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Case Studies Chainlogix & Link Labs Case Study

At A Glance



  • Design and manufacture a gateway router
  • 1,000 units in year 1 ramping up to 4,000 units in year 4


  • Manufacturing innovation: complete design for the new product introduction (NPI)
  • Global sourcing
  • Assembly and kitting
  • Quality assurance by setting and conducting testing procedure and quality inspection
  • Assurance of supply: warehousing and safety stock


  • Saved customer 10% in total acquisition costs by sourcing globally without additional overhead costs
  • Favorable PPV over the years
  • Advantageous financial terms
  • JIT delivery

The Company: Link Labs

Link Labs is a leading innovator of low-power, wide-area network technologies that power the internet of things (IoT). Based in Annapolis, Maryland and founded in 2014 by a group of veteran engineers, Link Labs focuses on finding unique, cost-effective, practical solutions to challenging technical problems in the telecommunications industry.


The Challenge:

Don’t Panic, It’s a Design Dilemma. Making a Complex Idea a Reality.

In 2019, a number of states in the US passed new laws to protect hotel employees, which included requiring the installation of panic buttons. While the laws were enacted for good reason, there wasn’t a simple, practical method to implement the new tool, which is when Link Labs decided to come up with a better assembly solution.

While Link Labs had the capabilities to innovate and create this impactful new tool, they needed assistance with design and prototyping. They also lacked the necessary outsource manufacturing resources to locate components for the new product.

Not only did Link Labs need assistance with design and component sourcing, but they also needed a better inventory and warehousing solution to reduce costs.

To Link Labs, it was important to develop a high-quality product at a practical price for their customers. In order to achieve this goal, they needed a flexible and reliable partner to bring this custom and complex product to life, which is when they turned to Chainlogix.

The Solution: There’s Always a Way to Do It Better.

Chainlogix and Link Labs Push Boundaries Together

In their collaboration with Chainlogix, a trusted partner since 2017, Link Labs worked to find a better assembly solution to a gateway router for hotels, which included a mandated wireless panic button that staff members could use in case of emergencies while on hotel properties. Together, the companies collaborated on the full assembly and design for manufacturing.


Phase 1

While initially brought in to handle the chipset component, Chainlogix’s multifaceted capabilities provided an interesting opportunity for Link Labs, and a more comprehensive design for manufacturing and assembly solution was developed.

Vested in their success, Chainlogix took a careful look at Link Lab’s objectives and capabilities, and identified a number of opportunities to turn Link Lab’s goals into reality. It wasn’t just a matter of taking the order and manufacturing the product, Chainlogix provided guidance and expertise to truly make the product the best it could be, with an entirely custom-made supply chain management and assembly solution.

It started with the design of multiple prototypes, which occurred over a period of 2 years and resulted in a complete design for the new product introduction (NPI). During this time, Chainlogix brought in some of their own partners to assist with the design-for-assembly (DFA) part of the process.

Chainlogix identified a better assembly solution for the metal box, using laser etching instead of the typical silk screen printing.

Once the prototype was complete, Chainlogix secured advantageous financial terms for Link Labs by locating practical, cost-effective outsource manufacturing sources for the product’s 16 components throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. Some of the components were sourced directly by Chainlogix, others were purchased from a mandated outsource supply chain supplier where it proved to be more practical and cost-effective.


Phase 2

While sourcing the components for the new product, the team members discovered that one of the components was only available from a single source. This presented a problem, as this component would not meet the needs of a better, more cost-effective end product.

Chainlogix took this problem as an opportunity, locating an entirely different source that allowed a custom design to be created at no additional cost to Link Labs.

The Results: a Turn-key Solution That Reduced Total Acquisition Costs by 10%.

By simplifying and managing the entire in-house assembly, Chainlogix helped Link Labs avoid additional overhead costs. It also simplified the design for manufacturing process, including assembling and packaging, so that Link Labs could focus on its core capabilities and deliver maximum value to its customers.

Link Labs received top of the line customer care, with a designated account manager, routine headquarter visits and reliable and constantly available assistance.

Chainlogix secured outstanding financial terms for Link Labs by locating cost-effective outsource manufacturing sources for all of the product’s components. While the assembly was entirely custom made, some of the components, like the metallic housing, were sourced directly from manufacturers.

Throughout the process of creating a custom assembly, Chainlogix discovered a way to reduce costs and provided terms that enabled Link Labs to wait out the post-pandemic recovery in the hospitality industry. As a result, manufacturing and total acquisition costs decreased by 10%, which saved Link Labs considerable capital, reduced the supply chain cost and eased their cash flow position.

The implementation of laser etching enabled the product to be produced more quickly, using cleaner and more environmentally friendly methods.

Chainlogix took care of everything from design to just in time (JIT) delivery, covering all functions required for assembly. They managed the new tool’s assembly and packaging in-house, sourced all 16 product components, and performed all testing and quality inspection, custom labeling, and entire supply chain process. The end product was stored at Chainlogix’s own warehouse, eliminating Link Lab’s need to hold inventory.

Stringent quality testing parameters and procedures enabled the production of a high-quality finished product. In the first year, Chainlogix produced 1,000 new product units for Link Labs, which is expected to increase to 4,000 by year 4.

The implementation of JIT included a safety stock supply to assure the necessary supply. A sole point of contact also helped reduce complexity and provided better support to Link Labs.

Chainlogix has been an incredible partner and we are happy to work with them. Their supply chain management, credit terms, and quality product have helped make our business successful. Jennifer Halstead, Chief Financial Officer, Link Labs

About Chainlogix

Chainlogix Solves Supply Chain Challenges With Impactful Solutions.

Since 1998, we have provided supply chain management solutions that help manufacturers design and build cost-effective, high quality products and improve their bottom-lines. We strive to deeply understand our customers’ businesses and tailor supply chain solutions to their unique needs. Our team of solution-driven engineers has decades of experience in global logistics and a passion for results. With broad capabilities, global supply chain connections, and a dedication to customer care, we are a trusted partner for demanding customers.

Our team of experts can manage:

  • Planning and procurement with preferential access to a broad supplier base and AVL optimization
  • Cost-optimized inventory warehousing and fulfillment
  • End-to-end supply chain tracking and communication
  • Product innovation through design and re-design through its partners

Serving the industry for 23 years, we have established nearly 200 supplier partner contracts. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, we operate worldwide with global strategic sourcing offices based in the USA and Zhuhai, China.


We want to learn about your organization and understand your unique challenges.

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