The Need for Speed – DFM

In the United Kingdom (UK) the electronics manufacturing industry has been unpredictable for more than two years.  We’ve experienced Brexit, followed by COVID-19, trailed by component shortages.  When the environment becomes changeable, the one thing that our customers demand, is supply chain security and control.

In Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) customer control can be achieved in several different ways.

Make it Local

SMS has made a number of strategic investments to ensure that their customers feel the benefit of doing business in the UK, for the UK.  Our dedicated Development Centre has been designed to support our customers’ needs for prototyping, rapid build, and low-volume manufacturing.

It’s a recognised need that developmental customers prefer to be within a two-hour drive of their manufacturing partner and overall, our Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) customers’ selected SMS, as we are within a 200-mile radius of their operations and resources.

Post Development naturally leads our customers onto the need for full scale Contract Electronics Manufacturing (CEM) services, such as Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA), New Product Introduction (NPI), Test, component sourcing, distribution, logistics, supply chain services etc. with the ability to scale their production forecasts as they achieve success within their chosen electronics market.  Relationships are formed at the developmental phase of the production lifecycle, and these become mutually beneficial partnerships.  The ability to take products from that developmental stage, from seed into our Surface Mount Technology (SMT) shop floor to scale, is one of the main advantages customers cite when working with SMS.  It’s Smart Made Simple.

Taking Cost Out

Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

On their journey from concept into commerce, our customers also benefit from our constant analysis of their production requirements to see how we can reduce costs and continuously improve.  SMS is not a build-to-print business. Our low-to-medium volume, high complexity, often customisable customer requires a more specialist service.

Our technology and our team need to be able to demand-plan and fulfil orders as per our customer’s schedule, which is often driven by their customers’ orders.  Therefore, we help our customers to Design for Manufacture (DFM), Design for Test (DFT), Design for Cost (DFC) and design for commercialisation, to speed up the process for them, as innovation has increased the request for speed.  In some instances, we’ve been able to reduce our PCB manufacturing cycle time by up to 60%.

Additional DFM Benefits:

  • Addresses issues early, especially for NPI and the mass production phases
  • High performance at a lower TCO
  • Accelerated Time to Market
  • Enhanced quality
  • Ease of transition from one generation to the next

The Overall Benefit

of a UK Partnership

Nottingham, UK is a strategic location for SMS, and has been since their founding days over 100 years ago.  If you were to draw a ring around SMS with a 200-mile radius, you’d see that we sit at the intersection of innovation.

Within this 200-mile radius we have the following services, solutions, and added-value benefits that our SMS customers can feel the significance of:

  1. Academia – Nottingham, Loughborough, Newcastle, Leicester, Liverpool, not forgetting Oxford and Cambridge
    1. The leading engineering universities where many of the technology patents of tomorrow, are being developed today
    2. World renowned supply chain management and business courses
  1. Associations – Nottingham Innovation Park, Tech North, The Smart Group etc.
    1. The key industry associations, which enable us to drive our knowledge network
  1. Innovation Hot Spots – Cambridge, London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Birmingham
    1. The main UK innovation hot spots that have pioneering spirit within their DNA
  1. Venture Capitalists / Angel Funding – London and the surrounding area
    1. Experience, leadership, and expert advice can be easily accessed, not overlooking the networking advantages that start-ups can thrive from
  1. Design Houses – London and the surrounding area
    1. Matching individual requirements and market specific needs to the right design-house for a tailored approach, which can also inject speed into the entire supply chain


About SMS

SMS – Smart Made Simple, is the U.K.’s leading Manufacturing Service Provider.

From concept to creation, to commercialisation, to customer, for all technology companies. Whether you are a start-up, or an established household brand name, if you have a design, engineering, manufacturing or supply chain problem, thanks to the diversity of our experience and scalable service, SMS has the solution.

Since 1920, SMS has manufactured electronics products from the same home in Nottingham, U.K. For almost 100 years, we have been the company behind the ideas, offering agile and adaptive supply chain solutions, that bring products to market faster, smarter and simpler.

Leader in the specialist low volume, highly complex manufacturing services market space, SMS has earned critical industry facility certifications, that brings full viability and credibility to the aerospace & defence, communications, industrial and medical markets. SMS brings the right scale, capabilities and competitive solutions to customers needing high-reliability attention, product realisation and supply chain optimisation.

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