Strategic Planning. Training. Market Positioning.

Posts tagged ‘IPC EMS Program Management Certification’


I’ll be teaching part of the EMS Program Management Essentials course Feb. 23 and 25, and attending meetings in between, at IPC APEX Expo. Learn more about IPC’s EMS Program Management Certification Program here. It’s a great way to learn new things about the most difficult job in the EMS industry.

Are You Getting the Return You Expect From Your Program Managers?

Part of the reason I’ve been a little lax on my posting is that I’ve had a heavy travel schedule that included teaching segments of the IPC EMS Program Management Certification course as well as co-organizing a session at SMTAI on conflict minerals with Mike Buetow from Circuits Assembly.

My October Circuits Assembly column looks at ways to build a unified program management team and ensure that all program managers understand how best to do their jobs. Program management is truly the most difficult job in EMS and anything that reduces the learning curves of new program managers will generally save your company money.

Are Your Program Managers Helping or Hurting Your Business?

No one goes to college and majors in Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) program management. They are typically either hired for the position as a business major or migrate there from a technical position. In short, they typically learn the basics of their job on the job. Prior experience, cultural differences, degree to which processes are documented and robustness of initial training can all impact a program manager’s performance.

A good program manager grows business while preserving profitability. He or she is also trusted by customers to be a champion for their business within the EMS provider. Developing that skills set often takes time. What are the signs that a program manager needs some coaching to reach that level? Here are two of the most common issues:

  • The Program Manager is reluctant to negotiate with customers – Customer requests are either completely ignored or agreed to, even when the program manager knows they aren’t achievable.
    • Preferred Behavior – Evaluate the request and offer the customer a range of choices if the exact request cannot be fulfilled. For example, while a schedule pull-in for all product might not be possible, it might be possible to pull in the most critical assemblies. Or, the new date could be achieved if the customer was willing to pay expedited freight charges. Let the customer choose the preferred option.
  • The Program Manager is reluctant to give bad news – The customer finds out about a missed delivery, the day it doesn’t show up.
    • Preferred Behavior – Let the customer know as early as possible if a problem has occurred. Provide a range of alternatives for minimizing the issue.

IPC’s EMS Program Manager Certification Program is one way to help coach and grow new program managers. Learn more:

PMCI also offers training and support resources in this area including:

  • EMS Concentric Selling™ – a one-day course focused on the EMS account acquisition and growth process
  • Program Team Assessment Audits and Recommendations
  • Custom Program Management tool development such as Program Management Handbooks and custom training material

Visit to learn more.

Essentials of EMS Program Management Scheduled for APEX

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.

IPC EMS Program Management Training

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:

Thoughts on SMTAI and APEX

My December column in Circuits Assembly looked at SMTAI, some of the activities that took place and the news that IPC and SMTA would be combining forces once again. I think combined IPC/SMTA programming is a great idea and will create a very strong show.

IPC’s APEX show is just around the corner and I’ll be there as well. As with SMTAI, I’ll be doing a few video interviews as part of iConnect007’s Live programming. I’ll be chairing a panel on Nearshoring, which I’ll discuss in more detail once everything is firmed up a little more. The Nearshoring panel will be videotaped and I’ll post a link.

Finally, I’ll also be teaching a session IPC EMS Program Management Certification program. I worked with IPC last year to revamp my session as part of an effort to compress the first two sections of the course into a 3-day program. It seems to be working well. We’ve already got another class scheduled for March in Atlanta.

New Program Management Article and Events

I’d like to say the lazy days of summer were catching up with me, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Business has been very good and when that happens discretionary activities like my blog take a backseat.

That said I’ve been publishing articles and working on fall events.

Here is my latest article on dealing with program management challenges.

Also, there are two upcoming events in October that you may want to add to your calendar.

I’ll be teaching an IPC EMS Program Management Certification class in Tampa on Oct. 4th. If you’ve been thinking about this program, that is a great place and time to take a class.

And, I’m headed back to Florida a couple of weeks later for SMTAI, where I co-organize a Contract Manufacturing Symposium with Mike Buetow and Circuits Assembly Magazine.

Here’s a preview:

Strategies for a Changing Market

Chair: Susan Mucha, Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc. Co-Chair: Mike Buetow, CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Magazine Tuesday, October 16 | 10:30am – 1:00pm | Asia 3 FREE with VIP or Technical Conference Registration! As global economies continue to evolve, so do EMS and OEM relationships. Onshore or offshore? Can regional providers really offer a comprehensive full service solution? What aftermarket services make sense in the EMS model? This session looks at these topics and more. Session format includes: four presentations and a panel discussion on the evolving EMS business model.

  • The Evolving Nature of Offshore/Onshore Options Curtis Campbell, SigmaTron International
  • Force Multiplication-Supporting Complex Customer Requirements at a Regional Level Rick Herndon, Firstronic, LLC
  • Aftermarket Services: An EMS and OEM Perspective Bryce “Skip” Boothby Jr., Celestica Inc.
  • Re-shoring: Total Cost of Ownership, a Contract Manufacturing Guide  Alexander Zeitler, BTW, Inc.

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