Sailing and Flextronics

Posted on 01/23/2012 by Nathan Camp, Liaison Technologies  |  0 Comments

Four months ago, I was driving home from a visit to Flextronics’ headquarters in Milpitas, CA. My trip had been to discuss the Flextronics CTP solution options with several OEM customers, and to review the continued evolutions of the Flextronics CTP resources with Flextronics. On the way home, I bought a very modest sailboat.

Now, let me describe this sailboat to you. It was built in 1973. It is nearly all original. If you know a thing or two about boats, you are now scared for me, and you know how much work I have in front of me. One of the first things I knew I had to do was repaint this boat. As I was laying on my back sanding the hull, the paint dust gently drifting down to cover my respirator and goggles, I started thinking about the Flextronics supply chain and how data integration is like repainting my boat.

If I can compare sailing to Flextronics, here is the connection in my mind: I am an experienced sailor. I know the rules and etiquette of sailing. I can safely take my boat offshore and find my way back to port with little sweat. You, as a Flextronics supplier or OEM customer, know how to work with Flextronics. You have key relationships with the right people at Flextronics, and you can get products and materials to and from Flextronics' international locations with ease. You understand supply chains, and you make sure you have the materials and resources available to exceed your clients’ expectations.

While I know how to sail, I have never painted a boat. I knew that I had three things looming in front of me: research, some costs for materials, and hard work to paint the boat. Maybe like me, you have never done any type of B2B data exchanges, but you know this is a critical request from Flextronics. And just like me, you have research to do, you will have some costs to modify or add data exchange with Flextronics, and you will have work to complete as you implement these changes.

My benefits in painting my boat include better performance, the chance to check the integrity of my hull and mast for safety, and my boat looking much better compared to the other, larger boats that are being neglected. By exchanging EDI or XML with Flextronics, you will be getting more accurate information sent and received in a timely fashion that will provide you better management oversight. B2B exchanges with Flextronics, when done right, should save you time and money, and rank you higher as a supplier or OEM customer with Flextronics.

What has made me the most envious of your position over mine is the fact that Flextronics has provided you with a trusted advisor to help you with your research. The Flextronics CTP is a centralized library of data sheets, documents, videos, webinars, and soon – case studies of others that are blazing these trails. The volume of research materials that has been culled for your benefit is staggering and uniquely built for you. I have been working in the data integration field for 13 years, and I have never seen anything comparable to this. My research is spent visiting marine hardware stores, searching out YouTube videos, trying to find boating forums, or looking for any “how-to” guides that I can to determine what to do next.

What I really need is someone to come over to my house, touch the hull, and give me step-by-step instructions to get my project done. I also want them to keep coming back over to my house to make sure I am on track to do this project correctly. Your trusted advisor is DWG. The DWG team has been working with Flextronics for many years. I have seen their thoughtful approach to data integration firsthand, and I know they have done the proper research to ensure your success. Since they are not software or solution vendors like me, they are free to help the Flextronics’ supply chain community identify and implement the best solutions for each particular scenario.

After the hours I have spent researching and working on my boat alone, I would pay lots of money to have such advisors available. You are getting this service from Flextronics. I implore you to take advantage of this very unique opportunity.

(Oh, and if you are a sailing expert and live or are passing through Santa Barbara, CA, please contact me! I need your help.)

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