INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Wiring Harness News MAY / JUNE 2022 51
Are You Still Building Birdhouses ?
By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News _______________________
At the WHMA conference in Tucson this past February , I ran into Scott Morris of Marsh Electronic ’ s / MarVac Assemblies division . He was getting ready to host a roundtable discussion entitled , Qualifying & Quantifying New Opportunities . The purpose of the discussion was to exchange ways to prioritize new opportunities and juggle existing customers in these troubling times of supply chain issues and personnel shortages . This is a not new problem for MarVac , and it ’ s unlikely that it ’ s new for most companies . But activities of the last two years have really brought the issue to the forefront .
Scott discussed the early days of MarVac and how it has led to some of their current challenges . In those early days , they grew the company by taking orders for assemblies that other companies did not want to build . “ Heck , we probably would have built bird houses if someone had asked us — we had lumber , we had nails , we had hammers …” he joked . “ The same thing that got us here is actually hampering our growth .” Scott confirmed this issue is currently front and center at MarVac .
I arranged a conversation with Scott and Steve Banovich , Manager of Mar-Vac , after the show to discuss some of the ways they are dealing with the constraints . “ The goal is not to take anything away from our top 25 customers ,” Scott said . If you build a $ 1000 assembly for a $ 1000 a year customer , or if you build that same assembly for a $ 4 million a year a customer , it takes the same amount of time and resources . And once you accept that order , you are morally , ethically and somewhat legally bound to make it ,” he asserted . As such , MarVac is taking a more critical look for better opportunities that align with their core competencies . “ If you invite the wrong people to the wedding , eventually somebody
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is gonna step on the brides dress ,” Scott analogized .
MarVac is trying to create a better sales funnel / filter so the opportunities that come in fit their overall strategy for growth . They are introducing guidelines to their salesforce to help them better define a well aligned opportunity . Scott indicated it can be quite a balancing act , however . There are no hard stops , and they try not to push back too hard . They want to sharpen their focus without undermining their enthusiasm . “ We want to look at opportunities that make the most sense for us in allocating our resources . That ’ s not to say we want to close the spigot off for everyone , we just want to be smarter about how we go forward .”
In order to achieve their goals , MarVac has had to say goodbye to a few customers . “ It ’ s a multi-pronged approach ,” Scott described , “ and we ’ ve already invited people to the wedding that we shouldn ’ t have , so we are setting up some criteria for when that business comes up for quote again .”
Steve realizes that many of their competitors may be slightly ahead of them on this ,
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