"Everyday comes with great opportunities", believes Terence Ndofor, Sr. Technical Sourcing Manager at Flex.
The cloud is exploding with growth, and the industry faces significant challenges just to keep pace with infrastructure build-out demands. A leading cloud service provider came to us looking for a partner to design, manufacture and deliver high-quality motherboards on a massive scale.
The size of the project left no room for error. On a project this critical, even the smallest mistakes could result in delayed deployment and increased total cost of ownership (TCO). The customer needed a partner who could help them execute flawlessly and navigate changing trade and supply chain dynamics – while quickly moving production from design to manufacturing at scale.
Paving the way from design to production
Our customer needed more than a partner with deep knowledge of server design. They also needed someone who knew how to successfully move that design into production.
Our Taiwan design center has extensive experience with the latest processor technology elements for motherboards. Because the customer came to us with a very early sketch, we were able to make proactive recommendations based on our expertise that anticipated factors like cost, performance and the manufacturing process.
Our Flex Product Lifecycle (FPLC) process ensured we delivered a high-quality design. We created a smooth transition to production by applying our design for manufacturability expertise. That transition was made even smoother thanks to the close proximity and working relationships between our design center and our production facility.
Adapting for change and global challenges
The project’s success relied heavily on building the supply chain and maintaining high yields. When changes in the tax and trade landscape threw a curveball in our customer’s production plans, we helped them shift manufacturing to one of our other sites within just three months.
A global shortage of MLCC capacitors in the market meant that we had to agilely manage our parts inventory to keep production going. Our supply chain expertise, combined with our extensive partner and supplier network, kept us ahead of the inventory curve. We made sure the necessary parts were always available – and never halted production.
Meeting massive demands in record time
Within nine months of the project’s start, we began delivering hundreds of thousands of motherboards. From sourcing issues to the impact of tariffs, we helped the customer overcome unplanned challenges and hit their cost and schedule targets. With a combination of supply chain flexibility, tariff insight and massive scale in production, we partnered with them to transform the beginnings of a server motherboard into a complex product for mass consumption.
With over 50 years of supply chain experience, we can meet tight deadlines and manage quality control, no matter the circumstance. And with sites in over 30 countries, we’re always ready to help our customers adjust their regional production strategy and maintain progress. Thanks to our expansive global reach, we can also handle massive shifts in production and agilely respond to a dynamic supply chain environment.