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42 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 It was recently reported that inflation hit a new 40-year high at 9.1%. Have you felt that kick in the gut when filling your car with gas or making a purchase at a grocery store? I'll leave it up to those more intelligent than myself to analyze the whys of the steep rise in cost. is is also another tough blow to the PCB design industry among what seems a never- ending list of adversities. ose who got through the pandemic shutdowns now must deal with the supply chain shortages (which are still ongoing). Our industry has not gone unscathed with the newest problem on the block: inflation. Every step of the PCB pro- cess now costs more. It's much like a long line of dominoes just waiting for the first one to tip over. Can I be honest with you? I consider you all my friends and I know you won't judge. At this point, I feel a bit like Charlie Brown try- ing to kick the football, only to remember that Lucy Van Pelt will just pull away the football at the last minute, resulting in me laying in a prone position, thinking about how blue the sky looks. e bottom line is that, to survive, we need to change how we conduct business. During rough times (our present situation certainly qualifies), the standard practice for companies involves the balance sheet, and the call goes out for everyone to tighten their col- lective belts. e company does this balancing act between what they provide and increasing price—giving less for more. Clara Peller perfectly illustrates this practice. She was born in Russia in 1902 and worked as a manicurist at a Chicago beauty salon for 35 years. You may not know who she is, but I'm sure you're familiar with her catchphrase, Design Tips for Inflationary Times Elementary, Mr. Watson Feature Column by John Watson, ALTIUM

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