SERCOM SOLUTIONS :: Customer Solutions - solutions

By: Sercom Solutions  05/12/2011

The Challenge
Our customer is a leading distributor of Hardware Peripherals and Consumer Electronics in the United Kingdom. The company wished to launch a series of own-branded products and one of the priority products was a digital photo frame, which essentially complements the latest camera technologies and is the new media to replace home printing. Digital photo frames enable numerous (digital) photographs to be displayed sequentially within one frame.

With safety, quality, performance and cost as our key criteria, our challenge was to ensure that ongoing quality standards would be adhered to, capacity required for ramp-up would be in place, warranty would be provided to the customer, appropriate patents would be accounted for and paid, and packaging design would have to be completed and implemented.

The product also had to withstand the challenges of the consumer electronics marketplace since first- mover advantage would inevitably be replaced by other lifecycle challenges such as the need for ongoing reduced costs and potentially additional features.

SerCom's Solution
Our China based sourcing team identified and sourced a spectacular digital photo frame. This photo frame, which had a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels, can work with a memory stick as well as an SD card. Video (including entire movies) can also be played on this product. We established volume scenarios with our client and worked with the supplier to ensure that these requirements could be met. Within six weeks, trials were in progress under the watchful eyes of our local team in China. Full production commenced within two months of initial enquiry.

Having sourced a suitable product in terms of design, functionality and features, we then had to design the packaging for this product. This activity was carried out in tandem with the initial trials. It involved working with our client to understand shop and display requirements as well as our own input on the packaging required to protect this fragile glass product throughout the supply chain. Logistics costs using both air and sea freight scenarios were also factored into the packaging design.

The SerCom Solutions Engineering team worked with both suppliers and clients to ensure various regulatory requirements (including CE, UL, & FCC) were met. We also personally administered all required royalty payments for various patents to the appropriate third parties and thereby ensured our customer of absolute legal compliance.

The new photo frame product was launched in late November 2006 and there was an outstanding response from the market. Amazon UK ranked this product as No. 1 for Electronics and general customer feedback was extremely positive. Within weeks of launch it ranked at No. 2 in market share with the number one position held by the most established brand name for digital photo frames.

Through our dynamic engineering initiatives, we have successfully managed to reengineer some of the models to cater individually for specific markets and retailer requirements. This has enabled us to get the necessary cost reductions for our customers in a market where key components, such as glass, are rising.

Eight models have now being launched by our distributor. These include high end digital photo frames which have touch screen capabilities as well as high grade aesthetics (luxurious varnished wooden frames), general and personal calendar displays, interchangeable frames (colours), enhanced remote control features and a variety of sizes including 10" and 7" as well as the original 8".

The SerCom team now supports ongoing requirements through P.O. placement, continuous QA and factory visits, freight management and product roadmap planning.

SerCom plays a significant role in helping our client win new business. Initiatives include; assisting our distributor customer in the actual quotation process; product re-engineering; redesign of packaging; and the supporting of additional regulatory or compliance activity.

The Results

  • Our Customer experienced a highly successful product launch and this was fully supported by SerCom.
  • They have grown the business since launch by leveraging SerCom's DFx * capabilities to support ongoing cost reduction activities and support specific customer's feature and packaging requirements.
  • The client has the assurance that their legal obligations are managed through SerCom's systems for regulatory compliance and payment of royalties.
  • SerCom provides full sourcing support and ongoing supplier audit/ control
  • Warranty is provided to the customer by SerCom Solutions
  • SerCom enables client's business to grow profitably through its proactive design input, enhancement and roadmap planning
  • SerCom seamlessly supports day to day management of customer orders, inventory management, planning and PO placement - this ensures our client provides flawless support to its customers for this product range.

DFx is Design for multiple attributes where x = cost, manufacturability, etc