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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 As I spoke with Happy Holden about the four pillars of manufacturing, it became clear that they don't stand on their own; they are in- tertwined. Happy pulls from his experience at Hewlett-Packard as he discusses benchmark- ing your capabilities, the competition, and market forces. He then turns that into a tech- nology roadmap, which further drives the oth- er pillars. Happy is adamant that to make all four pillars function properly in your business, you first need to benchmark your business and then create a roadmap. He says the roadmap identifies the specific functions required from the four pillars, and how each pillar supports the others. Nolan Johnson: We're examining the four pil- lars of manufacturing from a strategic level. I know that you will have comments on all four of the pillars: sales and revenue, technology, labor and skill set, and cost supply chain. But let's start by concentrating on the technology and equipment portion. There is a lot of poten- tial innovation just over the horizon for plating and PCB fabrication. How do you strategize for that in this current day and age? Happy Holden: I always come back to the basics. First, where does a company sit in a competi- tive position? That usually happens by bench- marking. Are you where you want to be, and is your position going to create a profit margin for a competitive advantage that you can build on? This competitive advantage will support your current customers and bring future cus- tomers. Take an honest look at where you are. Are your competitive positions and strengths there for survival? To stay in business and grow profits, do your research. Do you want to jump in with ev- erybody else—such as an area dominated by Asia or those that have a lot of capital equip- ment—or do you want to jump to a growing area that requires specialization, in which you have a chance of bouncing to the top and gaining the profit margin you want? Once you determine your strategic visions, then you de- velop a roadmap. Now, how much will the roadmap cost? How much sales growth do you need at particular profit margins to sup- port that roadmap? Next, your salespeople The Pillar Roadmap

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