Brainboxes is one of the leading communication device developers and manufacturers in the world, a team of highly qualified software and hardware designers is matched by a world-class in-house volume manufacturing facility and a global distribution chain. Substantial investments in R&D and manufacturing has gained them a reputation for products that are easy to use, highly configurable and extremely reliable. Their in-house manufacturing facility gives them an unparalleled level of flexibility and control to meet even the tightest deadlines.

Brainboxes world class Research and Development department covers chip design to board layout, including firmware, device driver and application software engineering.

Princeps becomes the primary supplier for Brainboxes

The client’s requirements

Brainboxes has to buy a number of components from different suppliers to create their one product and so finding a company that can deliver the right product, on time, is crucial to their success.

They needed a reliable supplier, one that not only understood the open market but could mitigate the risks of operating in one and this was something that they were struggling to find.

How Princeps rose to the challenge

Princeps ability to source and acquire obsolete stock made them become Brainboxes go-to supplier for electronic components. Superior knowledge of the component marketplace combined with good supplier relationships means they can negotiate available parts at preferential pricing.

Ben Willis, Princeps Account Manager for Brainboxes explains “We have a standard process to follow when sourcing products. The first stage is a thorough evaluation of availability, lead-time and pricing with the manufacturer and their authorised supply chain across the world. Should this fail to deliver a solution and if the customer agrees, we then use our experience and knowledge to identify safe sources in the open market. It’s all about providing our customers with all the information to make informed decisions.”

A proven, successful solution

It’s an approach that Princeps has successfully utilised for many years, so whether it’s using a Hierarchy of Sources to identify the lowest risk source for any given requirement, or communicating the source with their Princeps PRIME and Princeps ASSURE services, it’s industry best practice – so much so that you’ll find it in industry standards such as AS5553 and AS6081. The preferred route is always to use the Manufacturer or one of their authorised partners and the Princeps PRIME service, however sometimes the open market is the only solution and this is where Princeps ASSURE comes into its own.

Andrew Green, Operations and Inspection Lead at Princeps describes the ASSURE service as “an inspection that takes about an hour to complete, covering microscopic and x-ray evaluations along with mechanical and chemical tests. It’s a process we’ve developed over time and everything is risk based. Only suitably qualified inspectors are authorised to approve ASSURE lines and they hold ERAI Intercept Certified Level 2 Inspector Qualifications.”

It was the thorough process that Brainboxes had been looking for and for Dean Marsh, Brainboxes Purchasing Manager, the search for the ultimate component supplier was over. Not only were the stringent certifications in place, but they were complimented by a brilliant customer service department where ‘nothing is ever too much trouble’, a fair pricing structure and the best lead times in the industry.

“I’ve tried many independent distributors over the last few years and none of them match up to Princeps, I always approach them first.” Dean Marsh

Brainboxes has not been immune to the current chip shortage crisis, they have seen businesses all around them fold due to the pressures, and 2021 was their toughest year to date. But their ability to keep trading and survive is multi-faceted and they credit Princeps with being a huge part of why they were able to keep their product line moving.

“The customer service is amazing and nothing is ever too much for them”

Pre-Covid, Brexit and Chipaggeddon; Princeps has always been the supplier of choice for Brainboxes. Always best in price and lead times, with good terms and extremely helpful customer service, Dean said that he is always confident that Princeps are offering the best price available and importantly, not hiking up the prices when parts are in demand – something that is evidently all too common in their industry when the market is stretched.

Going forward, particularly looking to when the chip shortage crisis is over, Brainboxes are adamant that they will continue to rely on Princeps as their primary supplier, confident that their level of service is consistent and transparent, regardless of the market.