Fermionx Blog

Seven Telemetrics logo

Seven Telematics

Their Problem

Seven Telematics’ previous supplier did not understand the dynamics of their business due to a limited understanding of the industry:

"They failed to understand the dynamics of the business and the industry we operated in. It wasn't a heartbeat delivery that you could guarantee every single week, week in-week out. I think the previous supplier underestimated the work they would have to do to support this." Seven Telematics

Their new supplier would need to take control, anticipate Seven Telematics' needs and make sure the product was available on demand. These were requirements that FermionX could easily meet.

The Solution

FermionX are a local supplier, who were happy to subcontract. Their flexibility is a key reason why the relationship has endured. When orders spike, they work hard to support any increases in volume:

“We established a shipped line arrangement with FermionX. They delivered the exact quantities of PCBs needed each week. It was like clockwork. ” Seven Telematics

If Seven Telematics need variance in their products or supply, FermionX could accommodate these changes. Not only that, they were prepared to take the lead in a way Seven Telematics’ previous supplier had failed to do:

"They're very good at anticipating what the needs of this business are because they've been working closely with us for a number of years. They understand the product intrinsically which is really very helpful. They've learnt to anticipate the trends of this business, and have always been proactive in terms of their communication with us." Seven Telematics

Outcome

FermionX have been supplying Seven Telematics’ PCBs for 10 years, and every year they provide around 10,000 boards:

“It’s easy for suppliers to make the claim that they’re reliable, but putting it into practice is another story. FermionX have put their words into practice and created tangible benefits for us.” Seven Telematics

Their reliability and consistency delivering every week, means Seven Telematics can send their products out to their customers in a timely manner. As a result, Seven Telematics’ successful delivery percentage is equal to FermionX’s - extremely high.

Pyroban logo

Pyroban

Their Problem

Pyroban needed a supplier with ATEX capabilities, who could meet their requirements and work with them to develop the components they needed:

“Working with explosion protection components, we need to be confident our supplier will work to our high safety standards and would flag any potential issues quickly. FermionX were the perfect fit.” Pyroban

The Solution

FermionX have a strong ethos for creating long-term partnerships with their customers, where open communication is encouraged and responses are quick. This was one of the main factors that led Pyroban to FermionX in their search for a reliable supplier:

“Within 24 hours we’ve got our answer to what the issue is. They’re very good and very quick.” Pyroban

If Pyroban have a query, they can reach out to FermionX for help. Brett and Lee have been especially helpful to Pyroban and have worked closely with them, providing their knowledge and expertise, to meet ever-changing standards in the industry:

"What works well for us is the speed of supply, and its correct and to the right standard. If something's not testing right, they always ask for help rather than saying 'oh, that'll do'. They try and work closely with us to make sure that we're to the standard." Pyroban

Outcome

FermionX and Pyroban have now been working closely together for over 18 years. FermionX supply their components and the two companies collaborate to ensure all Pyroban’s products meet new standards.

Having a supplier they can rely on, who meets their requirements and communicates effectively to solve issues before they arise, has had a huge positive impact on Pyroban’s business.

Reflex Imaging Logo

Reflex Imaging

Their Problem

As a small business, Reflex Imaging's cash flow was crucial to their survival. They found it difficult to deal with their large supplier, who didn't seem to value them as much as larger clients and were slow to respond to requests:

“We're a start-up company. As such we've got limited resources available to us, so it's quite difficult to deal with larger companies and their expectations of credits and deposits...it's quite inconvenient." Reflex Imaging

However, the nature of Reflex's products meant that they needed a supplier with specific capabilities:

"They need to be able to meet the qualities of the build in their process and procedures, [to manufacture] high tech electronics. You've got the optical element as well, which needs special handling and special equipment." Reflex Imaging

The Solution

Reflex's CTO already knew Dan Crothers, Managing Partner at FermionX. He was happy to learn that FermionX had the capabilities to deal with smaller outputs and were better equipped to support them:

"FermionX were offering a service which these guys weren't. They're much better able to cover a smaller output and support the needs of a start-up company like ourselves. You're dealing with the guys who make the decisions - rather than some production manager who boots it down the line to the finance director and they say 'who's this little company asking for our help?'" Reflex Imaging

