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Trevor Glavin on 04/13/2021

What are Partnership Accounts at Modus Advanced?

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    Internally at Modus we talk a lot about Partnership Accounts. Our dedication to building and serving our Partnership Accounts is what drives us every single day.

    For our team, hearing and using the term “Partnership Account” is as much a part of our culture as drinking water or eating lunch. But, as our marketing team has recently (and repeatedly) pointed out to me, this term may not be as commonplace for someone looking in from the outside. 

    So, after much prodding, I decided to sit down and detail exactly what our Partnership Accounts are and what promises we make to them.

    In a sense, our focus on Partnership Accounts is essentially our rebellion against “the basic supplier relationship.” The basic supplier relationship is transactional, it doesn’t provide real value to the end customer, and incentivizes all the wrong behavior from suppliers.

    In pretty much every single way a Partnership Account is the exact opposite of what you’d get from the traditional supplier relationship. So, without further ado, the promises we make to our Partnership Accounts are detailed below.

    And lastly, we know how easy it is for us to tell you what we promise, but it doesn’t really hold a whole lot of weight unless you hear it from someone else. With that being said, for each promise I’ve also included a direct quote we’ve received from a member of one of our Partnership Accounts, in case you need that extra bit of proof.

    We Promise Unparalleled Customer Service

    Forget the days of unresponsive, uncooperative, and uncaring suppliers. We exist for you. 

    It is mind-boggling to us that other suppliers can so readily ignore the lifeblood of their business: their customers. So we have set out to rise above and are committed to delivering exceptional customer service from end to end.

    We promise customer service that you’ll rave about. We promise to be responsive to your needs. We promise to work with you to the best of our ability when you need something in a pinch or have a tight turnaround.

    We also know we aren’t perfect. We promise to hear you if there is ever a problem with any part of our relationship from communication to quality. And we promise to move heaven and earth to fix it as fast as humanly possible.

    “The best part about working with Modus really comes down to how much they care. You can see it in their service level, willingness to solve problems, and responsiveness. Many suppliers are not very easy to work with, but with Modus it’s a completely different experience.”

    - Lead Manufacturing Engineer, Medical Device Company

    We Promise a True Strategic Partnership

    We aren’t here simply to serve our Partnership Accounts on a part by part basis. We are here to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

    We look for ways we can strategically reduce long term costs, shorten lead times, and better serve your business across the life of our relationship. 

    Your mission becomes our mission. And this isn’t just talk, we are very serious about this. On our shop floor, our team discusses what each product we help to make means in the hands of your end customer, not what it means to our bottom line. Your passion becomes our passion, and we do everything we can to help you get life-changing products to market faster.

    Ultimately what this looks like is a partner who is invested in your business and its success. Not a supplier who is looking for ways to make a profit on an individual order.

    “We have seen incredible long-term benefits from the relationship we’ve built with Modus. It is so much more important than having a part-by-part transactional relationship with a vendor.”

    Leslie Johnson, Assistant Purchasing Manager, Flory Industries


    We Promise Unprecedented Access to Our Team

    Part of our focus on being strategic partners means doing whatever we can to make your products successful, including helping to adjust or provide feedback on the designs you send us.

    Even as we have grown, we’ve committed (and will continue to commit) to keeping the size of our engineering team at about 10% of our total headcount. Our engineers are here to help ensure your designs are manufacturable and find ways to strategically help you reduce lead times and part costs without sacrificing design requirements or quality.

    Not only do we have a larger ratio of engineers than the typical converting house, machine shop, or manufacturing partner, but our Partnership Accounts have direct access to each and every one of them.

    Have design questions? Need design feedback? Want to grab a beer? No problem. We promise to always provide you direct access to the right people you need to get the job done.

    “The Modus team works with us on every design to get everything right and bring up things we never would have thought about. The relationship helps take our products to new heights.”

    - Bruce Devine, CEO, Signal Hound

    We Promise to Design Our Processes Around Your Needs

    Access to engineers for design feedback is one thing (and an important thing!), but we don’t stop there.

    We have even created new manufacturing processes based on the needs of our customers. SigShield is one such example of an entirely new manufacturing process borne out of feedback from customers about what would make things easier and more efficient for them.

    With SigShield, we are completely redefining the RF shield production and procurement process. By combining four concurrent manufacturing processes under one roof, we are able to help our customers reduce freight costs and lead times, improve quality, and simplify their procurement process.

    We regularly work with Partnership Accounts to figure out how we can adjust or adapt our processes to fit their needs. Coming to the table with creative solutions is our modus operandi.

    “When our project encountered technical and supply-chain challenges, Modus deftly responded with creative solutions that allowed us to produce superior performance parts for our medical device. Modus collaborated with us every step of the way, going the extra mile to ensure that every technical requirement was met.”

    - Principal Product Engineer, Medtronic


    We Promise to Invest in Infrastructure For You

    Not content just to serve Partnership Accounts well and build processes just for them, we also promise to directly invest in infrastructure to support Partnership Accounts.

    As we deepen our relationships with Partnership Accounts, we seek to transcend the boundary of “outsourced supplier” and evolve into something you view simply as an extension of your business.

    We have invested in building additional manufacturing facilities in locations that are in the backyards of Partnership Accounts so they have the convenience of walking right into our facility to pick up same-day turnarounds for prototype work or checking on the status of an order.

    “One of the biggest reasons we keep coming back to Modus is their continuous investment in infrastructure that supports our needs. They truly act as an extension of our organization, helping us bring products to market faster.”

    - Lead Product Engineer, Telecommunications Company

    What Does This Look Like?

    So what does this look like in action? Let me paint you a picture.

    What if…

    You could walk out of your office, drive a few minutes down the street, and step into your manufacturing partner’s facility to be greeted by familiar faces. It simply feels like another building on your own campus.

    You walk back to the shop floor and check with the engineering manager on the status of an in-process order and pick up the quick-turn prototype part you requested a day earlier.

    On your way out the door, you stop in and say hello to your sales engineer to get the process started for a quote on a new project you are getting ready to send over. You work together to specify the materials you are considering, and then promise to send over the final designs when you get them back from your team in the next couple of days.

    Then you head back to your office. (Or if it is the end of the day, stick around and grab a beer).

    The Bottom Line

    This picture doesn’t have to be unrealistic. We are working with our Partnership Accounts to get closer and closer to relationships like this on a daily basis.

    Want to learn more about what it means to build this kind of relationship? Or interested in talking more about Partnership Accounts? I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email or reach out on LinkedIn.

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