Eurocircuits marketing strategy
For our first 10 years we subscribed to the sales pitch “you name it, we make it”. This was an expensive strategy which required heavy investment in plant, processes and expertise. By 2000 – 2001 there was little or no added-value margin left to sustain the investment; the recession and the migration of PCB manufacturing to lower cost areas in the Far East had driven prices down to an unsustainable level. Many PCB manufacturers either went out of business or became brokers with most of their turnover deriving from imports from China. The survivors specialized, either by moving into high-technology marketplaces where high prices would compensate for their ongoing investments or by finding ways to lower their costs. We adopted the latter strategy, introducing a clear, pre-defined offer combined with order pooling and online ordering and administration.
Eurocircuits marketing philosophy
In 1960 Jerome McCarthy proposed the 4 ‘P’s marketing model This describes what a company has to offer in terms of Product, Price, Promotion and Place. At Eurocircuits we have always used Robert F. Lauterborn’s 1993 four ‘C’s model. This is based not on how the supplier sees the market but how the market, the customer, sees the supplier. The 4 ‘C’s are Customer value, Cost to the customer, Communication and Convenience.
Eurocircuits customer value
What is the value of our offer to the customer?
1. We specialize in PCB prototypes and small series on short deliveries. Here the customer has two paramount requirements:
- The service must be always available
- Deliveries must be always on time
To achieve this we measure our performance constantly and our factories are rewarded accordingly. Our customers trust us – the trust model.
2. We have a clear offering: standard technology rigid and SEMI-FLEX boards produced on pooling panels with the widest choice of technology options in the market. We give the customer certainty right across the range of his requirements – the safe harbour model.
3. We are one of the largest specialist suppliers of prototype and small batch PCBs in Europe. Our size, growth and ongoing investment policy are our customers’ guarantee of quality, of continuous service availability, and of ongoing development to meet their changing needs. Each customer can enter into a long-term relationship with us, confident in the future - the safe harbour model.
4. We are not brokers; all our boards are produced in our own factories under our own control. We produce to IPC A-600 class II classification. Our quality system is certified to ISO 9000. Our customers can rely on us to deliver a consistently high level of quality across all their orders – the trust model.
5. Although in 2014 we handled over 70,000 orders for more than 8500 customers, each individual order is 100% verified in our front end engineering department. Each design is checked for manufacturability and for obvious mistakes in the layout. We report any anomalies to the customer and make suggestions how to resolve them. Our manufacturability analyses can help customers cut their board costs by up to 25%. Our customers are confident that the board we deliver matches their intended design – the trust model.
6. We use visualisation to convey as much information as possible. Right at the outset we generate a visual image of every design showing how it will look after production. The customer can spot anything that doesn’t look right before production starts - the trust model.
7. We already have full batch traceability which the customer can access quickly online. We are now extending traceability to individual PCBs and individual machines and processes. This gives us closer control over our production facilities and gives the customer another guarantee of our quality – the safe harbour model.
8. We have developed a series of machines to save our customers time and money assembling and testing their prototypes. These include the eC-stencil-mate solder-paste printer, the eC-reflow-mate chamber reflow oven, the eC-pre-heater for improved hand-soldering, and the eC-test-mate fixtureless testing system.
Eurocircuits cost to the customer
How does the customer perceive the cost of our services?
1. Order pooling (combining several orders on the same production panel) reduces the production cost per order. Our customers trust us to give them the best and fairest prices – the trust model.
2. Pooling means that we don’t have heavy set-up costs per order, so we don’t charge for tooling. So design iterations carry no cost penalty – the trust model.
3. Our public calculator makes our prices accessible to the whole marketplace, customers and competitors alike. This means that our pricing must be consistent, stable and competitive – and our customers know this – the trust model.
4. Transport costs for multiple orders are recalculated at shipment to keep them as low as possible – the trust model.
5. In the unfortunate event of a delay due to us, we reschedule the order and recalculate the price according to the new delivery term – the trust model.
6. Online pricing and ordering using streamlined menus requiring minimum data saves the customer time and money, cutting out traditional communication costs – the trust model.
Eurocircuits convenience to the customer
How do we bring our service to the customer?
1. Our customer interface is available 24/7 It is not just a website for getting prices but an open window into our complete e-business offering. The customer has streamlined access into the whole business process, his user profiles, quotations, orders, invoices and payments, both current and historical. Production data is stored indefinitely – the safe harbour model.
2. All board data and documents can be quickly retrieved and easily visualized. The customer can readily download the production data, for example to order third-party stencils – the trust model.
3. The online interface offers the customer a window into our internal administration. This guarantees the customer transparency towards his orders with Eurocircuits – the trust model.
4. Interaction with Eurocircuits can be 100% online but personal support is also available. Eurocircuits has a professional sales force based in the head office in Mechelen Belgium and in sales offices throughout Europe. The trust model.
How can the customer find us and what we offer?
1. We have a clear and well-maintained website which is regularly updated to improve its clarity and ease of use. It contains a wealth of technical information on our services and how to get the best out of them. Other documents show how to design a PCB to keep costs down and ensure that the order goes rapidly and safely through our process. This is backed by a series of videos showing how we make a PCB – the safe harbour model.
2. We have our own YouTube, blogs and social media channels to keep our customers up to date on what we are doing. Transparency is the key to customer trust – the trust model.
- via our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/eurocircuits
- via Twitter: https://twitter.com/eC_PCB
3. We have online multilingual CHAT support on the website, as well as local support and a large multilingual team in Belgium. Our customers know that they can get support whenever they need it – the safe harbour model
4. We inform all customers about important service upgrades and events we will attend by email. We put the same news on the web site. Of course every user is free to opt out of this service – the trust model.
5. For the last 10 years we have attended all major exhibitions in our field in Europe so that our customers can meet us face to face in their own countries.
Eurocircuits competitive edge
- Small orders on a quick turnaround:
- Always available
- Always on time
- We are very reliable in:
- Offering fair and stable prices
- Delivery performance
- Product quality
- We offer a high customer convenience:
- Always available online
- Transparent pricing and open to everyone
- Visual communication throughout the entire business process
- A complete online customer-supplier administration from quote to invoice