just 8 weeks.