Industry: Automotive, Digital Instrumentation
Services: Electronics Manufacturing
Client Since: 20121
Supporting the Rapid Growth of an Aftermarket Manufacturer of Automotive and Motorcycle Instruments and Accessories
Dakota Digital is a leading manufacturer of instrument clusters and electronic accessories for hot rods, muscle cars, classic trucks, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. The company has been designing, manufacturing, and supporting its products to its passionate community for 36 years.
Dakota Digital has always been vertically integrated with most of its processes that include CNC turning and machining, faceplate printing, plastics lasering, and printed circuit board (PCB) assembly — and continues to manage many of these processes in-house.
However, demand for its products and services increased dramatically over the past two years — pushing capacity requirements beyond what Dakota Digital could handle with its current facility, equipment, and team. Additionally, extensive lead times and prices on new equipment and facilities — along with a limited local workforce — pushed the company to start seeking a partner to support their production needs.
Seeking a Partner to Support Growing Demand
Dakota Digital began exploring its options for service providers and was introduced to South Dakota Partners (SDP) through a mutual connection in a surface mount technology (SMT) equipment provider. After considering its options, Dakota Digital made the decision to go with South Dakota Partners for a few key reasons:
- SDP shared a similar mindset, work ethic, and drive as Dakota Digital
- SDP was located just 90 miles away, allowing for a face-to-face relationship
- Materials and products can be transferred between the two companies easily
- There was no competition for the same limited pool of potential employees
SDP also uses most of the same SMT equipment as well as similar soldering equipment as Dakota Digital. This shared technology enabled a seamless technology transfer between the two companies, resulting in a seamless transition from the assemblies Dakota Digital had been producing in-house to the assemblies produced by SDP. This was a particular benefit that allowed the relationship to start smoothly and continue without issues.
Because the two companies use much of the same equipment, Dakota Digital was also able to provide SDP with the files and data from their own in-house systems, further expediting the production process and ensuring complete accuracy. And thanks to the short distance between them, Dakota Digital was able to provide SDP with text fixtures — allowing the SDP team to hit the ground running.
The Result of a Strong Partnership
Thanks to its partnership with SDP, Dakota Digital has been able to dedicate more of its team members’ focus toward final assembly. With SDP making many of Dakota Digital’s subassemblies, the latter has been able to better support the growing demand for its digital instrumentation products. Dakota Digital plans to continue its strong relationship with SDP as its need for greater capacity and customer demand grows.
“South Dakota Partners has been very easy to work with,” said Dakota Digital President Ross Ortman. “We’ve been able to coordinate with them as an extension of our own production floor through the seamless back and forth transition of technology, materials, and product. The strategic alliance between the two companies will continue to have a profound impact on helping us meet our customer demand.”
If your organization is looking to expand its production capacity, needs support with managing rework and repairs or reducing electronics warranty claims, is seeking a partner to verify quality and conduct testing, or any other electronics need, South Dakota Partners is ready to help. Our team members are highly trained and certified in a variety of production processes, and we uphold a variety of quality-focused certifications and standards.
About Dakota Digital
Dakota Digital is the world’s leading supplier of aftermarket automotive and motorcycle instrumentation. Its 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is conveniently located near the center of the United States in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Since its inception, Dakota Digital has been a leader in the development of exciting products for an exciting industry. Learn more about them here.