EAW recently announced that it has brought assembly back to the U.S., can you describe the reasoning/strategy behind this?
EAW is guided by the principle that everything we do needs to help our customers run successful production and integration businesses. We can help our integration partners by providing our customizable products, such as the MK, MKD, and QX models quickly and reliably. The current space is designed to finalize the configuration of these products in a Just In Time (JIT) manner.
Was the COVID-pandemic a factor in this or was this in the works prior?
As I’m sure you know, everything slowed down during the pandemic. We took a moment to think about what we could do with the time to better serve our customers once life returned to normal and this was a unanimous decision amongst the team. We were able to spend time reconfiguring and organizing our existing space and resources. This was a big morale booster during a time when everything in the industry looked bleak.
How large is the space?
3000 ft^2 and growing. As we organize and better utilize the massive overall space we have here (roughly 40,000f ft^2), I expect the space dedicated to production, service and warehousing to grow more than 5x in the near future.
What product lines are being assembled out of Whitinsville, Massachusetts?
All variants of the new MKD1200 are assembled in Whitinsville. In addition to that, we are customizing all MK, MKD800, MKD1000, and all QX here. Our next step will be to assemble all MK and QX weather protected versions in the space.
What benefit does this offer customers?
Primarily that we can respond faster to demand and support projects. MK, MKD, and QX are each available in standard white, black, black weather protected (WP), and white weather protected (WP), and with 3-5 horn patterns each. This approach allows us to hold the components in inventory and determine the exact final configuration at the moment the customer tells us what they need.
How does this positively impact the product itself?
Having production so close to engineering has had multiple advantages. We’ve been able to invest massive amounts of time in our production test processes that simply would not have been practical without this space. In addition, the engineers can literally hear the sweep of each cabinet. If something isn’t going quite right, everyone knows, right away. The close proximity has also had the benefit of improved DFM (Design for Manufacture), and improved DFM has a direct impact on quality and customer experience.
Are these products being shipped outside of the US, or if this space dedicated to U.S. fulfillment?
We are currently fulfilling global demand from this space.
Do you foresee more lines/models being assembled from the space?
Expansion of the space is absolutely in the works and new products are targeted to be built in it. It’s a methodical and intentional project where each step builds on the next with the goal of helping our customers run successful businesses always the central focus.