“Part of our challenge is form fit,” says Morgan. “It’s 90 percent of the business. If Apple launches a new phone [as they did with the recent iPhone 4S] or RIM launches a BlackBerry, our product fits only that form. Products change quickly and the lifecycle is short. If we need 5,000 or 50,000 we need to do it quickly. Purchase orders have to be processed quickly from the demand team to the buyer.
“It’s automatic to suppliers with our manufacture work order process. I get on the phone, call the assembly plant and tell them it’s a priority. They have the work order and can turn it around in a day in Mexico.”
Speck had to move quickly when Apple released the iPhone 4S. Luckily for them, the form didn’t change, but other alterations were necessary. “To keep things fresh, we launched new colors. We just had to see what Apple wanted in color and fabric. We don’t have to retool, just get the fabric and color,” Morgan says.
“This is the point I talk about for 2011 and into 2012—a company like Speck can have the same global supply chain as the big companies,” says Bukary. “Finance, inventory, supply chain and manufacturing. They need a deep ERP without the expense, pain and heartbreak of old-style ERPs.
“The story has a theme to it,” he continues. “I’ve been ‘preaching’ internally and externally that it’s not size that determines success in the market, it’s flexibility and agility of your supply chain. How does it respond to disturbances? How smart, flexible, responsive and dynamic is your supply chain? That’s what defines success for the modern manufacturer.”