If you want to know the universal status of this company, just take a look at its client list. There is no stronger testimony to this company’s pre-eminence than that list of global manufacturers, which include companies of uncompromising excellence like Hewlett-Packard, Nokia and Ericsson. A contract electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company for the crème de la crème of the world, SCI Systems, Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., is the global giant right down the street from wherever in the world you are.
SCI has 49 facilities and more than 34,000 employees in 19 countries. No shrinking violet when it comes to manufacturing challenges, SCI designs, manufactures, distributes and services products for just about every market on the planet, including data communications, telecommunications, fiber optics, high-end computing, personal computing, computer peripheral, medical, industrial, government, aerospace, consumer and multimedia. Because the products it manufactures reach consumers under the brand names of original-equipment manufacturers, SCI’s products must excel — and they do.
“Our strategy is focused on three primary elements,” says SCI President Bob Bradshaw. “These include our global strength, our capabilities to produce a diverse product base and our commitment to our mission to be customer-centric.”
SCI is keenly aware of today’s ever-changing marketplace, and its global presence clearly tells this story. A pioneer in today’s e-commerce environment, the company is committed to becoming the world’s premier e-EMS company.
“As we enter the 21st century, the EMS industry continues to change along with the needs of our customers,” Bradshaw says. “In order to support OEMs’ increasingly global needs, we have established SCI as the e-EMS company, and we have developed a new mission statement outlining this commitment.”
SCI’s mission is to enhance its customers’ business performance through the continuous innovation of e-EMS services. The company seeks to be e-business driven and to optimize return on e-investments, just as it does with return of assets. This bold mission will offer a host of primary benefits to its customers, including:
• New products to market faster than ever
• Rapid reaction to short-term demand changes without increased inventory risk
• Cost reductions over time through efficiency enhancements
• Allowing customers to focus on core competencies while SCI assumes the operations role
• Increased focus on engineering services
From Bricks to Clicks
The business architecture of the 21st century differs dramatically from that of the 19th or 20th centuries. Although brick and mortar is still the presiding centerpiece, click and order is its complementary necessity. Migrating toward a business-to-business (B2B) environment, SCI “is committed to enhancing its core systems capabilities by delivering all internal and external information electronically,” Bradshaw says. “This e-enablement mission is the core charter of our information technology (IT) organization and vision. SCI believes that IT infrastructure is as important as brick and mortar in building and supporting new relationships.” To this end, SCI has developed a remarkable global IT architecture to facilitate every process along the network — from initial order to final delivery.
This e-infrastructure marks the continuation of SCI’s pioneer heritage. During the 1980s, SCI helped create the new industry of contract manufacturing, which is a staple in today’s manufacturing world of core-competency focus. The company evolved from a position of local contractor during the 1980s to its current position as a global EMS provider. Some of the elements that made this significant transition possible include SCI’s keen understanding of the importance of standardizing business methods and production equipment, and the development of a powerful worldwide inventory management network.
One of SCI’s most powerful leverage tools is its extraordinary network of global supply chain information technology, accessible at any time from anywhere on the planet. “We have one single, united network, which is a global-reaching system that is unique to us,” Bradshaw says. “When orders come in from around the world, we are on one network of supply chain management so that we can go to our system to find out where the parts are, anywhere in the world — and those supplies can be ordered immediately.”
A global leader in B2B systems, SCI’s centralized system of parts identification allows every one of its 49 facilities around the world to access whatever inventory information they seek. “Our facilities are architecturally aligned to provide this instant information — and this system saves time and money because the exchange of data is automatic and accurate,” Bradshaw says. SCI’s systems also allow the company to forecast more accurately, thereby enhancing its supply chain management capabilities and translating them into superior customer-service capabilities.
To further its rapidly expanding concept-to-product delivery processes, SCI recently entered into several strategic alliances with companies around the globe. “We are doing more and more design manufacturing for customers, and these strategic alliances increase and improve our capabilities,” Bradshaw says. Such alliances allow SCI to better meet customers’ requests for products in a timely manner. This is yet another example of the company’s customer-centric creed.
SCI believes that it manufactures the broadest range of subassemblies and finished products of any other EMS company. The company is focused on achieving an industry-leading product and customer mix to maintain its leading role in the industry.
The future looks very bright for the company, as more and more OEMs discover how outsourcing permits them to focus on their core competencies. Already a leader in the EMS industry with strong and stable strategic relationships, a solid performance record and disciplined acquisitions, SCI clearly is well positioned for continued and sustained growth as it expands its customer base.
“We strongly believe that SCI has the organization, management, customers, abilities, employees, supplier partnerships and financial strength to capitalize on these market trends,” Bradshaw says. “Organization and management have always been among our strongest assets, and we will continue to strive for unsurpassed excellence in these areas. We were pioneers in this industry and our vision is to be the No. 1 EMS company in the world.”