Strategic Planning. Training. Market Positioning.

Archive for September, 2011

Welcome to PMCI’s Blog

This blog will be a mix of tips, event announcements and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry news. Comments are always welcome.

EMS has been described as one of the most challenging industries in which to work (it’s been labelled other things that aren’t as printable, particularly when recession looms but I’ll skip those). The result
is that employees in EMS companies are used to stress. Most EMS companies seem to be weathering the economic doldrums well, but a double-dip recession would likely change that.

Here are some tips for increasing your company’s competitiveness:

  • Assess your customer base and develop account plans for key customers (read my book, “Find It. Book It. Grow It.” you if want a blueprint).
  • Look for new opportunities to serve existing customers through “packaging services” or supporting areas where they are having difficulty due to internal staff reductions or changing service needs (in short, try to become the indispendable supplier).
  • Map your contacts in customers and if you have less than two, start developing a larger network of relationships. You don’t want to lose an account simply because your key contact leaves unexpectedly.
  • Read your contracts and either choose to make concessions or enforce terms through formal renegotiation–suppliers that do this tend to make less concessions than those who simply accept changes in terms as inevitable–this is particularly true in the payables realm.
  • Document any project changes in writing, particularly when inventory liability is involved. Ask the question, “if my customer contact lost his job tomorrow, would I have a paper trail authorizing what I am about to do for him today.”
  • Continue to market strongly because it gives you competitive advantage over competing suppliers who don’t.
  • Understand your customer’s hidden costs and how your services reduce them.
  • Recognize that times like these really do give you a chance to stand out as a leader and an invaluable member of your team. If that isn’t motivating enough, remember that people in the EMS industry have really long memories.
  • Find ways to have fun. Stress kills–so find some form of exercise to let off pressure. Also watch your team for signs of burnout. Unplanned attrition is never a good thing.

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