Don’t miss the session that PMCI co-organizes with Circuits Assembly Magazine at this year’s SMTA International Show
Supply Chain Conflict Minerals Compliance
Chair: Susan Mucha, Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc.
Co-Chair: Mike Buetow, UP Media Group
Wednesday, October 1, 4:00pm — 5:30pm Room 51
In the wake of the Dodd-Frank legislation mandating reporting of minerals mined in war-torn regions like the DRC, several initiatives and templates for defining and reporting use of these elements have been developed by worldwide organizations, including the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative, the EICC Conflict-Free Smelter Program, and the IPC Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Guide. This session looks at where these programs intersect, best practices for compliance, and some of the tools for compliance.
- Contract Manufacturing and Conflict Minerals: Creating a Workable Compliance System
John Sheehan and Allen Abell, SigmaTron International
- Lessons Learned from AIM’s Participation in the CFTI
David Suraski, AIM
Aidan Turnbull, Ph.D., ENVIRON International
Chris Nowak, Actio
Conference details are available at: http://www.smta.org/smtai/at_a_glance.cfm.
Here are the five biggest myths in electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sales and marketing:
Myth 1 – Cold calling works: Years ago a large magazine publisher used to run an ad with an unfriendly buyer and the headline, “I don’t know you. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your product. Now, what are you trying to sell me?” Today that buyer screens phone calls and deletes unsolicited emails. A good marketing campaign that highlights the common problems your company regularly solves can help get through that automated gatekeeping. Otherwise, cold calling is an inefficient use of sales team time.
Myth 2 – Your website should make it easy for prospects to download all your company information: Outsourcing is a relationship sell. If you make easy for someone to visit your website and download your brochure, equipment list and all other facts about your company, then they don’t need to contact sales and request more information. Meanwhile, your competition’s sales team is building a relationship.
Myth 3 – Marketing is unnecessary: Back in the 80s, most EMS companies did business through engineering networking. Now that the industry is much larger and competition has also grown; getting your company’s name out is important. That doesn’t necessarily have to translate to huge budgets, but you do need a strategy focused messages that are timed to repeat at specific intervals. With no marketing, your competitors will position your company to their advantage.
Myth 4 – Copy the Competition: In the absence of differentiation, prospects focus on price. You want prospects to focus on the specific benefits your company offers.
Myth 5 – Sell the sizzle, not the steak: Ask most successful EMS companies what clenches the deal and they’ll say it is their plant tour. The main reason that is true is because outsourcing decision makers can lose their jobs if the contractor doesn’t perform. Your marketing should sell your competencies and your plant tour should demonstrate how well you walk that talk. Too much focus on sizzle without substance may actually turn buyers off.
For over a decade, Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc. has helped EMS companies develop marketing strategies that work and fit their budgets. Visit http://www.powell-muchaconsulting.com to learn more.
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.
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!
Last week I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on Nearshoring: Addressing the Sourcing Equation as part of the Real Time at IPC APEX video series. I also did several other interviews, which I’ll link in other columns.
Gary Burnett, President and CEO of Burton Industries; Curtis Campbell, VP Sales West Coast Operations, SigmaTron International; and Mike Baldwin, VP, Spectrum Assembly, Inc. share their views on Nearshoring both domestically and in other parts of the world in this video clip.
Nearshoring: Addressing the Sourcing Equation