Open Manufacture: Made with Vietnam S01E01

We’re excited to share that, we’re going to have Seeed products manufactured at Telstar Factory in Bac Giang, Vietnam very soon.

Those of you who’ve been with us will agree that we owe our growth to the city where we’re based: Shenzhen, China, which has long been known as the “Silicon Valley of Hardware” due to its vast network of electronic manufacturing facilities. Back in 2008 when Seeed Studio was established, we manufactured all our products at our factory and our manufacturing partners’ facilities here in Shenzhen. Building our products close to home gives us the privilege to iterate quickly, applying lessons learned in production to make them simpler, and cheaper, to produce. Thanks to the vast resources of supply chain and international logistics, we can ship out the products and respond quickly to changes in demand from our global community.

However, we believe that this is the right thing to do: embracing decentralized manufacturing. The world of manufacturing is changing rapidly, with a growing emphasis on decentralized manufacturing, which enables the development of new products that can be customized to meet the specific needs of users. Rather than relying on a single manufacturing process and provider, decentralized manufacturing allows multiple parties to collaborate and work together, sharing information and knowledge along the way. Furthermore, decentralized manufacturing also democratizes the production of goods, promotes innovation and collaboration, and benefits the environment by reducing waste and minimizing the impact of transportation. By embracing this approach, we can create a more sustainable and equitable model for the production of goods, which will benefit us all. 

Starting next month, we’ll be manufacturing Seeed Studio BeagleBone® Green at Telstar in Bac Giang, Vietnam, followed by other Seeed products in near future. In recent years, Vietnam, as one of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,  has become an increasingly popular destination for electronics manufacturing due to its strategic location, lower labor costs, and favorable policies for manufacturing and international trading. Some notable companies with manufacturing operations in Vietnam include Samsung, LG, Intel, Foxconn, Panasonic, Microsoft, etc. By sourcing and stockpiling components locally in Vietnam together with benefit from government incentives, we will be able to react more quickly to the rapidly increasing demand for our products in the global market.

Earlier this month, our team, comprising of experts in electronic manufacturing, logistics, and auditing: Founder and CEO Eric Pan, our COO Jessica You, and Project Manager Mandy Xiang visited various factories around Hanoi for the field study to screen out and decide our first global manufacturing factory in Vietnam (Vietnam is our 1st stop for global decentralized manufacturing operations and please do expect more to come). The followings are the wrap for their field study, and we’ll share more updates on “Made with Vietnam”. Stay tuned. 😊

Team Landing in Hanoi

The goal for the field study was to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and to identify best practices and areas for improvement.

Visiting Different Size Factories

During the field study, the team visited several electronic manufacturing factories of varying sizes around Hanoi (mainly in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces, where are well-known for electronic manufacturing). This allowed the team to gain a comprehensive understanding of the manufacturing processes, labor practices, and environmental impact of the factories. From the field trips, we learned that many factories had implemented innovative technologies and practices to improve manufacturing capacity and efficiency.

Partnership with Telstar

After careful evaluation and analysis of the different factories we visited, we decided to collaborate with Telstar to set up our operation base in Vietnam. Telstar has a strong capacity in OEM, as well as a dedication to ensuring the quality of products.  Established in 2019, Telstar Vietnam is a high-tech enterprise of electronic products. Specialized in manufacturing projectors, dashcams, cameras, and PCBAs, Telstar offers OEM services for global clients. Telstar owns a modernized factory covering 14,000 square meters, 13 SMT lines, 500 workers, and 150 engineers in Vietnam.

We signed a strategy agreement with the factory to work together towards manufacturing Seeed products in Vietnam. As part of this partnership, we also put up our logo at the Telstar factory, demonstrating our commitment to manufacturing our products and joining the electronic manufacturing ecosystem in the country. And now, let’s look forward to the first batch of Seeed products manufactured in Vietnam. 🙂

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May 2023