In a few short years, Strymon has become one of the most highly regarded pedal builders in the guitar industry by leveraging a unique blend of analog and digital signal processing to achieve exceptional sound with a wide sweet spot of playability. Strymon has focused on building studio-grade effects processing into a simple, easy to use pedal without the hassle of lugging around a large rack of gear. It’s not hard to see why the reviews and awards keep piling up for Strymon pedals. We sat down with John Aguila, Warehouse and Procurement Manager for Strymon, to discuss the critical factors involved in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Suntsu: Hi John, thanks for being with us today. Let’s start with a bit about your role and how your team is structured.
John: There are two of us here that are responsible for all the purchasing, logistics, and shipping. We’ve been working with Suntsu for over 7 years, and we leverage our relationship to secure many of our components including resistors, capacitors, relays, and switches.
Suntsu: That’s great! Let’s jump into your process. Frequently the procurement and logistics roles are the “unsung heroes” in a product company. Engineering gets the credit for building an awesome product. However, once the product is engineered and launched, there are years ahead of intensive work.
John: [laughing] That’s true. I like to call this “continuous sustaining.” Once a product is developed, it’s hard to make a change. If a single part is difficult to source consistently, it makes the entire product a challenge to deliver. This needed reliability is one of the things we’ve come to appreciate about our relationship with Suntsu.
John: No matter how small or seemingly insignificant a part may be, if you don’t have it, you can’t build your product. We had a part that was used universally across all our pedal products and suddenly, that part was hard to source. Adam, our guy at Suntsu, worked with his engineering team and built us a better part at a cheaper cost. Almost 12 cents cheaper actually! When you add up the costs across all our product lines, that adds up to significant savings.
I’m also reminded of a vacuum switch that we were using on all our pedals. We asked Suntsu to take on the challenge of finding us a better way to source the product and Adam worked with the same manufacturer that we were sourcing it from. It is much nicer for us to cut a PO to Suntsu and have Adam worry about the headaches; customs, language barriers, freight, warehousing – all those variables. We have a national network of dealers and sell directly via e-commerce. Every month we are sending big numbers of pedals all over the world and it is our team that must take the products that started with engineering and deliver them consistently. It’s quite a feat.
Suntsu is always looking out for our best interests. I really can say that. They are always looking out for other sources. There is no BS. That is the number one reason we continue working with Suntsu. They are responsive, honest, and helpful. The turnaround on our orders is incredible.
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