MBX’s Industry-First ‘Hatch’ Toolset Helps Fuel 32% Revenue Growth
February 12, 2019
LIBERTYVILLE, IL (February 12, 2019) – Custom computing hardware manufacturer MBX Systems logged record 32% year-over-year revenue growth in 2018, driven in part by its proprietary Hatch™ software toolset that gives customers industry-first control and visibility into their hardware programs. Hatch, MBX’s consultative engineering focus, and the company’s ability to deliver complex hardware solutions such as full-rack training and simulation systems were pivotal factors in increasing business from customers that deploy applications and services on purpose-built hardware.
“2018 was a watershed year for the company with payoffs from long-term investments in Hatch and plant facilities. Those initiatives have given us clear competitive advantages, particularly in vertical markets with extremely complex needs,” said MBX President Chris Tucker. “Whether a customer has hundreds of possible hardware permutations, requires multi-node systems configured to order for each end user, or needs military-grade quality assurance, we have the infrastructure and processes to execute flawlessly as well as unique tools that substantially reduce the time customers need to spend on hardware program management.”
Strong Vertical Growth
A primary contributor to MBX’s 2018 growth was increased penetration in the simulation, physical security/surveillance and video streaming sectors, including triple-digit growth in the simulation space enabled by physical expansion of the company’s rack assembly operations and supporting infrastructure. Customers in these sectors range from suppliers of image generator solutions for military aviation simulation and training to providers of point-of-sale video security systems and content delivery networks serving subscribers around the world
Growth in new customers using Dell EMC base servers was also strong, spurred by MBX’s ability to handle technically challenging projects as well as the availability of time-saving tools in Hatch designed specifically for order-level customization of Tier 1 platforms.
MBX’s value engineering also continued to provide a vital differentiator that generated new business. The engineering team specializes in architecting platforms that maximize reliability, performance and cost savings for the customer, based on the team’s in-depth component knowledge and quality metrics from products in the field. Other engineering services include proactive product lifecycle management with advance planning for EOL components, custom services ranging from custom testing to driver integration, custom API development, and global certification management, providing a robust engineering backbone that helps ensure hardware program success.
This extensive engineering support was one of a series of factors that also substantially increased business from MBX’s existing customer base in 2018. Accelerating a pattern that began several years ago, multiple customers who previously dual sourced their manufacturing among several vendors moved select product lines from other builders to MBX in order to consolidate program management, achieve consistency, and take advantage of engineering and other services they were not receiving from other hardware partners.
The Hatch Advantage
Among those unique services is MBX’s Hatch program management software. Delivered as a cloud-based toolset, Hatch combines the order and inventory tracking functions of customer portals with exclusive hardware manufacturing orchestration and visibility features that not only simplify program oversight but also help customers speed time to market for highly customized platforms. Key features include:
- Configurable bill of materials. For customers offering multiple variations of a single hardware platform, Hatch streamlines order configuration by providing pre-defined line-item and component grouping options specific to each customer’s needs. One customer with more than 1,500 possible hardware permutations is saving hundreds of hours of management overhead annually with this MBX-only feature.
- Integrated engineering change management. All hardware platform engineering changes and approvals are maintained within Hatch, eliminating the use of spreadsheets, emails and third-party applications. Customers can use Hatch to create, view, assign and sign off on engineering change orders in progress as well as to trace every change description, due date, status, review and approval for all open and closed change orders.
- Work-in-progress by work center. Customers can track open orders in Hatch by their specific real-time location on the manufacturing floor, enabling easy monitoring of build progress, estimated completion dates and unexpected delays. Hardware managers no longer need to spend time contacting the hardware manufacturer for updates.
Other advanced Hatch features range from real-time inventory visibility and real-time shipment tracking to global certification compliance information for each customer platform, order deviation tracking with easy traceability for one-off orders, and more. The result is a central information source that helps customers save time, reduce administrative costs, improve transparency and optimize their supply chain.
“Very few hardware builders can execute the complex, high-variability projects that we specialize in, and none have resources like Hatch that can save customers hundreds of hours in program management,” Tucker said. “Our 2018 performance reflects our deep understanding of customer needs, our ongoing investment in tools and infrastructure to address those requirements, and our track record in fulfilling some of the most technically challenging integrated software/hardware platforms on time and on budget.”
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