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April 1, 2021

The best of both worlds with a global, local company

When it comes to choosing between a local partner and a global partner for infrastructure, it can be a difficult choice. Both have their benefits and drawbacks but ultimately opting for one over the other usually entails some element of compromise. In this week’s blog, Philippe Fizellier, RFS Chief Operating Officer, explores whether it is possible to find a partner that is capable of delivering the benefits of both.

Philippe Fizellier, Chief Operating Officer
TAGS : PARTNERSHIP, MANUFACTURING, SUPPLIER

Managing a procurement checklist

When making decisions on communications equipment, there is a huge list of factors that need to be considered. It has to serve the primary purpose of facilitating communications, it has to fit within cost parameters, work with lead times, meet safety requirement, fit with policies on carbon emissions – the list goes on. The telecoms space is a rich and interesting market, with a vast variety of vendors offering different approaches and alternative ways to address communication challenges but how can decision makers ensure they are working with the right vendor, and is there an approach that minimizes their need to make compromises on their very long list of considerations?

The local option 

There are very obvious benefits to working with a local manufacturer. Supporting local jobs, ease of communication as there is no language or time zone barrier, no need to manage overseas logistics. But there are drawbacks; selecting a local manufacturer in some instances means a smaller operation. Although this is not inherently bad it could actually lead to longer lead times due to the lack of scalability. Not only this but if you are looking for a partner to deliver specific telecommunication expertise and products, it is not always easy to find a niche provider in a purely domestic operation which forces procurement teams to look at larger global organizations.

The global route 

So, let’s look at the pros and cons of opting for a large global company. They bring the knowledge and experience of operating in multiple regions so have the benefit of seeing worldwide innovation that assists with cutting-edge product development. The larger size means they have capacity to develop and produce a wide portfolio of specialized products. However, it’s not all always good news. Overseas manufacturing brings with it increased lead time and logistical cost, if the core team speaks a different language there can be challenges with local language materials to help decision making, in short there are drawbacks here too. It makes a difficult choice for procurement teams but is there a way they can minimize the compromises?

Best of both worlds 

At RFS we’re keen that our customers shouldn’t face a choice between the benefits of a domestic supplier at the cost of the strengths of a global company. Instead, we take a global, local approach. We have in country manufacturing facilities in 7 countries to supply customers in all regions. This offers the benefits of global scale, with the customer experience of a local outfit to deliver for our customers. 

In practice

It all sounds great in theory, but what do the numbers mean in practice for RFS customers. Let’s look at some of how some of our cable facilities are serving their local customers, worldwide. 

  • Hannover, Germany: In the center of Europe, we have a major manufacturing facility with a particular focus on indoor cable. Its strategic location allows us to deliver with short lead times throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa
  • Suzhou, China: In 2017 we launched a manufacturing and R&D facility in Suzhou to support rapidly growing telecom markets in Asia
  • Connecticut, USA: Most recently in the US we have made a 7-figure investment into our Connecticut manufacturing facility to support growing demand for HYBRIFLEX cable and reduce lead time for our customers in North America.  

Conclusion 

Telecommunications procurement can be a minefield, with a sea of vendors offering different approaches while trying to ensure business priorities are met. Compromises will need to be made, balancing lead time and cost for example. However, our teams are focused on minimizing that compromise and work collaboratively with our customer to deliver what they need, when and where they need it with the scale and expertise of a global player, with the delivery of a local partner. 

If you’d be interested to hear more about how our local teams are delivering global expertise email paula.mennone@rfsworld.com and we can put you in touch with your local manager.