An interview with Ronan Ye, Founder and General Manager of 3ERP
Q: Why did you found your company, 3E Rapid Prototyping (3ERP)? What goals did you want to accomplish?
A: I started 3ERP because I like rapid prototyping and manufacturing. And because it’s something I am good at doing. But there are other reasons, too.
One of the biggest was a desire to start a company that has quality as a number one goal. Most of the time, I have found that delivering quality isn’t a matter of whether you can achieve it. It’s a matter of whether you want to achieve it.
Q: What are the 3Es in the name 3ERP?
A: The 3Es are Excellent, Efficient, and Economic. They are the philosophy our company is built on.
Q: Why did you choose these three as your watchwords for the company?
A: For the world of rapid prototyping and on demand manufacturing, the top three most important considerations of our customers are always quality, lead time, and price. That’s why we picked “3E” as part of our company name: it explains simply and clearly what we want to achieve.
Q: What do each of these three words and concepts mean to you, both personally and for the business?
A: Excellent quality, efficient lead time, and the most economic solutions. For example, we are an ISO-certified manufacturer, which demonstrates our achievement of excellence in manufacturing, and our quality, to everyone.
Q: What does quality mean to you as a China-based company in the rapid prototype manufacturing business?
A: In the past, manufacturing in China mostly meant cheap. In the old days, both manufacturers here and their global customers were thinking about how to maximize their profits, so quality was not their first priority. But when we started 3ERP, we were thinking about how to build up our reputation. Branding is more important for us.
My goal is that when people order from us it’s not because we are offering them a better price, it’s because we are offering them better quality, which they can’t get somewhere else.
Q: Many of your customers are leading European and North American companies, like BMW, FLIR Systems, Volkswagen, and Beckman Coulter. How does 3ERP’s emphasis on quality and excellence in manufacturing translate into your ability to deliver quality to those customers?
A: 3ERP has extensive in-house testing ability and a large amount of precision in-house equipment for both manufacturing and testing. All of the products we produce stand up to strict, western-style criteria for critical tolerances. This is a big part of what makes us a leader in prototypes and low-volume manufacturing.
Q: What else does 3ERP do that’s western-style?
A: We provide a positive, pleasant working environment for our employees, in both the office and in the workshop. I believe that if a company doesn’t take care of its employees, the employees won’t take care in the work they do.
We also hire quality people. Our factory manager has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing. He is a professor of CNC machining, injection tooling, and other kinds of plastic and metal fabrication processes. Sometimes picking the best option is very important. Most of our project managers have more than 5 years of experience. And I have now been in this industry for more than 11 years.
Q: How does 3ERP provide efficient lead times and the most economic solutions?
A: Our approach of listening to our customers ensures that they will be completely satisfied with the parts we deliver to them. We also know how to say “No” to customers, especially in the beginning of a project. In other words, we insist on honesty: we are clear about what we can and can’t do, and we always tell the truth in regards to our capabilities. That’s absolutely vital in the fast-moving rapid prototyping business, if we are to be efficient and deliver parts on time, as well as within budget. I have wrote a blog “why we should be honest to the customers”