eXception Group, a leading UK based printed circuit board and contract electronics manufacturer, has worked together with the world’s largest manufacturer of fire detection solutions, Apollo, on a sophisticated supply chain solution that has seen it increase service levels and reduce costs for the company. In partnership, the two companies devised a lean supply chain process that has significantly improved delivery and supply of eXception Group’s 4.8m circuit boards it supplies each year to Apollo.
Working collaboratively, eXception Group has made significant changes to working practices and devised a new methodology that reduced stock levels, increased visibility and saw on time deliveries rise from 96.7 per cent to 99.8% in less than a year.
Recently embarking on a change management programme, in a bid to continue to achieve the growth it desired, Apollo implemented an efficiency drive that would allow it to have a leaner, more cost effective supply chain. Relying heavily on a roster of 150 preferred suppliers, of which eXception Group is within the top 3, it needed to bring each supplier into line as quickly as possible.
Tim Coletta, Supply Chain Manager at Apollo commented,“eXception is a critical supplier, they supply us with a component which is fundamental to our products. With all our products manufactured in the UK for delivery to subsidiaries all over the globe, this predicates the need for good suppliers. Having worked with eXception for over eight years, we knew that they had the potential to meet the challenge we set them to increase efficiencies and deliver a service that met the needs of our improved operation.”
He continued,“eXception met our needs in every way. Within the organisation they are now known as a ‘whisper account’ which means our buying personnel spend the maximum of 15 minutes each week over the phone. It’s seamless, we have deliveries twice a week, hold far less stock, are able to quickly and seamlessly respond to spikes in demand. As such, our risk exposure has reduced significantly. We now have in place World class policies and procedures that we will continue to replicate with other preferred suppliers.”
Steven Healings, Supply Chain Director at eXception Group felt confident the company could match the high standards set by Apollo. “In any business relationship it is essential that suppliers listen to their customers and understand their key business drivers, and fundamentally be prepared to adapt their own process to meet new challenges.”
Adoption of the new policies and methodologies has reduced the administration time spent by both Apollo and eXception in purchase order placement, acknowledgement, reschedule and cancellations. This in turn has freed eXception to manage Apollo’s supply chain far more efficiently, including ordering in large batches, fewer purchase orders placed, a significant reduction in changes to purchase orders and the use of low cost logistics solutions. As a result, a large amount of the “fire fighting” approach to program or product changes has now been taken out of the supply chain processes. eXception has also been able to meet Apollo’s cost reduction challenges, while improving stock availability and flexibility.
About Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd
Apollo Fire Detectors Limited (apollo-fire.co.uk) is one of the world's leading manufacturers of conventional and analogue addressable smoke and heat detectors for commercial and industrial applications. The company's products are sold in over 100 countries and it has won three Queen's Awards for Export Achievement.
Apollo's detectors hold product approvals worldwide and the company is quality certificated by LPCB to ISO 9001 and to ISO 14001 for its Environmental Management System.
Apollo is a Halma Company. Halma (halma.com) makes products for hazard detection and life protection and is a market leader in specialist electronic, safety and environmental technologies.
About the eXception Group
The company is headquartered in Calne in the UK, and has offices in Europe and Asia. It has been on a continuous path of investment to satisfy the needs of the worldwide electronics industry. The CEM business, both in the UK and via its international partners has an electronics manufacturing heritage stretching back over 60 years. The UK and Asian PCB manufacturing and Supply Chain Consultancy teams bring a wealth of practical insight and expertise, gleaned from many years within the industry. eXception (exceptiongroup.com) serves customers across a variety of sectors including aerospace and defence, transport, oil and gas, automotive, communication architecture, medical, marine, semiconductor, and renewable energy.
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