Customisation of CPE: Why on Earth?

by Dejan Čimžar, CPE product manager

(3-minute read / 600 words)

Customisation and personalisation have become a part of almost every aspect of our life – in one form or another.

From services such as recommendation systems in online shops and streaming services, to products such as clothes, furniture, electronic equipment, even cars. Researches conducted recently have shown the benefits and positive impacts that product customisation has in developing a strong and long-lasting relationship between a manufacturer and its clients.

No wonder that customisation has found its way to Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) as well.

What’s in it for you?

What exactly do we refer to as product customisation? Generally speaking, it is a process of delivering goods and services adapted to client needs and desires. In relation to the CPE, it refers to branding as well as software adaptation. CPE manufacturers usually make standard (a.k.a. “generic”) devices in large quantities. As the first level of customisation, manufacturers equip smaller batches with branding elements such as company logos. But a more important part is software adaptation.

Why would you – an operator – care about product customisation? First of all, product branding is a form of discreet advertisement. If you and your products provide high-quality services, users will associate their positive experience with you via the logo on your equipment. Bespoke devices are prerequisite to build brand loyalty and make you stand out from the competition. After all, these benefits will show their direct or indirect positive effects on your profit.

Where’s S&T Iskratel in all this?

In the past, minimal customisation was done on the CPE. Manufacturing took place in large volumes, which resulted in a total domination of Tier-1 operators over the market, with smaller operators ordering smaller volumes left behind. This all changed about two years ago, when a two-phase manufacturing process came to life here in S&T Iskratel (see “Optimisation of CPE manufacturing”).

Customisation of CPE

From the basics…

The process offered our clients (the operators) a possibility to modify the products as per their needs and wishes. Like most CPE manufacturers, S&T Iskratel usually produces standard (“generic”) devices in large volumes. This is followed by branding limited-volume batches – the first level of customisation. We understand the great impact that branding can have, and we give our clients full control of the logo design and placement.

Further branding is achieved with the accessories are included in the package, such as user manuals, cables, packaging boxes and labels. Each of these can be modified as per client requirements.

…to things that matter

However, software adaptation is key to an efficient customisation. We are aware of different software requirements that various CPE models or different end users have. Our flexibility to make adjustments as per our clients’ needs allows them to provide the best possible user experience to their clients.

All processes (branding and software adaptations) are carried out at our headquarters here in Slovenia. This introduces zero transportation delay and shortens production times. With the two-phase manufacturing process, we have managed to shorten lead times from 56 weeks to 4 weeks during Covid times, when the need to provide reliable internet connections to end users became so important.

The flexibility of the two-phase manufacturing process lets us process various volumes of orders, ranging from 1,000 to more than 10,000 pieces. This means we can serve the needs of large and small operators alike.

Moving forward

We admit that there is something in all this for us as well: Fulfilling the needs of our clients (operators) results in higher satisfaction, allowing us to build trusting and long-lasting relationships with our clients.

If you are a mid-sized or smaller operator – or perhaps just starting your business – we know how important it is to you to expand your brand among the potential users. And we believe we will provide you with just what you need.