© SafeRFQ Electronics Production | December 03, 2020
A new platform to connect the EMS sector
For the past several months, a new platform has been operating on the contract assembly market – SafeRFQ – an order exchange platform and database of companies operating within the industry. Evertiq reached out to founder Jerzy Bieschke to hear more about the concept.
SafeRFQ aims to offer a new way of connecting EMS providers and companies in need of the service. In a nutshell, it is a platform on which you can find companies capable of carrying out your projects. The concept of listing companies supplying certain services on a specific platform isn’t exactly new, we have for some time been able to do so when looking to renovate an apartment, so why not have a similar service in the space of electronics? Founder and president of the Polish company, Jerzy Bieschke, tells Evertiq that the idea was born – as it usually happens, from observing regular life. “My experience so far has shown that the expectations of the client and the contractor often diverge, and the inquiry is not always interesting for the contractor. In this way, both parties waste their precious time, i.e. in order to assess whether the inquiry is interesting the contractor must verify the technologies, materials, lead times and all this comes down to checking the size of the proposed business. The other party also has to find time to prepare an inquiry and answer dozens of questions from each of the contractors separately. Hence the came the idea of the SafeRFQ.com portal – a place facilitating the submission of inquiries and communication between interested parties.” Mr. Bieschke explains that the portal is intended for companies operating in the EMS industry, providing EMS services in the field of electronics assembly, the supply of PCBs, production of cable harnesses and ready devices (finally production and box building), as well buyers looking for EMS companies providing such services. By registering an account, the user is verified as to whether he or she represents a business. When submitting an inquiry, the client specifies the business and technical requirements, provides the approximate level of business and the area from which the offers should come from. With this information available, the contractor then decides whether he wants to spend his time preparing an offer or give himself a chance to find another order. “Before we made the decision to bring the portal to life, we had checked if there had been similar solutions in the world. It turned out that there had been none,” Mr. Bieschke tells Evertiq. He says there currently are several or a dozen companies providing consulting services that can be commissioned to identify potential contractors for the implementation of a given project. “However, this type of service can only be afforded by international groups implementing a sufficiently large project. Our solution is dedicated to medium and small manufacturing companies, for which the search for an EMS contractor is often quite a challenge. Such entrepreneurs cannot afford long-term market research and often decide on the first production company that responded to the inquiry.” The portal was launched and went live in mid-March, which exactly coincided with the appearance of Covid-19 in Poland and the lockdown. “We managed to arrange two face-to-face meetings with potential users, after that we had to move all our activities online. As everyone knows, the restrictions also resulted in the cancellation of trade fairs and industry meetings, both in Poland and abroad, so our debut was not an easy one.” The founder and president says that the are currently over 150 registered companies on the platform, and each month there are about 20-30 new users. He further details that the vast majority are contractors within the EMS industry; from PCB suppliers and cable harnesses, to designers, to PCB assembly and box build service providers. So far the platform has garnered some traction and several dozen users visit the site regularly to check whether a new query has appeared – despite the fact that the portal automatically sends out information about new queries to users who match the client’s requirements and expectations. “We are happy because it shows that this form of searching for new orders is interesting to users,” Mr. Bieschke says and continues. “The portal participates in the contract execution process until the contractor is selected - then the client and the contractor conduct further talks directly. Therefore, we do not know exactly how many projects ended up with a contract, but we know from our contractors that almost half of the inquiries ended up with their implementation.” In the future, the company is planning to expand its services in the field by preparing automatic BOM valuation, help in liquidating contractors' inventories as well as offer support in the search for mechanical elements. “In addition, to support the ordering party in making a decision, we are planning several additional functions, such as support in managing the database of approved suppliers, evaluation of contractors or support in the evaluation and selection of an offer,” Mr. Bieschke concludes.