What impressed him even more was the way that FermionX were prepared to adapt in order to deliver exactly what he asked for:

“Even when they didn’t have some of the necessary capabilities in-house, they went above and beyond their role to support our build. They brought in special equipment, and were willing to make this investment to ensure the manufacturing process went smoothly.” Reflex Imaging

Outcome

Reflex Imaging handed over the product build to FermionX, who dealt with every stage from design to distribution:

"They're doing all the purchasing, they're controlling the materials, capability... all the approvals like ISO, and ROHS compliance. They'll handle everything even up to the packaging and shipping for us. It takes that burden away from us - as a three man company we just don't have the bandwidth to be able to deal with all of that, let alone the capital to invest in the required equipment." Reflex Imaging

PSM logo

PSM Marine

Their Problem

When looking for someone to supply their PCB boards, PSM Marine wanted a supplier they could lean on, someone they could trust and collaborate closely with:

“We needed a supplier who could cope with unexpected orders and projects with short lead times that we often get thrown.” PSM Marine

They found their previous suppliers were unable to meet these expectations, so they began looking for a supplier who could:

“We were drawn to FermionX for a number of reasons. Their professionalism, approachability and technical support capabilities were all key factors that led us to choosing them”. PSM Marine

The Solution

FermionX provide weekly updates on their current projects as well as holding regular review meetings to keep in touch:

“We visit FermionX two or three times a year, to meet Dan and the directors, and discuss and review the projects we’re undertaking together. Meeting the FermionX team gave us the confidence to rely on them.” PSM Marine

FermionX value their long-term relationships with clients, which is evident in the way they have responded to PSM Marine’s changing needs:

“When we needed help with an unpredicted project, FermionX helped us redesign our product and create prototypes within a short space of time. They did some prototypes free of charge for us, and then got the products manufactured on a really fast turnaround.” PSM Marine

Outcome

FermionX have now been making PSM Marine’s PCBs for 5 years, with virtually non-existent error rates. FermionX have become the reliable, trustworthy supplier PSM Marine were looking for:

“FermionX have improved our business continuity through their willingness to go the extra mile. They hold stock for us, so if the number of orders spikes quickly, they can get our products out without delay.” PSM Marine

As the relationship has evolved, PSM Marine have asked FermionX to become more than just manufacturing partners:

“The trust and confidence built between us is now taking us into a new stage of our relationship. We’ve decided to create a new product and are using FermionX’s design capabilities to do it.” PSM Marine

Deltex medical group logo

Deltex Medical

Their Problem

When Deltex Medical were searching for a supplier to make their PCBs, they wanted someone who could offer a reliable service, having worked with non-communicative suppliers in the past:

“If your supplier comes to you and says 'we can't get this [component] any more', what does that mean? It might mean you can't make any more ever, and you say 'wow, how long have you known this?'” Deltex Medical

They needed a supplier who could deliver consistently, and a direct line of contact with their operations team on the ground:

"You work with some companies who have got an account manager, and you're working with sales, and you're never quite sure whether you're getting the straight line." Deltex Medical

The Solution

The FermionX operations team communicate directly with their counterparts at Deltex Medical, meeting frequently and keeping them in the picture:

"We can go there to talk about our needs and they warn us about obsolescence of components. In a relationship with somebody who makes your PCBs, that’s one thing you don’t want late warning about… we know what’s happening relative to our product before it happens, and that’s important to us.” Deltex Medical

Deltex Medical have collaborated closely with Helen Donnelly, whose capability and attention to detail have made all the difference:

"Helen's very straightforward. She's technically knowledgeable about their production process and so on, which helps our engineers and manufacturing people make the right decisions. We're dealing straight with Helen the whole time and I think that means we always get the straight line" Deltex Medical

Outcome

FermionX and Deltex Medical have developed a very stable and trusting working relationship, and Deltex continue to bring new projects to their manufacturing partners:

"They are long-standing partners and communicate well with the people here, so that we know exactly where we are with our supply. We wouldn't have partnered with them to go forward for a grant bid unless we thought these are the people we want to work with. We have that level of confidence in them." Deltex Medical

ETI logo

ETI Ltd

Their Problem

All of the components on ETI's existing PCB designs had to be hand-placed, which required a skilled team, and took a lot of time:

