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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 Interview by the Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Guillaume Chauvet of ICAPE Group, vice president of sales-Americas East, discusses managing the supply chain through transpor- tation issues, raw material shortages, and lon- ger production times. He also details how he helps customers manage different suppliers and divergent technologies. Barry Matties: Guillaume, would you give us a better understanding of how your company operates? Guillaume Chauvet: e company was created by ierry Ballenghien. He had managed PCB shops in France, and in 1999 he saw the PCB business going to China, but it was complicated to go there. French people didn't have strong ties to Asia, so it was a really good spot for him to open a company, to buy PCBs directly from Taiwan and China with our own qualified sup- plier, and then sell them in France. at's how we started: by qualifying a PCB shop in Asia and creating more business in France. It was quite successful. At that time, every- one tried to go to China, but it's not easy when you don't know the business, how to qualify PCB shops, etc. PCBs are very technical. Now it's a bit different. It's easy to buy from Asia, people are used to it, the quality is quite good, and there are many PCB experts there. In 2004, ierry opened a new company called CIPEM, which was doing more or less the same as ICAPE but for custom parts like harnesses, coils, and metal parts. ere are custom parts that were easier to buy in China and were sometimes a better price. e target is to sell more product to our customers. We were selling PCBs to some contract manufac- turers, and we said, "You have trouble finding good suppliers for the harnesses, so let us pro- vide them for you. We have solutions for you." It was really to upsell the existing customers. As we've grown, we have opened a big of- fice and lab in China to control the quality of our Asian suppliers. Now we also have inspec- Navigating the Supply Chain Storm with ICAPE

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