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14 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 "Well, I'm old-school, so planning and com- munication still matter more than anything to me," stated John Vaughan, VP of sales and marketing at Zentech Manufacturing, "What does the customer think the product architec- ture looks like? What part challenges do they see? What's different and unique? Who are our technical liaisons going to be? Because the demand side is really high right now, particu- larly in mil/aero, and the lead times to deliver both quotes and products are very compressed right now, the more we know about the objec- tives on the front end, the better we can per- form." "We like to think of ourselves as a family atmosphere and build relationships with the customers we have," said Jeff Hamlett, direc- tor of sales and marketing at Data Electronic Services (DataED). "Anybody can build a prod- uct, but it's important to have established rela- tionships and treat the customers well, which has led to our success today. We have all of the bells and whistles that other CMs do, but that's the one factor that makes us stand apart." Muhammad Irfan, president at Whizz Sys- tems, put it this way, "Internally, we have the capability to offer from concept all the way to a launched product." He continued, "Our strength is knowing our strengths and whether we are a good fit for the customer." Duane Benson stated, "That information is critical, and if you don't have it right in the first place, you're going to have a cascading The One Thing Feature by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 A tip of the hat to best-selling authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and their book who came up in the real estate business; their book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is based on a sim- ple, general truth. Often, in major projects, suc- cess is greatest and risk is least by just focus- ing on one key part. As we talked to contract manufacturers, one thing did move to the top of the list of secrets to success in the assembly space: communication. "The vast majority of the problems that we run into—whether they be in our forecasted manufacturing with Milwaukee Electronics or our on-demand manufacturing with Scream - ing Circuits—fall to communication and infor- mation," said Duane Benson, an I-Connect007 columnist and a representative from Milwau- kee Electronics. "As with the old 'telephone game,' each time information goes from one party to another, the risk of misinterpretation increases." Benson pointed out, "If we are given unclear information from a customer, we may not be able to give the right information to Sunstone [Circuits, their partner fabricator]." Joe Garcia, VP of sales and marketing at Green Circuits, echoed that sentiment, "We want to be as thorough as possible with each customer's particular job. But, at the same time, we want to match our speed and flexi- bility to the needs and expectations of the cus- tomer—truly being a customer solution pro- vider in the EMS space."

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