Jason J. McVeigh Vice President of Sales; Roberto Luis Grateron, Vice President of Operations
2020 has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for businesses worldwide, and the major takeaway from this unusual yet critical year is that it’s time to level up! With digital reliance at an all-time high, there has never been a greater need for manufacturing and supply chains to embrace greater agility and digitization in their operations. While warts, cracks, and blemishes in the global manufacturing ecosystem are on full display amidst the crisis, contract manufacturing organizations like Fi Company are changing the game for companies across various industries with invaluable innovation combined with fast, cost-effective and quality manufacturing services.
With over 100 years of service, Fi Company is one of the most diversified contract manufacturing companies on the West Coast. With facilities in four cities (Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Tijuana), each location delivers best-in-class capabilities which combine to provide unmatched collective expertise and appeal. As a full-service company, Fi Company provides a vast array of capabilities and unique integration opportunities across metal and plastic fabrication all the way through electromechanical assembly, visual merchandising, to final assembly and finished goods. “Our four state-of-the art facilities cover over 200,000 square feet in design, prototyping, fabrication, manufacturing, mass production, distribution and storage space. Our Tijuana campus is the Manufacturing Center of Excellence for Fi Company. We are dedicated to our Enterprise Excellence Transformation which focusses on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of every department within the organization. Our strategic vision is founded in our ongoing commitment to evolve with the needs of our customers” shares Jason J. McVeigh, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Fi Company.
Driven by the mission to become an Enterprise Excellence based organization, Fi Company offers integrated manufacturing solutions that adapt to the ever-changing needs of clients while generating value and promoting social wellness. To achieve this, the company uses a proven transformation methodology based on the Shingo Model™—a sustainable cultural transformation model for end-to-end enterprise excellence. Considering these initiatives, it stands to reason that companies across the globe rely on Fi Company for its turn-key capabilities and services that have proven invaluable over the years in terms of speed, quality, cost, and on-time delivery.
Comprehensive Manufacturing Solution at the Core
Fi Company provides a fully integrated manufacturing solution that ensures a client’s project flows smoothly throughout each phase. From design to prototype, validation, and manufacturing, Fi Company ensures that project requirements are met precisely and on schedule. Roberto Grateron, Vice President of Operations at Fi Holdings notes, “Through our companies, we have accumulated significant experience across multiple industries, including medical, aerospace, marine, RV, food processing, electronics, telecommunications, commercial and gaming.
We were already in the midst of a very aggressive diversification strategy prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic has heightened and accelerated the importance for us to have a well-balanced customer portfolio not tied to any one industry or any one customer.” While Fi Company specializes in gaming, the company’s contribution to creating top-level performance across industries is detailed below:
• Gaming : As a leading sheet metal fabricator and integrator, Fi Company specializes in the design and manufacture of various new and innovative components for leading gaming systems OEMs for several applications, such as sheet metal cabinets and fully integrated gaming systems.
• Healthcare: Fi Company excels in manufacturing and assembling a wide range of enclosures and components for use in various medical and healthcare environments and is proud to be part of the industry during these unprecedented times by providing functionality and versatility to a range of metal and plastic medical devices. The company’s Seattle facility has full ISO 9001:2015 certification, and the Tijuana plant is ISO 9001 certified and fully compliant with Medical Quality System.
• Kiosk: Fi Company works in partnership with various suppliers in the self-service sector to design, manufacture, assemble and integrate a wide variety of sheet metal fabricated products, including arcade units, interactive touchscreen kiosks, computer server cabinets, and ATMs.
• Visual Merchandising: Fi Company currently produces signage and lighting systems and components for leading gaming manufacturers catering to commercial and retail end users.
• Industrial: Fi Company’s range of services for industrial customers extends beyond sheet metal fabrication: a complete integrated solution using its engineering and manufacturing expertise. The company’s New Product Introduction (NPI) department can create fully assembled prototypes for sign off ahead of project commencement, giving customers additional peace of mind.
• Furniture: Fi Company works with various furniture suppliers to manufacture metal components and products used in furniture for home and office (both for inside and outside areas.) Fi Company’s quality management system is ISO 9001 certified, and its powder coating process allows accurate protection for outdoor environments.
• Automotive: Fi Company works directly or with subcontract suppliers to global automotive manufacturers, supplying a diverse range of components.
• Aerospace: The New Product Introduction (NPI) team at Fi works directly with aerospace clients or their suppliers to develop and create innovative components, adhering to stringent quality standards.
• Agricultural: As a leading sheet metal fabricator and provider of integrated manufacturing solutions, Fi is the company of choice for customers seeking solutions for agricultural machinery manufacturing businesses.
To develop purpose-built solutions, the company concentrates on its diversified strategic plan (gaming, medical devices, aerospace/automotive, commercial applications) and aligns clients’ needs through the NPI team that has a full suite of prototyping solutions, using principles of DFM (Design for Manufacturability) and Cpk (process capability). Grateron mentions, “Through our design validation process and prototype FA approval procedure, we work side by side with our customers to develop an integrated manufacturing win/win solution.”
With such robust capabilities, Fi Company helped an engineering firm design a three-stage Tsunami warning system for the Asian market. The only way to be a viable option and be able to compete for a spot in the selection process for a government contract was to have a working test under normal conditions.
To that end, Fi Company designed three specific and interconnected prototype systems per client requirements:
1. A water-proof version to be offshore floating in the ocean as the first line of warning.
2. The waterproof version was then connected to another prototype tower at the emergency station on the shoreline.
3. A final warning tower on the highway outside the city limits.
Each prototype has different and specific requirements but works in tandem. Leveraging Fi Company’s integrated manufacturing services, the client secured a finalist position and will be showcasing the product to the local authorities early in 2021.
Delivering Excellence through Experience
The very essence of Fi Company’s’ specialty lies within its people. With over 700 talented and skilled people, Fi Company ensures that each project is delivered with the highest quality, on time, and within budget. McVeigh remarks, “We will be customer-focused. Our customers will become our advocates. We always strive for: “think like a customer, act like an owner.” Similarly, we are people-centric. Our people are our most important resource.” By using Six Sigma Quality, Kanban pull systems, and Lean Manufacturing principles and tools, Fi Company continuously improves its systems, processes, tools, and the company as a whole.
The four Critical Transformation Initiatives of Fi Holdings consist of:
Organizational Excellence: A participatory team based-consensus management process guided by the Shingo Model™ to align effort and focus. A pragmatic process of making every member of the Fi Company team highly effective.
Enterprise Excellence: By achieving a high level of organizational effectiveness using principles and tools of Six Sigma Quality and Lean Manufacturing.
Strategic Value: Our Enterprise Excellence transformation is centered on the Shingo Model™. The alignment/congruence of goals and objectives with our senior leadership team and internal business partners will create a sustainable and differentiated business model, valued by customers.
Financial Performance: Management and continuous improvement of the three previous transformation initiatives to yield steadily rising financial performance and meet investors’ expectations.
With sights set on a promising future, Fi Company is singularly focused on expanding its manufacturing capabilities that fits within its strategic vision. These include rapid prototyping, injection molding, and CNC machining. “We are also concentrating our efforts on the flawless execution of an Enterprise Excellence Transformation Roadmap,” says Grateron. To this, McVeighadds, “Our customers expect us to be able to do more for them in terms of design through delivery and they expect us to own the entire process. As this demand continues to expand, our long-term plans center on continuing the expansion of our Center of Excellence in Tijuana.” Fi Company will remain committed to providing ‘One Stop Shopping’ for as many customers that need it and also looks to continued expansionof its presence in its regional Centers of Excellence to serve local and regional customers.