Strategic Planning. Training. Market Positioning.

Years ago when I was giving a seminar on EMS Competitive Advantage at SMTAI, a person working at an OEM had also signed up. When I asked why he was registering for what was essentially a marketing class for EMS companies, he told me he wanted to hear what I was telling EMS companies about marketing. He’d been disappointed by companies who couldn’t walk their talk and basically wanted to see if I was telling companies to overstate their capabilities. The short answer was that I wasn’t. The EMS industry is selling a service-based relationship. Marketing efforts that focus on undeliverable promises do more harm than good. My February article in Circuits Assembly looks at the challenge of providing points of differentiation that track to deliverable customer benefits.

IPC has announced dates for the Essential of EMS Program Management course in 2014. I teach the first day of this course. The course is tentatively scheduled for March 27-29, 2014 at IPC Apex Expo and then again Sept. 17-19 in Bannockburn, IL.

This two-day session along with online learning, a Leadership course and an exam are part of IPC’s EMS Program Management Certification program. Last year, IPC also began scheduling on-site courses for companies who preferred to hold it on a specific date in their facility.

For more information, visit IPC’s EMS Program Management Certification program overview page.

In my December Circuits Assembly column, I looked at the growing area of reliability analysis software and its relevance to EMS providers. This grew out of discussion at the Contract Manufacturing session held at SMTAI in October. There are pros and cons, since it can increase a contractor’s liability risks. This article looks at potential sources for the software, trends in the way it is already being used in EMS and some of the potential legal issues. If you work for an EMS company, feel free to participate in the poll below. The results will display after you enter your answer.

Cyber Monday Comes Early

It appears my publisher is joining the rest of the retail industry in starting sales early. Only theirs is also finishing early. If you’ve wanted a copy of “Find It. Book It. Grow It. A Robust Strategy for Account Acquisition in Electronics Manufacturing Services,” but felt the price was too high, now is your chance. Pennwell Books is running its end of the year sale between now and the end of November and the book is now $25. Here is the ordering link:

Have a great Thanksgiving!

My October article in Circuits Assembly magazine looks at nearshoring in Southeast Asia. I made another trip to Singapore in August and continue to notice parallels in the way Singapore’s supply base leverages adjacent low cost labor markets with what I see here on the U.S./Mexico border. It is definitely an option worth exploring for supplying end markets within Asia and Europe.

Also, don’t forget the EMS-related session Mike Buetow and I have scheduled for SMTAI next week.

Seamless Sourcing Teams: Best Practices in Information Exchange

Chair: Susan Mucha, Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc.

Co-Chair: Mike Buetow, UP Media Group

Place: SMTA International in Ft. Worth, TX

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 10:30 am – 1 pm, Room 203C

Synopsis: The quality of IT solutions and internal processes for optimizing production efficiency continue to grow in importance in the outsourcing equation. This session looks at trends and best practices in managing design reviews, production documentation, and material and production status. The session includes a range of perspectives reflecting both supplier solutions and iNEMI’s 2013 Information Management Systems Roadmap.

Topics/Speakers:

  • Best Practices for Improving the PCB Supply Chain, Cheryl Tulkoff and Craig Hillman, Ph.D., DfR Soultions
  • Accountability Structure in a Contract Manufacturing Engineering Department, Mike Gerner, Plexus Corp.
  • Developing a Knowledge Based Risk Identification System for Sophisticated SMT Assembly Design and Development, Jingsong Xie, Ph.D., RelEng Technologies, Inc.
  • Managing Information Across the Supply Chain: Highlights from the iNEMI Roadmap, Barbara Goldstein, National Institute of Standards and Technology

To register visit: http://smta.org/smtai/register.cfm.

The more satisfied your customers, the more difficult it can be to get them to return a customer satisfaction survey. My column this month in Circuits Assembly discusses ways to improve that.

IPC’s EMS Program Management Certification program will have two sessions coming up in September. As many of you know I teach part of the Essentials of Program Management portion. This EMS industry-developed program is a great way to ensure that your program management team has a balanced understanding of both the business and technical aspects of what many call, “the most challenging job in EMS.” The sessions are scheduled Sept. 13-14 at IPC’s headquarters outside Chicago and Sept. 17, 18, and 20, at Hunter Technology in Santa Clara, CA. For more information on course content, cost, all scheduled dates and ways to register visit: http://www.ipc.org/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=EMS-Program-Manager-Certification.

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