Adding value: the most important component

Hitaltech’s MD, Andy Fitzer

In today’s challenging market, Hitaltech’s MD, Andy Fitzer, emphasises the importance of partnering with a component supplier who’s willing to be far more than a supplier

It’s hard to be a manufacturer right now. In terms of having the right components, in the right quantities, at the right time, many companies are struggling. It’s not easy importing products and even harder ensuring they arrive in time. Manufacturers can no longer place an order with certainty it will arrive six weeks later. Availability is patchy. Lead times are long and uncertain. Then come rising costs. Against this backdrop, component suppliers like Hitaltech are stepping up.

Hitaltech’s MD, Andy Fitzer, said: “In my experience, our role is no longer purely about what components and enclosures we supply and the price we supply them for; it’s the value we add along the way. If the last two-years have made one thing abundantly clear, it’s that service matters more now than it perhaps ever has.”

When times are challenging, the best supplier is one that won’t simply supply but will step up and work to make things better. They’ll bring ideas. They won’t duck your calls. They’ll know when products will arrive. They will offer a range of services previously not considered, all with the potential to improve customers’ products, processes and profitability.

Andy continued: “Adding value begins with the sort of conversations you can only have when you’ve built deep relationships with customers. That’s where we excel. Unlike larger companies, we can sit down with a customer and explore their manufacturing challenges, work out what they need and find solutions.

“That might be a product, such as our latest ultra-flat, flexible cable that’s helping EV manufacturers overcome the challenge of packing greater battery management sophistication into smaller packages. The customer may want us to add a bespoke element such as a connector, a customisation we are able to offer that others can’t.”

It’s also common for a customer’s challenge to be process rather than product driven. For example, they might want to hold extra stock but not have the warehouse space, business model or budget. Hitaltech’s buffer stock lets it carry stock so its customer doesn’t have to, enabling just-in-time supply without any client-side storage cost or requirement to carry stock it doesn’t immediately need.

Another example is kitting, where Hitaltech supplies components in bagged kits that improve production speed and efficiency because all components are in one place.

Andy concluded: “Our scale gives us an advantage. It enables us to be nimble, flexing with our customers and adapting to their needs in a way larger suppliers typically can’t. Once again, though, communication is crucial—it’s how we understand the issues our customers face. It’s how we understand which way to flex to meet their needs. After all, it’s not enough to be capable of adding value; you need to know what value to add to make the biggest difference to your customer.”