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Taking stock on our 25th anniversary: As Fiber Optic Center moves into the future, we will build on our strong foundation to provide enhanced support to customers and suppliers

 

As Fiber Optic Center celebrates its 25th anniversary, this is an excellent time to reflect on the strength of our foundation, share exciting “building” plans as we move to provide enhanced support to FOC customers and suppliers, and convey our unflagging dedication to the fiber optic industry.

 

1. FOC’S STRONG FOUNDATION

A company can only build successfully if it has a solid foundation. Fortunately, Fiber Optic Center has an exceptionally strong foundation, thanks to the vision and guiding hand of our founder, Neal Weiss.

Since 1992 – and continuing over the years – Neal emphasized foundational values we still prize today. Some of these core values include having integrity, working collaboratively, and going above-and-beyond to offer timely expertise and support. These core values are integral to our strong foundation and our unwavering dedication to our suppliers, employees, and customers.

 

In fact, customers should know that our mission remains steadfast:

We help our customers make the highest quality fiber optic cable assemblies in the world.

Like many companies that thrive over a number of years, we have carved out several areas of specialization and expertise. We have become recognized as the industry leader in providing fiber professionals with only the highest-quality components, systems, and technology. In fact, FOC may be the only company in the world that sells and delivers every piece of equipment needed for the automated production of fiber optic cable assemblies (also called patch cords). This is a key reason why we have become the experts in helping our customers make the best cable assemblies in the world.

When it comes to supporting FOC customers, we pride ourselves in supporting both production and innovation in fiber optics. We view business from the customer’s perspective and are sensitive to the pressures of a production environment. A good supplier is one you can depend on for quality, technical support, reliability, and fast delivery of components when you need them. In fact, many of our customers maintain production schedules without carrying the costs of inventory by using Fiber Optic Center as their “shelf.” We do our job so you can do yours. Quality is cost effective. Remakes, delays, and failures are expensive.

 

A number of important factors make us the preferred choice for many of the world’s fiber professionals. These include:

 

  • The FOC difference: technical expertise unparalleled in the industry to provide in-depth application support – Our technical team offers the real-world KNOW-HOW regarding the actual procedures and processes that go with each piece of equipment. If you have installed quality equipment, it is the process that determines whether the cable assemblies produced on this equipment meet your specifications and are shipped on time to your customer OR if they require rework or, worse, scrapping and starting over. There is a major difference between hitting the ground running and shipping product once the equipment is set up and in operation OR missing the mark again and again, while figuring out what needs to change in order to consistently produce a quality product. Missed deliveries and returned product can result in losing the order or losing the customer. That’s why we offer exceptional technical expertise in both the newest and existing technologies. And we offer timely, effective service to both small and large customers.

 

  • Competitive prices – Our prices should never be higher than the manufacturers; doing business with us should never cost you more. In purchasing through FOC you pay the same price, but you gain invaluable on-site and remote technical and customer support. You gain another partner.

 

  • We are a sourcing partner offering only top-quality products with immediate to favorable delivery – Since our inception we’ve been locating components, materials, equipment, and supplies. We know what is available and where to get it, even if it’s not already a stock item.

 

  • Decades of practical cable assembly production experience – Our technical experts work daily with our customers to improve their processes. Our traveling technical personnel have set up termination lines throughout North, Central and South America as well as several locations in the Far East, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

 

  • Material availability – Material choices include adhesives as well as specialty and optical monomers, oligomers, and polymers in custom viscosities, colors, packaging and other features.

 

  • Full turnkey optical fiber manufacturing facilities for specialty fiber as well as standard telecommunication fibers – For decades, FOC has been the North American sales agent for SG Controls of Cambridge, England, the leading manufacturer of specialty fiber-making equipment and systems.

 

  • Emphasis on specialty applications – This includes medical, spectroscopy, laser delivery, industrial, sensing, oil and gas, broadcasting, military and research as well as telecom, Datacom, CATV, FTTA, and FTTH.

 

 

2. BUILDING ON OUR STRONG FOUNDATION TO MOVE FORWARD, INTO THE FUTURE

FOC is keeping with the founder’s vision and building on our solid foundation to take great strides forward. In keeping with our core values, we have an unparalleled commitment to both our customers and our suppliers.

 

Dedicated to providing enhanced support to our customers

When Neal Weiss founded Fiber Optic Center, he created a company that is technically a distributor, yet it is so much more. We sell the highest quality products – products that work right, the first time, versus low-cost products that lead to reworks, which adds cost to the manufacturing process.

Whereas other distributors sell overwhelming product offerings, we live by the opposite model: We make the selections for you. For example, instead of selling every polisher on the market – good or bad – our seasoned technical experts select the premium polisher that has a proven, real-world track record. We stand behind every product we select, because we are confident it will do the job.

To further expand on this thought, we’re actively out in the market experiencing all the existing AND new technologies. We’re practically your front-line R&D team, testing and trying out new products. We want to make sure you don’t waste your time and money on equipment or consumables that don’t reliably help your cable assembly process.

In fact, our extraordinary team of experts brings a depth of experience in large-scale cable assembly manufacturing. Our FOC team of technical experts offers 125+ cumulative years of experience. In addition, Wayne Kachmar of Technical Horsepower Consulting lends his expertise to FOC, which is backed by 40 years of experience in cable manufacturing.

