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Page 86 of 125

MAY 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 87 is coming out of PCB shops, and there will naturally be a push to get rid of this stuff. Matties: Regarding the plating or the equipment side, you're setting up fac- tories with all this equipment. Do you have companies coming to you specifi- cally looking for just a plating line or an individual piece of equipment? Stepinski: Yes. We're not actively pro- moting it, but Vicor and SEL are both getting our first vertical plating lines. Matties: One thing that you demon- strate—and this has always stuck with me—is you built your shop from plating outward, us- ing the adage, "If we build it they will come." You've built a shop that is flexible when build- ing high technology, and people just arrived. You didn't have to go out and sell your servic- es, so to speak. Stepinski: I believe in "blue ocean" strategies. We want to make our own market whenever we can. at's how I like to do business. A sales process with the blue ocean strategy—when you are the only boat in the ocean and nobody's selling anything similar—is a really nice way to exist. It results in more partnership-type situa- tions. You're the only one out there and people want to work with you. I've been in the industry for 24 years. e GreenSource and AWP customers are the best customer set I've ever had in my career, by far. A lot of that is driven by our approach. We do step-by-step engineering, and we are really fo- cused on improving the quality of our engi- neering. is is a huge focus within the com- pany: product life cycle management and en- gineering asset management. OEMs have similar mentalities. is is an OEM approach to improving your engineer- ing quality, and the customers who work with us. ey work with us to make new products, and they work with us to give feedback on ex- isting products to improve current products. ey work with us to present problems and say, "ink about this problem. Maybe you can come up with a solution someday for this or just dwell on it." We do a lot of this—compar- ing notes and collaborating. at's how Vicor got this industrialized process from us. ey don't even make circuit boards. is is some- thing totally different, but it ends up being an SAP process at the end of the day. So, we're doing SAP on top of strange materials, and it's very interesting. It is fun doing stuff like that. You're devel- oping products with your clients; you're help- ing them really improve what they're offering their clients. It's a great relationship and a plea- sure to work with this kind of people, as op- posed to the more adversarial relationship you have when you're a commodity PCB supplier to somebody who's got a massive supply chain organization, and they're trying to extract ev- ery cent they can out of you. is is where we get our value-add. Matties: Well, you've done a great job, Alex, that's for sure; you've been an inspiration to us in the industry and we greatly appreciate you. Stepinski: ank you. PCB007 Alex Stepinski

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