"When surface mount technology became widely used on PCBs, we felt we could speed up our processes and introduce that new technology into our products." ETI

However, they didn’t have their own surface mount capabilities, and started to look for a local partner to help them with the process:

“We've always had the policy of trying to use local companies wherever possible, and as such [working with FermionX] we found that we could talk quite openly and freely and bounce things off each other, so that was the start of it." ETI

The Solution

FermionX supported ETI in introducing surface mount technology into their products. The two companies keep in close contact, meet regularly and bounce ideas off each other:

"Communication is the main thing, because if you're not talking to each other you're not working together properly. If they have a supply issue or a machine breakdown it's important that we know, because that would affect our production line in turn. You have to have a very close working relationship with suppliers, and FermionX is no exception to that." ETI

Brett and Neil are the production team at FermionX who help to maintain that close working relationship:

“Brett has been very helpful over a number of years, as is Neil. They’re always willing to help us out…and are always very responsive to anything we might ask them to do. They’re always proactive in sorting out problems and they’re innovative”. ETI

Outcome

ETI and FermionX have developed a close partnership over the years, where they can talk openly and honestly to come up with better ways of doing things:

“Through the introduction of surface mount technology, we’ve been able to improve the efficiency of our processes. FermionX have offered security and stability, ensuring that our products are delivered in a timely manner with the least possible inconvenience." ETI

Busy Circuits logo

Busy Circuits

Their Problem

Busy Circuits are a small business, whose manufacturing volumes are low. They wanted to find a local supplier, who would accept low volumes but whose machinery was high-end:

“It can be difficult to find contract manufacturers that want to touch that low volume, especially if you want high end machinery like the Pick and Place machines.” Busy Circuits

Due to the nature and complexity of Busy Circuits’ products, there is always the chance that problems will arise:

“The product has components coming from all over the world so a lot of things can go wrong and hold things up. There will be hold ups that are outside of FermionX control, but they communicate that to me. Then we can manage it and deal with it.” Busy Circuits

The Solution

FermionX manufacture more than half of Busy Circuits’ synthesizer modules. They assemble their electronics and when needed, will test them too:

“The trust in FermionX comes from them sticking to a schedule, going a little beyond what they say they're going to do. Also, things sometimes go wrong, some companies could just say 'tough luck'. Others can help you sort it out. FermionX have definitely been very helpful like that, gone above and beyond.” Busy Circuits

FermionX stood out from other suppliers due to their communication skills. Busy Circuits were looking for a supplier who would not keep them in the dark when problems arose:

“We were doing a slight change to a module and I got some of them back. I was getting odd fails and I couldn't work out why, so I said to FermionX, 'can you cease production because there's something wrong?' They were extremely helpful, they helped me track down the problem. They were really supportive and really helpful. I figured it out in the end.” Busy Circuits

“They're also much better [than our previous supplier] at managing their time. Things will arrive when they say they'll arrive. If I send them an email, I'll get a reply back within the hour.” Busy Circuits

Gary and Neil at FermionX have been an invaluable help to Busy Circuits. Their passion and knowledge for their work has made the process of collaboration and working together an enjoyable and simple process:

“I have the most contact with Gary and Neil. Gary deals with the quotes and Neil is in charge of our production. They're both brilliant. They're really into what they're doing.” Busy Circuits

Outcome

With error rates of less than 1%, Busy Circuits have a consistent, dependable supplier they can always lean on for support:

“The error rate is very low, very low. It's maybe, it's not even 1%. They're really good. The reliability, the trust and being on time: doing an excellent job. They have very high- end machines in the factory, which I think are some of the best in the UK, at least in the South of the UK. The actual work they produce, I have very few fails. It always looks very professionally done.” Busy Circuits

Having FermionX as a supplier has helped Busy Circuits scale their business:

“It definitely helped improve my efficiency and also helped me scale as well. I have to be a bit careful because I don't want loads of stock sitting on the shelves. I want to keep my inventory moving. But at the same time, I need a ready supply. Also, the more things I manufacture at once the cheaper it is. So, they've been very helpful in that if I want to make 200 widgets, they'll break it down into sets of 50 across a period of time so it works well for both of us.” Busy Circuits