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REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2022 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE I I-CONNECT007 171 Voices of the Show: Zack Burruel, Titan Circuits Interview by Nolan Johnson Nolan Johnson speaks with Zack Burruel about the chal- lenges associated with short- ages in parts and labor. Nolan Johnson: Hi, Zack. Are you glad to be back at APEX EXPO? Zack Burruel: Yes, I come every year, if it's available. Johnson: What do you have for objectives and goals to accomplish at APEX EXPO this year? Burruel: We're a small company, so I typically don't have time to meet other people in the industry on a regular basis. We are relatively new as well, so it's just a good opportunity to meet some new people within the industry. That's my main objective. Johnson: It's the networking? Burruel: Yes. Johnson: Tell me about Titan. Burruel: We are a small EMS provider in Phoenix, Arizona, that just got started about a year and a half ago. We're just going through the ups and downs of the industry with part shortages. We work with military, aerospace, and commercial customers— anyone that's looking for U.S.-made manufacturing. Johnson: Obviously there are a lot of challenges we're facing. In the EMS Management Summit just now, they've just been talking about the supply chal- lenges. What's your experience as a new startup with respect to sales and marketing and connecting with customers during these times? Burruel: My experience is great. That's sort of my background, so I don't have any issue with getting incoming leads or anything like that. The biggest issue is getting parts. Even though last year was our best year, EMS-wise (we've been around for a year and a half for EMS), but we do sell bare boards and flex, rigid-flex boards as well. That's how we started. Titan Circuits is basically a DBA solely focusing on EMS. But going back to your original question, really, it's been about parts, unfortu- nately, again. Johnson: All conversations eventually lead back to parts. Burruel: People will give us business, but they literally can't find the parts. So, then they have to redesign the board and we just go around and around the circle, and they're chasing their tails because one part is gone and then they redesign it, and then that other part is gone. It's difficult for them to bite the bullet and just buy all the parts that they can and then redesign, espe- cially for the customers we're dealing with. They're typically smaller OEMs. And they're not really OEMs, they're just smaller companies in general. Johnson: Gotcha. Well, you're new and ramping up, so that means there's a lot of hiring going on. How has it been finding employees in this labor market? Burruel: That's another issue, honestly, because I'm new to the industry and in the EMS world specifi- cally. That's another opportunity where I wouldn't mind meeting these people who know someone who might hopefully know someone. As a business owner, it's very challenging because I feel like I'm wearing so many hats and recruiting is not on my list. The people that I want to come work for me are often at another company and most of the time it's in California, so it's hard to pull them because their income is probably typically a lot higher than Phoe- nix. Even though the cost of living is lower, it's hard to convince them, "Hey, make X there, but come here and make less and live better." Johnson: Yeah. That can be a hard sell. Burruel: It's hard to sell. I haven't been able to do that yet, so I'm hoping I meet some people here who know some people or that they directly know more than me and I can hire them. Johnson: Thank you. Burruel: You're welcome.

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