It’s important to underscore a foundational and ongoing FOC philosophy: When possible, our sales rep/technical expert meets with you in your facility. This means you get a dedicated technical expert on site – someone who is steeped in industry knowledge. An expert who is willing and able to share advice, ideas, and troubleshooting tips.

This relationship is more like a partnership than a sales rep who randomly calls, checking on your needs and taking your order. With FOC, you have a dedicated resource who knows your company and product. Our technical expert is integrated into your company and develops a deep understanding of your process and your needs. Our customers tell us this is a vastly different kind of experience.

This type of customer experience is a big part of the founder’s vision. It’s the foundation of everything we do and is integrated into every aspect of FOC. From sales to customer service to shipping, every FOC department has the same level of investment in the customer. Every person on our team is dedicated to making the customer succeed. We are a seamless team here to support you, the customer. That’s the Fiber Optic Center difference.

We are building on this strong foundation to move forward, into the future, to provide enhanced support to fiber optic cable assembly manufacturers around the world. As an FOC customer, you may start noticing some changes that ultimately benefit you.   Here are just a few:

 

  • More ways for you to get the technical information you need – FOC is more aggressively using social media and our website to share technical know-how, advances in technology, and product information. As a case in point, be sure to regularly read – and take advantage of – our AskFOC question-and-answer forum. Also, take time to peruse our growing library of blog articles, written by FOC technical experts and our marketing expert. Watch for new blog articles from our customer support manager and operations manager. By using various avenues of communication, we want to ensure you can find the technical information you need, as quickly as possible.

 

  • More streamlined and robust internal processes – If you’re familiar with the internal workings of FOC, you may notice some organizational changes. Either way, here’s what we hope you DO notice: The sales / customer service / shipping process is more streamlined, so we can more quickly and efficiently support your needs.

 

  • Future e-commerce options – Day or night, the equipment or consumables you need to purchase will be at your fingertips. Watch for future announcements regarding e-commerce purchasing options via FOC’s website (FOCenter.com).

 

 

Dedicated to developing even stronger relationships with our suppliers

 

We’re proud of our history of building strong relationships with quality-minded suppliers and establishing long-term commitments to their product line. One benefit of creating close, long-lasting relationships is that we often get first notification of new technologies. We can try out these new technologies and, in turn, introduce them to our customers. This means FOC customers can be among the first to integrate new products into their cable assembly processes – products that offer higher efficiencies, better quality, or lower cost of manufacturing.

Watch for news of these added benefits, coming soon:

 

  • Seamless connections of FOC technical information to your products – As we continue to expand our technical library of both FAQs and in-depth articles, we are adding this targeted content and additional resources directly onto the website product pages. This marriage between the content and specific product solutions will offer the most useful and seamless customer experience.

 

  • Custom marketing programs – We are expanding our marketing department, so we can take a more active role as a marketing partner with our suppliers. In essence, we’re the marketing firm for suppliers in the fiber optic cable assembly industry. We help you connect to your customers.

 

  • Future additional marketing options – After a successful launch of our redesigned website in 2015 with dedicated product pages, updated product images and datasheets, and four new content sections including AskFOC interactive Q&As, News, Blogs and Technical Articles, we continue to build upon our strong web presence. We have recently added video demos and related content to the product pages. Future planned rollouts include supplier marketing plans, landing pages, custom shared content platforms, and product configurators.

 

 

3. DEDICATED TO THE FIBER OPTIC INDUSTRY

At the 25-year mark, some companies might declare: “We promise never to change.” Loyal customers and long-time suppliers might be reassured by such a message. But our industry moves at light speed (literally). At Fiber Optic Center, we recognize the importance of making smart changes to support the fiber market as it continues to grow and mature – while building on the solid foundation that our founder, Neal Weiss, established in 1992.

While there has been far-reaching change and growth in the fiber optic industry in the past 25 years, there is still much change and growth to come. Miles of new fiber will be laid to support telecommunications and burgeoning markets such as medical, defense, and sensing. As a result, we might see significant technological changes in transmission equipment, receiving equipment, and active and passive optical components.

For Fiber Optic Center, a clear advantage is that we have been supporting this industry for 25 years. We will build on our strong foundation – we will keep with the founder’s vision – to continuously improve FOC and provide enhanced support to customers and suppliers. We are committed to serving the fiber optic market and supporting the exciting future developments in our industry.

 

 

Additional resources from the FOC team include:

 

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Ben Waite

About Ben Waite

Ben Waite, President and CEO
Ben Waite began his career at Fiber Optic Center (FOC) in 1995.
Ben brings his extensive experience in technical field work, business strategy and engineering management to his current position of President and CEO. Ben brings his manufacturing knowledge and experience into customers’ worldwide operations.
In addition to his responsibilities at FOC, Ben has been an active member of the New England Fiberoptic Council for many years, including NEFC board positions as Secretary, Treasurer, and President.
Ben graduated from Colby College with a BA in Physics, Math, and Science and Technology Studies.
He and his wife reside outside New Bedford, with their three children, where they are deeply involved in their community and extended families. Outside of FOC, he can be found coaching youth Baseball and Soccer.
Follow @BenWaite_FOC