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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 must present this vision—this is who we are, this is our strength, and this is the direction we feel matches your product development growth and needs, etc. Most companies can't afford to build a brand-new greenfield plant, but it can have some strengths, weaknesses to improve on, and incrementally, you can get to that position that you're comfortable with. This industry changes so fast, so you need to do this exercise every three to four years. Electronics, products, and semiconductors change so much. Just look at heterogeneous integration. That par- ticular roadmap goes out to 2035 because the semiconductor companies are going to spend billions of dollars. To support this electronics industry, you have to support how that will be implemented in terms of OEMs' products. Johnson: I'm hearing the advice to pick your niche, make a strategic decision on what you're going to specialize in, how you're go- ing to present yourself out there in the market- place, and then roadmap. Holden: To benchmark, you need to address what your strengths and weaknesses are and the advantages of each. With those traits out- lined, then you can create a roadmap to en- hance your advantages, plug holes, and mini- mize your weaknesses—what we call tactical planning and strategic planning. Johnson: Let's talk about how—at the strate- gic level first—one should approach acquir- ing equipment. In benchmarking, you found out what your capabilities were and identified some gaps that will require some new capital investment. What's next? Holden: You look at what the investment is go- ing to cost in terms of the profitability to sup- port that investment over the next couple of years. If you don't, then you step back and say, "Why aren't my profits higher?" And by that time, it may come down to talking about waste. Are your yields 99%? If not, what are they? If you raise your yield 10%, how much does that add to the profitability to support the roadmap? Are there other ways to increase pro- ductivity, such as materials? Most of the time, it comes down to yield. The biggest loss is what we can't ship. Johnson: That almost sounds like that's a pre- paratory step for doing your roadmap: Looking at the actual performance you're getting out of your current processes. Holden: I hope that would be part of the cur- rent assessment of strengths, weaknesses, and advantages. If one of your competitive advan- tages is that you have much higher yields than everybody else in the industry, that's impor- tant. If you have much higher quality, there are fewer returns. That total cost of quality for you is lower, and you know how to show that to customers in terms of the sales pitch. Every- body can say, "We have top quality," but you need to boil that down into figures or numbers to demonstrate it to future clients. I went to the HP sales school. The company knew they had the highest-priced equipment, yet they survived with record growth and prof- its. Part of it was that in the sales school, we didn't compete on price. If we reduced to com- pete on price, we were at the bottom end of the very intelligent customers. They taught us how to sell on the total system cost, the total cost to quality, and the reliability of a product. HP was always successful, even though they had the highest-priced solution. They had the best solution for whatever the mission might have been. Sitting through the same sales training that the rest of the people sat through was an eye- opener about how HP designed products and sold them. HP had 52 product divisions, in- cluding a sales division, and no product divi- Electronics, products, and semiconductors change so much. Just look at heterogeneous integration.

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