Flexible supply chain underpins success of Queen's Award winning manufacturer

March 19, 2013 //By Steve Rawlins, Peter Webb and Nick Jones
Flexible supply chain underpins success of Queen's Award winning manufacturer
ETI seized a fast growing consumer market for its professional catering thermometer, based on a flexible supply chain through contract manufacturer WPS and Anglia Components. In 2012, ETI won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise within the category of International Trade for its success in worldwide markets.

The fastest thermometer in the West

Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd (ETI) is the UK's largest digital thermometer manufacturer, producing catering and industrial thermometers and other related instruments. While most are aimed at professional users industry, ETI discovered that its SuperFast Thermapen was attracting interest from the home gourmet kitchen. Faster and more accurate than any other cooking thermometer on the market, the SuperFast Thermapen stabilizes in fewer than 3 seconds and is the digital thermometer of choice for professional and celebrity chefs. Based on their endorsement, Thermapen became all the rage with those for who cordon blue cookery or BBQ competitions are a passion.

The Thermapen digital thermometer in use.

 

Consumers behave very differently from professional buyers, though the product is technically very similar, according to Managing Director Peter Webb of ETI. “Professional demand is relatively steady and easy to predict but consumer markets are volatile,” he explained. “If Thermapen is featured on a popular cookery program or blog, there can be a sudden spike in demand. We offer the probe in a range of colours, and demand for different colours can also fluctuate wildly. Thermapen is sold online – fickle browsers move on if stock isn’t available in a now timeframe.”

Flexible supply chain

“Our flexible supply chain partnership with contract manufacturer WPS and component distributor Anglia allows us to adjust our manufacturing schedule on a week by week basis, continued Webb. “When we placed the Thermapen contract, we looked at manufacturing in Eastern Europe and in China. WPS and Anglia were able to match the offshore factory gate price, offered higher quality and much faster, more flexible delivery. For the Thermapen, it was the key to allowing us to grow quickly into a new market without overstretching our capital base.”

 

Wilson Process Systems' production line

 

The supply chain agreement with Anglia Components and Wilson Process Systems (WPS) allows ETI to place firm orders on a


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