Brainboxes Celebrating its 25th Anniversary 2009-06-23
"I see the next few years as a positive time for manufacturing in the UK, there are many winning factors on our side including the exchange rate," says Eamonn Walsh, chairman of award winning Brainboxes, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Brainboxes, a leader in serial and Bluetooth connectivity, was founded in Liverpool by Walsh in 1984 and since then has been a pioneer in electronics manufacturing in the UK. Walsh has seen many changes over the past 25 years - in 1984 IBM had not even released its PC in the UK. "No one had any idea what the potential was for the computer then, they were just thought of as games machines. Now we have low cost computing devices that fit in our pockets that we use all day long and people are writing software for fun."
Brainboxes has maintained its position as a UK manufacturer through the trading highs and lows of the past quarter century by keeping focused on its customers needs. Walsh believes that Brainboxes can be held up as an example for UK start-ups. "Some companies survive by being the lowest cost but we believe it is the communication you have with your customers that will give you the edge. We keep close to our customers, listening to what they are saying and understanding what they want. We do what the customer needs rather than telling them what they have to have and can also custom design our products to be a perfect fit and application specific when needed.
"We have never thought it makes economic sense to manufacture abroad unless you have very high volume production runs of a single product," he adds. "For us, with the wide range of products that we sell, tailored to specific needs, it is ideal to have it all under our own control. If customers want supply in a short lead-time we can react swiftly to an order often with next day delivery globally . Also, as we are not a contract manufacturer, we remain in control of our own stock, delivery and work schedules. Brainboxes has the in-house expertise to design both software and hardware so we are able to provide a complete design to manufacture solution. We pride ourselves on delivering continuity of supply and support."
Brainboxes has kept at the forefront of connectivity technology and was an early player with Bluetooth based products in 2000/01. "We did not appreciate the risk we were taking in the early days of release of Bluetooth products, it took Bluetooth longer than expected to become an established technology. But we were keen to pioneer this technology," comments Walsh. Our Bluetooth serial products are now best sellers to the global market.
In this our 25th Anniversary year we are introducing two new product ranges covering USB to Serial and Ethernet to Serial and are continuing to build upon what was our most innovative year to date 2008.
Asked if he had any advice to someone starting a business in 2009, Walsh said, "The best advice I can give them is to get a good product and get it in front of customers fast. Nothing can happen in a business without a sale. Always give the customer value for money, do the best you can and then watch them as they use it. You will learn a lot if you keep your eyes open."
Looking forward to the next 25 years Walsh is optimistic for the future. "We believe that at Brainboxes we have all the right tools, products and innovation to thrive over the next quarter of a century and beyond. We have superb ideas, excellent staff, top products, great customers and a really good route to market established. Through the past 25 we have learnt to keep the company lean and growing. Innovation and providing customers with more for less is essential in the supply to IT sectors."