Almost ten years ago, one of our customers was at a crossroads. This studio monitor manufacturer was assembling all their wire harness by hand, a process that cost their team about 60 hours every week.
That’s 60 hours of manual labor instead of 60 hours of expert innovation. Hand-building assemblies gave them control over quality — but the inefficiency was holding them back.
If they could offload this time cost, they’d save money in the short term and create time to leverage their expertise with greater focus on innovation for the long term. In a doggedly competitive market, constant innovation is a survival skill; doing it seamlessly creates a competitive advantage.
The decision to outsource cable assembly should’ve been pretty simple, right?
Studio monitors are professional-quality speakers that music production teams and audio engineers use when mixing down recordings. They’re designed to maximize audio integrity.
Compared to consumer-grade speakers (built to provide a pleasant listening experience at an approachable cost), the task of studio monitors is simpler conceptually but much more challenging mechanically. Monitors are engineered to reproduce audio exactly — difficult when hardware enters the equation. Input the audio information, and they’ll output the precise sound. Professional audio engineers leverage this fidelity to find flaws in audio or to make mixes with the most precision possible.
The goal for studio monitors, in other words, is perfection.
Extreme attention to detail and constant innovation are necessities in the crowded pro-audio market. Our customer needed to free up their team’s time to focus even more on innovation.
But they’d attempted outsourcing wire harness assembly before. It didn’t go well.
The components they received from overseas were of inconsistent quality and couldn’t be trusted. As a result, their team was bogged down with constant cable quality control and reassembly to ensure the products met their high standard.
When the table stakes are your company’s reputation, caution and diligence can’t just be cast aside. Any potential supplier would need to earn the customer’s trust first.
Fortunately, the speaker manufacturer’s constant drive for improvement didn’t stop with their end product, and their commitment to upgrading their production processes led them to Multi-Tek. They needed a partner to take 60 hours off their plate per week — simple enough.
But there was a strong two-way fit: both parties stand behind everything they produce and care about only delivering the best work possible. With a service-forward approach and attention to detail, Multi-Tek not only freed up time for the speaker manufacturer, but provided added value in the process.
The first order of business was to ensure Multi-Tek could produce assemblies exactly as the customer specified, so we overnighted first articles to the speaker company. First articles need to be done right, and they need to be delivered fast. They are key to starting a relationship right for a number of reasons:
The customer was pleased with the quality, but first articles are like dinner rolls. Volume production is the prime rib. We needed to prove we could deliver quality work consistently at scale if we were to earn the customer’s trust for good.
As much as trusting the wrong partner for custom cable assembly can handicap production, threaten quality and replace certainties with headaches, building a relationship with the right partner can provide benefits beyond taking processes off your plate.
With more time, the customer poured resources back into product improvements and growth. Armed with more time to innovate, they expanded their product line. As a result, the manufacturer now orders about twice as many harnesses from Multi-Tek than when the relationship began.
Customer service has made the relationship smooth and stable, outlasting numerous personnel changes and a supply-chain crippling pandemic.
In addition to taking wire harness assembly off the customer’s hands, Multi-Tek stepped beyond the production line to offer design suggestions that reduced manufacturing cost and pushed product performance even further forward. In this way, having a dedicated custom cable partner has provided the speaker manufacturer with a competitive advantage.
Untouchable performance remains the primary goal for the speaker manufacturer. Today, they no longer need to sacrifice process efficiency to achieve it. Since working with Multi-Tek, they’ve been nominated for multiple NAMM TEC awards for excellence and creativity in the studio monitor space.
Audio technology is constantly pushing into new territory. We’re proud to work with a company that’s clearing the path. Are you blazing a similar trail? A partnership with Multi-Tek could be the key to navigating it. Contact us to talk through your plans or explore our custom cable assembly service here.
We’ll provide you with a fast quote (standard time is three days, can be as quick as same-day) and recommend manufacturability improvements.
Get a quote for custom cable assemblies